Canon VIXIA HF R200
It can be a bit confusing when it comes to buying a digital camcorder. Looking at the price tag is not enough to determine if the camcorder is powerful enough to suit the recording needs. Some users may prefer storage while others would rather go for newer features. Canon is a good manufacturer to consider because of its way in categorizing the different models. The letter determines the intended crowd with the S-series for professional users while the R-series is for the entry-level folks. The number after the letter determines the generation so higher numbers are always better. The second digit reflects the internal memory where higher numbers are also better.
But if the first digit is followed by two zeroes, it means that there is no internal memory and the Canon VIXIA HF R100 and R200 share these characteristics. The Canon VIXIA HF R200 is the newcomer to the series and it brings a lot of improvements onboard.
Design and Interface
Aside from the slight differences in color, the design is unchanged making the HF R200 a great entry-level device for people that are getting acquainted with the VIXIA series. Users will find the R200 to be comfortable because of its light 10.9-ounce weight and comfortable grip belt.
The only major change in the design is LCD display which is now touch-friendly so users can operate the screen and activate the different features just by touching the icons and menu items. This eliminates the need for buttons on the side and the extra space allows the screen to be bigger measuring 3.0 inches diagonally. This also led to the increased 230,000 dots resolution making these upgrades a nice addition to the interface and previewing videos look better too.
The Vixia HF R200 is also one of the first entry-level devices in the VIXIA lineup to support 1920 x 1080 which translate to Full HD capabilities. This is because the it uses the newer Full HD CMOS Sensor that bumps the megapixel count to 3.28 so 1920 x 1080 images can be taken as well. It takes a few technologies that made their EOS DSLR cameras good to ensure that image quality is not sacrificed. In fact, it uses the same DIGIC DV III Image Processor that is found on the midrange VIXIA models so different tonal ranges are reproduced nicely including those tough blue and purple shades.
The zoom capabilities of the HF R200 are equally impressive and surpass its predecessor by featuring a 28x Advanced Zoom. This zoom relies fully on optics while the digital zoom can extend to 400x. A new Smart Auto mode is introduced as well to take advantage of this. It is called the Tele Macro mode and it is very useful for taking shots up close. Users will surely think of great ideas and keep them in Full HD quality. The Dynamic IS system adds a basic level of image stabilization so vibrations do not mess up the footage.
The only remaining concern is the space that these HD videos eat up and because this is the R200, it features no form of internal memory. What it does have however is a two SD card slots which is already an improvement over the R100 which only had one. With two slots to work with, the Relay Recording technology can work so the Canon VIXIA HF R200 treats both memory card slots as a single storage. When two SD card slots are inserted, their storage capacities are added up so recording is continuous after one of the SD cards is full.
Both of these card slots have individual improvements of their own since they can now accept SDXC cards. Getting an SDXC eliminates the memory concerns completely since capacities start at 64 GB which is already higher than the R21′s internal memory. Just to get an idea, 64 GB is enough or nearly 6 hours of Full HD 24 Mbps footage or 1 straight day of recording at 5 Mbps.
Here’s a sample video taken with the Canon HF R200:
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The Touch Decoration feature makes use of the newly introduced touch screen so users can have fun and add various decorations to their video. Fun edits include freehand drawings and different shapes for the young ones to enjoy. The Advanced Video Snapshot feature can then be used to add background music and have the video display significant scenes giving the recording the trailer treatment.
The $380 price tag makes the Canon HF R200 the most affordable digital camcorder in Canon’s arsenal that supports Full HD recording. It is cheap because of the lack of memory and fortunately that can be overridden when buying and SD card or two.
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