Canon MD101 Regina SK

We're seeing more and more camcorders that use hard disks and memory cards for video storage. For the budget-conscious, though, Mini-DV is still the best option. Canon's 2006 range of budget camcorders won numerous awards in Shopper, including Best Video Product 2006 for the MV960, so we had very high expectations of the new MD101.

Red Leaf Studios Inc
(306) 359-0309
2517 Victoria Avenue
Regina, SK
 
Cameraone.Ca
(306) 757-4612
1170 Broad Street
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Don'S Photo Shop Ltd
(306) 347-7887
2408 Dewdney Avenue
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Gj Photo
(306) 757-4686
202-1815 Rae Street
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Austring Photography Ltd
(306) 565-8861
201-2206 Dewdney Avenue
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Focus 91 Photography
(306) 789-6166
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Digney Photographics Ltd
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Oktober Revolution Photography
(306) 535-8766
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Greschner Mark Photographer
(306) 522-1336
1350A Rose Street
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Gj Photo
(306) 757-4686
202-1815 Rae Street
Regina, SK
 

Canon MD101

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We're seeing more and more camcorders that use hard disks and memory cards for video storage. For the budget-conscious, though, Mini-DV is still the best option. Canon's 2006 range of budget camcorders won numerous awards in Shopper, including Best Video Product 2006 for the MV960, so we had very high expectations of the new MD101.

The MD101 looks very similar to last year's models, but Canon has made the rear of the camcorder blue. It adds nothing to the overall design; we think it's been changed simply to distinguish it from its predecessors. That said, the basic design is still an excellent one. The camcorder sits comfortably in the hand and all controls are placed in easy reach. A small joystick beneath the LCD screen controls playback and lets you navigate the settings menu. There's the usual range of options, including a variety of preset shooting modes, widescreen and electronic image stabilisation.

The LCD display is widescreen and this is the camcorder's default shooting mode. However, activating the image stabilisation means you lose some of the image's resolution because of the small CCD sensor. It makes it look a little like the image has been zoomed in.

Video quality is good for a budget camcorder, but we can't see any improvement from last year. There's little noise in well- lit conditions, and colours are bright and fairly true to life. In less ideal conditions, we noticed a lot of noise in the picture. There's a big 30x zoom lens for distant subjects, and a built-in sliding lens cover to help keep it in good condition.

The battery on the rear has only a 530mAh capacity, yet it lasted for an impressive 108 minutes in our continuous shooting test. If this isn't sufficient, you could buy a 1400mAh battery for around £31, which should last for around four hours. Unfortunately, no separate charger is provided, so you have to charge batteries using the camcorder. This is annoying, as you can't charge one battery while shooting with another.

The MD101 has a limited selection of ports. There's a FireWire port, so you can transfer footage to a PC for editing, but you can't copy it back to tape afterwards. No editing software is provided, so you'll have to buy some or use the simple Movie Maker application that comes with Windows. There's no USB port, so those without FireWire ports need to buy an expansion card for their PC. The AV-out supports only composite video, and not S-video. There is a microphone input, but no accessory shoe on which to mount an external microphone.

The MD101 is a decent budget camcorder with high video quality..

System Specifications

Mini-DV storage, 30x optical zoom, 1/6in 800,000 pixel CCD, 2.7in LCD screen, composite and phono output, FireWire interface

Author: Seth Barton

Computer Shopper Online