Amazon Review by Dan
147 people found the following review helpful
An Excellent Dedicated Video Camera!
Great dedicated video camera! It's incredibly small, but not too small for my man hands. With the battery attached it has a good weight to it and doesn't feel cheap at all. It's taken a bit of time for me to get the camera setup to perform exactly as I want it to. A lot of trial and error, and fudging around with the different settings and presets, but I've ultimately decided to keep this camera on it's very robust Full Auto mode with a few advanced settings changed in the settings menu. I'll pass these tips along to you below.
> Turn off “Auto Slow Shutter”, I’ve found that with this on the camera will slow the shutter speed in dark scenes to compensate for the low light, however this drops the frame rate and causes the recording to look jittery and choppy. It works great with this turned off, even in low light situations.
> Turn off “Power on using LCD panel”, If you turn this off you can continue recording even if you close the display, and even start/stop zoom in/out recordings without even opening the display at all.
> Changing the zoom type to 57X will give you a slightly wider field of view than 32X (default), however this will disable Dynamic Image Stabilization, leaving you with Standard IS. If you want the wider FOV then it’s a trade off.
> Turn on “LCD Mirror Image” this will mirror the LCD’s image when it’s flipped for selfies so your framing and movement feels natural to you.
> Plug in any set of headphones to get a real-time monitor of the audio you’re capturing. Even without hitting the record button you’ll be able to hear exactly what the camera is hearing. This also works for watching & listening to video stored on the sd card.
- 1080p 60FPS video is buttery smooth with no frame dips or choppy segments.
- The lens has front threads for attaching filters and additional lenses.
- Video quality is top notch in decent lighting conditions, and acceptable in low light conditions.
- Image stabilization works great for handheld, there are 3 different types of IS for your situation.
- Best full auto mode I’ve ever seen, it even tells you what it’s doing as it’s doing it. (displays IS mode when it changes for different situations, and what type of scene it’s adjusting for)
- You can remove the battery and run the camera completely off the wall charger to record for days uninterrupted.
- If you run out of battery power mid shot the camera will still save your video and not corrupt the file.
- The built in microphone is pretty great, it records in stereo and does an ok job at boosting the gain to appropriate levels. I believe it uses AGC or some form of dynamic compression. It even has different audio modes for things like speech, nature, or noise reduction. And if you don’t like the mic, you can always plug in your own.
- Its not talked about much, but this is actually a VERY nice time-lapse camera as well. It has built in functions for capturing custom speed time-lapse video that saves hours on battery life and SD card storage space.
- I’ve connected a dynamic cardioid microphone and studio headphones to this camera at the same time and it worked exceptionally well. There must be a pretty good microphone preamp on this camera because I could monitor my voice in real-time crisp and clear in the headphones. However, if you plug a mono source mic into this camera, youll only get audio and monitor feedback out of one headphone ear cup. Youll have to fix this in post production, or purchase a mono-in to stereo-out adapter to fill both L&R audio channels.
- Sometimes on rare occasions after recording a video longer than 10 minutes, or recording multiple short videos in quick succession, my VIXIA will start overexposing frames randomly and mix those into the recording that appear during playback as bright white flashes every 5-10 seconds. This is often accompanied by several underexposed frames that appear as dark blinks during playback. Ive reported this to Canon support, but all they suggested was trying another SD card, or sending the camera in for warranty repairs. I havent made up my mind what I want to do about it if anything, but Im curious if any other VIXIA owners have had a similar problem.
- The tripod mounting threads are plastic and can be stripped if you’re not careful.
- Nowhere to mount a light or external shotgun microphone, the camera is so small it wouldn’t make sense anyway.
- The face detection feature can cause more problems than it solves, often times making the entire scene uncontrollably pulse in and out of focus while shooting indoors.
- No external battery charger is included, you have to plug the camera into the wall directly. (battery is easily removable though)
- The power input and cable is a proprietary connection meaning you’d have to get replacement cables directly from Canon.
- If you don’t have enough light your video will look grainy, low res, out of focus… This is true for all cameras though, keep your expectations within reason.
- The built in microphone sounds great from the front, but if youre talking from behind the camera your voice will sound echoey and muffled. Id recommend connecting an external mic if you plan to do commentary that way.
- After reading through the manual and looking online, I still have no idea what “View Assistance” is in the settings. I think it goes hand in hand with Highlight Priority mode, but if anyone could explain it to me I’d love to hear it.
- This camera doesn’t include any software. I remember buying a Canon DSLR a while back and THAT included all kinds of great tools for my PC, including a licensed version of Adobe Lightroom. I would have really liked to see that kind of frosting on top of this cake, but oh well.
Thanks for reading, I’d love to see your comments and helpful votes.