Itís clear before you even order one that Canonís FS100 SD camcorder is not aimed at the top end of the market. That much is clear from the color schemes Canon have devised. Today we look beyond the color to see what you can actually accomplish with this entry level machine.
You'll be asked to choose between Moonstone Silver (plain old silver to my eyes at least) or Garnet Wine (a sort of dusky dark red), or if you aren't happy with either of those you could go for Sapphire Blue (blue). I guess these are the sort of "cool" colors that Canon imagines might appeal to the FS100's target market which, in all honesty, will probably not consist of many serious movie makers. If this sounds critical it isn't meant to.
There is room for all types and standards of equipment, and with its new line of FS camcorders Canon has decided to aim squarely at the entry level customer. Having said that, even a camcorder at the lower end of the quality scale must meet certain requirements if it is to be regarded as more than a toy. The FS100, the cheapest and most basic of the FS range, just about manages to do what it has to, but it's a near thing.
Perhaps the most unfortunate thing about the FS100 is that despite being well designed, a pleasure to use and full of features that Canon has obviously gone to some lengths to pack in, it just doesn't quite deliver. At first sight it seems as though it should be a lot more expensive than it is. This creates an impression of quality that lasts right up until you play back your first recording, at which point the corners that have been cut in production to allow it to retail at around $300 finally become apparent. But before reaching that point it's hard not to be impressed by this light, compact, well-organized device as it settles snugly into your hand.
The fit and finish are excellent. The metallic coating seems durable, and at just 10.7 ounces in weight it feels as though it could be carried all day without strain. The neat size and compact shape make it easy to stash away in between sessions, so there's no excuse for not having it with you when you need it.
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