Miniature camcorder gives big results
- Lots of modes and features to play around with, compact design, external microphone jack
- No inbuilt memory, no headphone jack
The FS100 is a flash-memory-based camcorder with an impressive array of features for the asking price. While it may not excel in any one area, it offers solid performance across the board.
Price$ 699.00 (AUD)
The FS100 is the entry-level model in Canon's new range of flash-memory-based camcorders. Like its bigger brother, the FS11, it records standard-definition video to SD/SDHC memory cards and it comes equipped with many of the same modes and features (including a 37x optical zoom). In fact, the only thing that separates these two cameras — apart from a slightly different colour scheme — is onboard memory. Unlike the FS11, the FS100 lacks an inbuilt hard drive, which means you'll need to purchase at least one memory card to make the product work. Otherwise, it delivers an identical performance to its 16GB-equipped sibling. Feature-rich and user-friendly, it will mainly suit beginners and casual users.
Removable flash memory is currently the 'new black' of the camcorder industry, with all major vendors supporting a version of this format. Its benefits over digital tape and DVD are numerous, including the ability to hot-swap between camera and computer, less power consumption (and thus longer battery life), almost no sound during operation and much smaller camcorder sizes. With the exception of Panasonic's SDR-S7, the FS100 is probably the smallest fully fledged camcorder we've laid our hands on. This makes it an ideal companion for habitual videographers, although at barely 300g its lack of heft may take some getting used to. This problem is exacerbated by the lack of an optical image stabiliser; instead, an inferior digital stabiliser is offered. If you're new to taking video, plenty of hands-on practice will be required to attain smooth results.
Another advantage offered by the SD/SDHC format is the user-friendly way in which video is stored. Each recording appears on the card as a separate clip represented by an illustrated thumbnail in the playback menu. This not only makes playback a simple matter of highlighting the desired clip, but it also ensures you never accidentally record over your footage. SDHC cards currently come in capacities of up to 32GB, which can record up to eight hours of video at the highest quality setting.
In terms of design, the FS100 isn't quite as spiffy looking as the FS11. While both models share the same basic style and shape, the FS11 benefits from a sexier grey colour scheme — the FS100, on the other hand, sticks to boring silver. Nevertheless, its compact dimensions remain suitably cute and classy for a sub-$700 camcorder. It is also very easy to use, with an intuitively laid out menu and simple joystick interface.
The range of modes and features on offer is quite extensive, including adjustable white balance, manual focus and exposure settings, backlight compensation, scene modes (consisting of Portrait, Sports, Night, Snow, Beach, Sunset, Spotlight and Fireworks), digital fades and image effects, plus an LED video light and 2000x digital zoom. Alternatively, you can opt to select the prominently marked 'Easy' button and let the camera take care of all the decisions for you.
We were pleasantly surprised by the inclusion of an external microphone jack on this camera, something that most entry-level units fail to deliver. However, Canon has unfortunately failed to include a supporting headphone jack, which means you're entirely reliant on the LCD's audio display to monitor sound. This is a pretty significant oversight that will lead many users to stick with the inbuilt microphone.
The FS100's video performance was identical to the FS11's, which sports the same 1/6in image sensor and 1.07-megapixel camera resolution. It performed solidly in sunny environments when compared to similarly priced camcorders, though its output was typically patchy when used in dim lighting. Meanwhile, its still image performance was on par with most other SD camcorders — which is to say, suitable for Facebook and not much else.
Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- 2 LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 3 Tag Heuer Connected Smartwatch and Android Wear 2 review
- 4 Subaru XV 2017 review
- 5 Samsung 2017 QLED Q7 TV: Full, in-depth review
Latest News Articles
- Microsoft's Beam becomes Mixer, adds four person split-screen streaming to battle Twitch
- Microsoft's Story Remix uses machine learning and mixed reality to make your movies awesome
- New IoT malware targets 100,000 IP cameras via known flaw
- Facebook launches tool for capturing 360 video inside VR
- Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro finally adds 4K video support for local files
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.
- Garmin Fenix 5 fitness tracker smartwatch review
- MSI GE72 7RE Apache Pro gaming laptop review
- LG 2017 OLED TV range full review: W7 Signature Wallpaper, G7, E7 and C7 UHD TVs
- 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 Executive / Specialist (Facebook) - online gamblingNSW
- FTDigital ProducerNSW
- FTPrincipal Project ManagerVIC
- FTSecurity Dev Ops and Java DeveloperVIC
- FTSenior Software Engineer - JavaQLD
- FTSecurity Engineer (Cisco ASA) - Professional Services - Permanent - Sydney CBDNSW
- FTResearch Officer / Data Scientist .Work Location- ACTACT
- CCBusiness Project Manager-Grant ManagementNSW
- FTState IT Systems EngineerTAS
- FTSenior PHP Developer / Technical LeadQLD
- FTBPM DeveloperNSW
- CCC++ DeveloperNSW
- CCChange AnalystNSW
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- FTSenior Business Development Manager| SMSF/Accounting SoftwareNSW
- FTSenior Android DeveloperNSW
- FTNetwork AdministratorQLD
- FTService Desk Analyst Level 1 SupportQLD
- FTPython Fullstack DevNSW
- CCInfrastructure Business AnalystNSW
- TPSolution Architect - Medical ImagingQLD
- TPAssistant Change Manager | System Implementation ProjectQLD
- CCSenior Business Analyst - Learning & Teaching environmentVIC