High-definition technologies have finally made it to the average consumer home with small to large HDTVs found in every home electronics store and many digital cameras, camcorders, and even mobile phones capable of recording HD video. However, digital recording devices were already selling well even before high-definition took the throne. Some people may not even need the high-definition format because traditional formats still look good on the older TVs. Those that are still embracing the aging format can rejoice because prices of SD camcorders have significantly dropped and the new releases standard memory camcorders revealed by Canon clearly show that. One of the new models is the Canon FS31 and it rests in the middle of the other four existing SD models.
Latest Update: The Canon FS31 is Now on Sale at Amazon.
Click Here to View Latest Offer
Design and Interface
The design of the Canon FS31 is small and sleek so new users should be able to handle this new device with ease. It does not make use of the touchscreen technologies so navigating through the display can be done using the familiar joystick present in many older Canon camcorders. Fortunately, the display is nice measuring 2.7 inches so playing back videos should look good. A convenient addition to this model is the new lens cover which is built-in to the camcorder and closes automatically when the camcorder is shut off. Some of the cables present in the package include a stereo video cable, USB interface cable, and battery pack.
“This is a great camcorder. So far it has lived up to my expectations. It’s really easy to use right away without reading the manual and I began using it as soon as the battery was fully charged. After a month, I’m still learning all the available features, which are plenty. I have yet to use it to its full potential, so there’s plenty of room to grow with it. The built-in flash memory is great. I can only think of two negatives for this camera: the still picture mode only takes 1MP photos, which is fine for the web, but not good for printing, and the built-in light doesn’t provide much light. Everything else is above satisfactory.” – Kevin (CA,USA)
The FS31 features several improvements over the 2009 models. For its similarities, the exact same sensors are used. This means that the Genuine Canon 41 Advanced Zoom technology makes a return and the image quality is nicely retained at deep zoom levels.
It uses the DIGIC DV II processor to make sure that the image quality is as natural as possible, but it isn’t enough to prevent the shakes and vibrations caused by moving. The Dynamic IS handles these issues and the benefits really shine when using wide-angle focal lengths. Although the FS31 isn’t a high definition camera, it still feels like one because it records using the 16:9 ratio widescreen format resulting to better quality than older digital models. The 16 GB internal flash drive and added SD card slot allows lots of video to be recorded.
The spotlight shines on the shooting control features of the Canon FS31. It begins with the Quick Start feature where the camcorder can finally be placed on standby mode without fear in missing a sudden moment. Now recording can be made in less than a second after getting out of standby mode just by opening the LCD panel. The Pre-Record is also a nice feature that fits nicely with the Quick Start feature where the camcorder constantly records 3 seconds of footage and stores it in memory. That way, when a recording session is made, the last 3 seconds in memory are added to the beginning of the segment.
Dual Shot also adds convenience to people that wish to record and take some snapshots in the process. The 680,000-pixel CCD sensor is as great as last year’s FS21 which featured a 1.07-megapixel, but pictures can be taken during a recording session and the placement of controls make it easy to do.
Heavily relying on these features drains the battery, but the Quick Charge feature charges the battery very quickly. All it takes is 20 minutes of charging to add 60 more minutes to the recording time before another charge is needed.
Other nice features include the Program AE which allows several presets to be applied so the exposure settings are adjusted for the scene to look its best. Recording can further be improved using the Level Marker feature which uses horizontal line indicators to check if the shot is perfectly aligned to the horizon. The video can be enhanced even further once it is transferred to a computer via USB cable. From there, the Pixela ImageMixer 3SE can be used to make professional edits to the video easily.
Priced at $350, the Canon FS31 is a great pick that makes up for its mediocre still shot performance with improved video recording and a nice set of features for all sorts of creative possibilities.
More user reviews:
• “We love this video camera. OK, maybe we’re behind the times but the only video recorder we’ve owned before was clunky, and hard to use. This one isn’t. The only thing I regret is that it’s short on well-produced, well-presented, clear “how to use” information. But you’ll figure it out.” – I.Rowlands (FL,USA)
• “I bought this product primarily for the price but also because it was a Canon. I have owned Canon cameras and have been pleased with them.
Let me list the pros and the cons:
Pros: Lightweight, easy to operate, easy to transfer video to computer
Cons: I am used to looking through a viewfinder, but this camera like most of the others just has the small screen on the side. This is okay except in bright sunlight which makes it very hard to see the screen. I recently took it to an air show and had a difficult time in locating the planes. Another con is that you cannot charge the battery except in the camcorder, but so far the battery life has been good.
Some other viewers mentioned the transfer software was difficult to use, but I had no problem. But you do not even need the software if you use the removable flash memory (not included) and drag and drop to your computer. The downloaded video can then be selected and transferred to a DVD using a program such as Windows DVD Maker, which is what I used.
Overall, I like this camera. The videos are not high quality, but I knew this when I bought the camera. If you want high quality, buy the HD version.” – P.H.Christian (OH,USA)
• “This video camera is easy to stow in a large pocket and very easy to use The company shipped it quickly and it arrived well packaged and in perfect condition I would order from them again.” – R.O.Hahn (CO,USA)
Click Here for Latest Offer on Canon FS31
Enjoy Free Shipping & Secure Shopping