- Good quality video footage, 35x optical zoom
- Poor still-image quality, No aperture priority mode
Canon's DC230 is a good choice for those after a mid-range digital video camera that combines good quality video with a strong feature-set and the convenience of DVD recording.
Price$ 829.00 (AUD)
Fitting snuggly in the middle of Canon's lineup, the DC230 DVD camcorder is a good overall product. Its 1Mp sensor captures crisp, smooth footage and its 35x optical zoom, combined with a reasonably comprehensive features list, make for an enticing purchase for those of you after the convenience of a DVD-format video camera.
As with all DVD cameras, the chief reason for purchasing one over a Mini-DV camera is convenience. You can record to a DVD disc, finalise it, and in a matter of minutes be watching it with the family in the lounge room, using a DVD player. This is much faster than the process required to play video from tape and hard disc-based cameras, so it's handy for those of you who have minimal time or technical skills.
Of course, if you've read any of our other reviews, you'll be aware that our big gripe with DVD cameras is the quality of the video. Due to the limited amount of storage space DVDs offer, the footage is heavily compressed, which results in artifacts and blurring.
But the good news is that the DC230 is a bit of an anomaly in this regard. It produced clean, sharp video footage in our tests, and the results should satisfy the majority of users. We were impressed by the minimal artifacts and well-balanced colours, although blues were a little oversaturated and reds were surprisingly pale. There was a little grain noticeable in some areas, but most edges were crisp and sharp, which is more than we can say for many DVD camcorders. The footage did exhibit some haloing in areas of high contrast, and had a habit of blowing out areas with high concentrations of light, but this wasn't a big problem and, overall, the DC230 was thoroughly impressive.
Using the camera's night mode, we shot some footage in low-light conditions. The results were grainy and poorly defined. There was a massive amount of image noise, which really made the footage unusable. However, this isn't unexpected as most camcorders struggle in low-light conditions.
Similarly, the still images we captured on the DC230 were far from impressive. But, with a resolution of 1152x854, we expected this to be the case. Images turned out blurry and grainy. Basically, camcorders never capture still images that are adequate for printing as their sensors are way too small, so we can't be too harsh, but keep in mind that you'll likely want a separate digital still camera if you intend to take a lot of pictures. The DC230 records the shots to a miniSD card, so you'll also need to factor that extra cost into your purchase if you do wish to use this function.
The feature-set of the DC230 is quite standard for the entry-level and mid-range Canon camcorders. You can adjust the exposure and focus using the thumb-stick, and the menu gives access to white balance and a variety of digital effects and image modes. For example, it has fade-in, fade-out, sepia and black and white effects. There is also an option to switch from regular program AE mode to shutter priority, which allows you to tweak the shutter speed, altering the exposure even further. Disappointingly, there is no aperture priority on this model to counter balance it. This is only an option on the DC50 and DC51 units. There are also 8 scene modes, including the standard favourites such as Portrait, Night Mode and Landscape.
The menu is a bit of a mixed bag. It's laid out in typical Canon fashion, with most options accessed by hitting the Function button, but others are accessed by tapping the thumb-stick, which may confuse novice users. We also have a small gripe with the placement of the scene modes, which are hidden in the menu and require an extra click to get to. We didn't even discover them until hours after our testing began, despite spending a while hunting for them.
Design-wise, the DC230 is fairly standard for a DVD camcorder. It has the usual bulbous right-hand side, which stores the DVD, with an adjustable strap over it for your hand. The controls are scattered around and could be a little more intuitive; a switch on the top flicks between automatic and program modes, while a switch on the back changes from video to photo. Meanwhile, the menu is brought up using the function key on the left-hand side, but the thumb-stick on the back is used for navigating it. Previous Canon units have centralised controls, which is much less confusing. After a little use, the DC230's controls make perfect sense, but they aren't as intuitive as they could be.
Physically, the unit is constructed out of silver and gunmetal plastic, and it looks quite good. It has a 2.7in widescreen, which flips out from the side. Unlike some of Canon's less expensive models, such as the MV920, no microphone jack is included. In fact, there are no connectivity options at all except for USB, which is used to copy the video files to your PC.
The DC230 comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery which can be charged while resting in the camera.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop
Smart LED Bulb LB130
Epson WorkForce ET-4550
Samsung portable 1TB T3 drive
Linksys AC5400 MU-MIMO Gigabit router
Everki ContemPRO Roll Top Laptop Backpack
Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive
Epson EcoTank Expression ET-2500
Acer Swift 7
Belkin MIXIT Metallic Lightning to USB Cable
Lexar® Portable SSD
Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive
Huawei Mate 9
3SIXT Ultra HD Sports Action Camera
Google Daydream VR headset
Logitech G403 Prodigy mouse
Epson WorkForce DS-360W
HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450
Garmin Fenix Chronos smartwatch
Blade 28 backpack by Arc’teryx
Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive
HP Pavilion x360 13”
Dell Inspiron 5000 series 2-in-1
Dell XPS 13 laptop
Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards
Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones
Surface Pro 4
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 2 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
- 3 Panasonic Blu-ray recorder PVR set-top box review
- 4 Garmin Fenix Chronos fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 5 Star Wars Death Star Bluetooth levitating rotating speaker review
Latest News Articles
- HBO brought its best shows to life at SXSW with an awesome escape room
- AT&T will acquire Time Warner for US$85.4b in content play
- Facebook adds Apple TV and Chromecast support as video push ramps up
- Remocam review: This security camera can control your home appliances
- Logitech's C922 webcam is the revered C920's vastly upgraded successor
PCW Evaluation Team
A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.
I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.
As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.
I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.
Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!
For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.
- Oppo R9s Plus phone: Full, in-depth review
- Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- HTC U Ultra phone full, in-depth review
- Which flagship TV is best? Sony 4K HDR Bravia 2016 versus LG 4K HDR OLED 2016
- 10 Blu-ray movies / Best looking Blu-ray movies
- FTSocial Media ExecutiveNSW
- FTLinux System AdminstratorQLD
- CCIT Project Scheduler- Port MacquarieQLD
- FTICT Client Services ManagerQLD
- FTIT ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Solution ArchitectNSW
- TPPerformance Test Analyst - Perth BasedQLD
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Forecasting SASNSW
- FTIt Security and process analystNSW
- TPBusiness AnalystQLD
- TPSenior Project ManagerVIC
- FTDatabase DeveloperSA
- FTApplication Services Administrator (Linux)NSW
- TPSenior Software DeveloperQLD
- TPProgram ArchitectQLD
- CCProcess Improvement Specialist - TelcoVIC
- FTDatabase DeveloperACT
- FTCitrix EngineerNSW
- FTDatabase Modelling SpecialistACT
- TPIT Project ManagerNSW
- CCPMO Analyst - Financial ServicesNSW
- CCSenior Project ManagerNSW
- CCProcess Assurance LeadNSW
- CCBusiness Analyst Digitalisation projectsQLD
- FTMid-Level Software Engineer x 2 - Positive Vetting, NV2 or NV1 required!!SA