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Are internal hard drives worth the money (M300 vs. M30, 31)?

by stark1728 / June 3, 2010 12:36 PM PDT

I'm looking for an HD camcorder and am trying to decide whether it's worth the extra $30-60 (depending on seller) to go from the flash drive only Canon Vixia HF M300 to the Canon Vixia HF M30 with 8 gb or go further spending an additional $130-170 for the M31 with 32 gb. This will be my first camcorder so I have no clue as to the value of the hard drive issue. Thoughts?

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I'm a bit confused. The devices you mention are dual-flash type devices: one built-in and a slot for adding another media card (SD). They are not hard-drive based as your question states.

If you think they are hard drive hybrids you might wish to go back and re-look at the specifications of these units.

However, all that aside, my personal opinion has been to avoid units with built-in recording media. I only recommend this route because if anything goes awry with the built-in media it means a trip to the manufacturer for repair, which could be expensive outside of warranty. If you stick with a device that only accepts your media card(s) and your card goes bad then your only out the cost of a new card.

I suppose the up-side to having built in memory would be that you don't have to worry about remembering to insert your memory card and that way you don't get caught without recording memory in a pinch.

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Flash memory

I've got the Canon Vixia HF11. It has 32 GB built in and accepts SDHC cards. I had the same questions you do. IIRC, the price difference between the HF11 and the very similar model without any internal flash memory was only about $100, so it seemed worth it to me.

In your case, you may want to save some money by get the HF M30 with 8 GB built in, and then buy SDHC cards later.

That said, it is nice to not have to deal with the memory cards. 32 GB is enough for most people, most of the time -- even at the highest quality setting.

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