The Canon ZR500: Cheap Entry-level camcorderF ~ GAMES AND GADGETS

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Thursday, November 15, 2007

The Canon ZR500: Cheap Entry-level camcorderF

Canon has always been renowned for their optical products such as digital cameras and camcorders. They have always managed to put together a device that has most of the features an ordinary consumer will need without scrimping on quality and yet, still make it so affordable for the mass market. The Canon ZR500 camcorder is one of those products. In 2006, awarded the best camcorder under $300 to the Canon ZR500.

The Canon ZR500 is a compact MiniDV camcorder that has dimensions of 1.9 x 3.6 x 4.5 inch, weighs 375 grams and has a distinctive blue mist finish. Specifications of the Canon ZR500 includes 1/6" CCD image sensor, .3 inch viewfinder, 2.7 inch LCD, f/1.8-2.6 and f/2.6-65mm lens with 25x power zoom, IEEE1394 DV terminal, and a microphone terminal.

When Canon first released the ZR500 in January 2006, they released it with two other camcorders, the ZR600 and ZR700, both of which have a much higher price tag. But while the Canon ZR500 is the cheapest amongst the three, it is the only one with the external microphone terminal and aside from the fact that the Canon ZR500 doesn't have a wireless remote control and the ability to capture still images like its brothers, all three camcorders sport the same features when it comes to video capturing capabilities.

The canon ZR500 is capable of widescreen HR recording and lets you watch your captured video in widescreen letter box format even if you don't have a widescreen TV. As with Canon's other camcorders, the Canon ZR500 is equipped with Genuine Canon Optics and Digic DV Image Processor which delivers excellent colors and bright and clear videos. Most notable about the Canon ZR500 is the smooth Zoom Control that prevents shaking when you're zooming in on your subject, perfect for making amateur movies. However, Canon needs to improve the image stabilization on the Canon ZR500 since when using the maximum zoom there are notable twitches on the video when shooting at the highest zoom option. The Canon ZR500 also has a problem shooting in low light conditions, the videos produced are noisy and not very clear, but then again, you really can't complain because of the less than $300 price tag.

For an entry-level camcorder, Canon didn't hold out the manual features that are present on the ZR600 and ZR700 like auto exposure, white balance, shutter speed settings, and digital effects. That's a lot of features on a $215 camcorder. So if you want to get into amateur video recording but don't have enough money to invest on high-end camcorders, then you can start practicing on the Canon ZR500.

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