Canon FS11 Regina SK

Canon's FS11 comes with 16GB of internal flash memory, which is enough for three hours and 40 minutes of recording.

Digney Photographics Ltd
(306) 359-7988
1375 Lorne Street
Regina, SK
(306) 757-4612
1170 Broad Street
Regina, SK
Don'S Photo Shop Ltd
(306) 347-7887
2408 Dewdney Avenue
Regina, SK
Red Leaf Studios Inc
(306) 359-0309
2517 Victoria Avenue
Regina, SK
Austring Photography Ltd
(306) 565-8861
201-2206 Dewdney Avenue
Regina, SK
Focus 91 Photography
(306) 789-6166
1734 Dewdney Avenue
Regina, SK
Greschner Mark Photographer
(306) 522-1336
1350A Rose Street
Regina, SK
Gj Photo
(306) 757-4686
202-1815 Rae Street
Regina, SK
Oktober Revolution Photography
(306) 535-8766
1855 Scarth Street
Regina, SK
F11 Photographic Design Ltd
(306) 653-5353
618 2nd Avenue North
Saskatoon, SK

Canon FS11

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Camcorders that use flash memory storage are ideal for most PC users. Once you've shot your video you can quickly transfer the footage via USB for editing, archiving, posting online or burning to DVD. Flash memory is also lightweight and uses less power than a tape drive or hard disk.

Canon's FS11 comes with 16GB of internal flash memory, which is enough for three hours and 40 minutes of recording. You could add a 16GB SDHC card to double that capacity for around £35. That's equivalent to carrying around seven MiniDV tapes or 21 8cm DVD-RW discs.

To make the most of all that storage, you need good battery life. The FS11's battery is neatly tucked away inside the camcorder, which means you can't fit a larger battery. Thankfully, we were amazed to discover that the FS11 can shoot for over three hours on its small 890mAH battery. It's comfortable the longest battery life we've seen from a camcorder in our tests.

The shape and control layout is similar to Canon's excellent HF10. It's comfortable to hold, and all the main controls are to hand. A dedicated power button means you don't have to change the position of the mode dial every time you turn it on or off. The zoom control could use a little more resistance, however, as it's harder to use it smoothly than it should be. There's very little in the way of manual controls, and no accessory shoe, although a microphone input is provided.

The FS11 is a standard-definition camcorder and uses a small 1/6in CCD, which is more common on budget models. The 37x optical zoom is long, though. Colours were surprisingly accurate in good lighting conditions, but in low light the image was dominated by noise and colours became dull. Footage is compressed to MPEG2 at a maximum of 9Mbit s, which is typical for flash, DVD and hard disk-based camcorders. However, this process causes everything to look a little soft, with quick pans marred by compression artefacts. The FS11 is better than most models that share its basic specification, though, with more detail in images.

Stills are limited to a resolution of 1,152x864 because of the 1.07-megapixel CCD. This is insufficient for even basic snapshots; you'll need to carry a digital camera with you as well. It's worth noting that the FS11 produces far better video than any digital camera we've seen, though.

We were impressed with the FS11: it has plenty of storage, is a pleasure to use and has an amazingly long battery life. However, Panasonic's high-definition HDC-SD9 costs only £389 including VAT. It has no internal memory, so you'd need to buy an SDHC card. Even allowing for that, however, it still costs under £100 extra for HD video. Because of this, we can't recommend the FS11 at this price.

System Specifications

16GB internal memory, 37x optical zoom, 1,070,000-pixel 1/6in CCD, 2.7in LCD screen, USB Hi-speed interface, 60x58x124mm, 306g, one year RTB warranty

Author: Seth Barton

Computer Shopper Online