Canon HF200 HD camcorder
Canon's Legria HF200 is a flash memory-based high-definition camcorder
- 8GB SD card included in sales package, reasonable price, external microphone jack
- Low-light performance isn't impressive, didn't deliver the leap in video quality we were hoping for
The Canon Legria HF200 is a solid HD camcorder that boasts some useful, no-nonsense features. While there are better camcorders on the market, it does a great job for the asking price.
Price$ 1,399.00 (AUD)
The Canon Legria HF200 is a midrange high-definition camcorder for videographers on a budget. It records AVCHD video to SD/SDHC memory cards, which is swiftly becoming the dominant video format in the consumer market.
While it’s not the best HD video camera we’ve seen, the Canon Legria HF200 provides good image quality and a decent set of features for the asking price. Serious users will be especially impressed by the inclusion of an external microphone jack; something that most midrange units lack. Otherwise, there is nothing particularly noteworthy about the Canon Legria HF200 — it does its job well and keeps the gimmicks to a minimum.
So why removable flash memory? We’ve reeled off the benefits of flash memory–based camcorders many times in the past, but in a nutshell: they’re quieter, smaller and more energy efficient than all other video formats — including HDD. It’s no coincidence that most vendors are phasing out their hard disk–based models in favour of flash memory. (Canon currently offers 12 flash memory camcorders, compared to precisely zero HDD models — the writing’s on the wall.)
The Canon Legria HF200 can be viewed as a more affordable alternative to the Canon HF20. It lacks the HF20’s 32GB inbuilt memory, which means you’re forced to use the SD card slot at all times (an 8GB SD card is included in the sales package). Otherwise, the Canon HF200 is virtually identical to its big brother — even the dimensions are the same. Highlights include a 15x optical zoom lens, a 3.31-megapixel 1/4in CMOS sensor, Full HD 1080p recording, a maximum AVCHD bit rate of 24 megabits per second (24Mbps) and the afore-mentioned 3.1mm microphone jack.
If you’re serious about video, the inclusion of external audio is not to be underestimated; most sub-$1500 camcorders remove this output as a matter of course. The benefits of a 24Mbps bit rate are considerably less obvious, though we suppose it’s good to have the ‘best’ — even if the difference is barely perceptible.
Compared to Canon’s high-end offerings, the HF20 didn’t exactly knock our socks off and the Legria HF200 is in the same unfortunate boat. While there’s nothing especially wrong with its video performance, it lacks the marked leap in quality we have come to expect from each new generation. In fact, when compared to 2008’s Canon HF11, it could be argued that the HF200 has actually taken a turn for the worse. For one thing, the Canon HF11 had a larger 1/3in CMOS sensor that did a good job of combating noise. The Legria HF200 seemed to have a tougher time in our low-light tests, with grainy footage ruling the day.
But we’re being a bit unfair here. When compared to almost any non-Canon camcorder on the market, the Legria HF200 acquits itself incredibly well. Colours were rich and vibrant; especially in optimum lighting, while images remained consistently sharp throughout testing. With a Full HD resolution of 1080p, the Canon Legria HF200 is tailor-made for playback on HDTV. We previewed our footage on a and didn’t notice any obvious aberrations. Provided you stick to natural daylight, the Legria HF200 will rival almost anything on the market.
Canon has also seen fit to include a stills mode, but at 3 megapixels, its output is barely suitable for regular-sized prints. If you’re looking for a hybrid device, you’ll need to plum for something a little more expensive, such as the 10-megapixel Sony HDR-SR12E . (For what it’s worth, the auto mode did a good job of keeping things focused and properly exposed.)
The Canon Legria HF200 comes with a reasonable array of options for hands-on users. Shutter speed, exposure and aperture (from f/1.8 to f/8.0) can all be adjusted manually. For menu navigation, Canon has doggedly stuck to a miniature joystick; located on the outer lip of the LCD. We feel it’s only a matter of time before Canon succumbs to the lure of the touch screen, so if you prefer a traditional interface — get it while you still can!
Follow GoodGearGuide on Twitter: @GoodGearGuide
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 2 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
- 3 Kogan Atlas UltraSlim Pro laptop: full, in-depth review
- 4 Gigabyte Aorus GA-AX370-Gaming 5 AMD Ryzen AM4 motherboard review
- 5 Kogan curved 4K UHD 55-inch LED LCD TV review
Latest News Articles
- Facebook launches tool for capturing 360 video inside VR
- Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro finally adds 4K video support for local files
- 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
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.
- Samsung Galaxy S8 phone: full, in-depth review
- Ryzen 5 vs Intel Core i5 CPU Australian review
- Mass Effect Andromeda review: One for the fans
- 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
- FTUser Support AnalystNSW
- FTFull Stack DeveloperQLD
- TPSenior Project Officer HSQQLD
- FTWFM Support Analyst (Kronos)NSW
- FTFront End .Net Developer. Permanent job . ACT LocationACT
- FTMobile Studio Manager/ Mobile UX Manager - GAME CHANGER!NSW
- FTSenior C# DeveloperNSW
- CCCRM Techno FunctionalistQLD
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsWA
- FTHelpdesk AnalystNSW
- CCVisual DesignerACT
- FTProduct Manager - FintechNSW
- FTSenior Systems EngineerNSW
- CCDevops Consultant - 12 month contractVIC
- FTMarket Data Analyst, Investment BankingNSW
- CCDesktop Support/ Field Services EngineerQLD
- FTPayroll Systems AnalystQLD
- FTSenior UX/UI DesignerNSW
- TPSystem AdministratorQLD
- FTTest AnalystACT
- CCDelivery Project ManagerVIC
- CCSenior Linux AdministratorNSW
- TPInfrastructure ArchitectQLD
- TPEOI - Developer/Tester/Software EngineerACT
- FTPERMANENT Business AnalystsACT