Functional design, intuitive navigation, extensive features, and topnotch image quality and performance

Slightly more expensive than the competition

What You Get
Though more expensive than the competition, it has more features usually only seen in high-end models, while being more lightweight and portable.

Functional design
The Canon Vixia HF200 is notable for its functional design, with a very comfortable grip and controls and buttons convenient and intuitive.  It is relatively light for a midrange camcorder, weighing only 13.9 ounces.  Its dimensions – 2.8 inch by 2.4 inch by 4.9 inch – makes it very convenient to carry around.

Compared to the more high-end models HF S10 and HF S100, the HF200 is smaller and have a 4-megapixel sensor with lower resolution.  However, on the up side, it has a 15x zoom lens which is longer, and pretty much the same feature set than the other models minus a manual control dial, zebra stripes, color bars, and a pop-up flash.  Compared to its less expensive competitors, it comes with extra features that are usually only found in higher-end models but nonetheless essential for serious camcorder enthusiasts, such as microphone input, accessory shoe, and headphone jack.

Easy navigation

Even while shooting, the user can navigate using the joystick to trigger a fly-up menu which can turn on the video light, a choice of digital effects, 3-second prerecord, manual focus, face detection, mic level, and backlight and exposure compensation.  The updated menu system allows for smoother navigation, allowing the user to focus on the subject.  The font size can also be adjusted, allowing for better navigation.

Extensive features
The Canon Vixia HF200 has all the usual features of a camcorder its size plus new features  typically only found in higher-end models.  It has the usual options for white balance, a range of image and digital effects, options for video quality, a still-photo size, and programming.  It also has the usual scene modes, but with the addition of real shutter- and aperture-priority shooting modes not commonly seen in competitors.  It has a shutter speed range of 1/8 to 1/2,000 second, and a range of aperture options from f1.8 to f8.  This gives the user more control of depth of field, which cannot usually be seen in a consumer model as compact as the HF200.

The HF200 also has Canon’s Cine mode, which is for adjusting color and gamma to go with the 24F progressive modes.  In still mode, the user can select metering and drive modes.  Other features which are only seen in high-end camcorders but are in HF200 are three fixed or variable zoom speed and x.v. Color mode.

HF200 also includes the more recent Canon features, including Video Snapshots.  Using Video Snapshots, the user can create 4-second clips that give a “highlights reel” effect.  A music CD is shipped with the camcorders that can be used to create the Video Snapshots.

Topnotch performance and image quality
The HF200, even with its small lens, produces great-looking videos –with saturated colors that are sharp and excellent exposures.  It produces relatively few blown-out highlights and the DigicDV 3 processing maximizes the dynamic range excellently.  It focuses precisely and quickly, even in low light.  Even living-room recordings look good with minimal noise and softness.  The audio recording is crisp and clear, too.

It has 24Mbps bit rate maximum but the image quality is just as well at 17Mbps, with recording capacities at 5.5 minutes per GB for the 24Mbps bit rate and 7.8 minutes per GB for the 17Mbps.

The camcorder has good battery life, lasting about 1.5 hours, with Canon offering higher-capacity batteries up to quadruple of that.

Value for money?
While the Canon Vixia HF200 is admittedly more expensive than its competitors, it does have more features commonly only seen in high-end models like the HF S10/S100.  For aficionados looking for smaller and less expensive camcorders but with high-end features, the HF200 may be the perfect cam.

Video Review Canon Vixia HF200

Photos Canon Vixia HF200

Canon Vixia HF200canon-vixia-hf200 rear

Buy the Canon Vixia HF200  at the best price

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