Canon mainstream camcorders get better sensors

The Vixia HF M series incorporates the company's higher sensitivity HD CMOS Pro sensor.

Canon Vixia HF M41 Canon USA

The most interesting thing about Canon's mainstream camcorder lineup for 2011, the Vixia HF M41, M40, and M400 ($799.99, $699.99, and $649.99, respectively) is that they use the HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor (see the HF G10 ). That's nontrivial, of course; if it results in improved video quality then I'm all for it. The top-end M41 has an EVF, and they use the same 10x zoom lens as last year's models.

On the downside, Canon hasn't changed its poorly designed touch-screen user interface, so you can look forward to more complaints from me about that in 2011. The 3-inch touch screen remains pretty low resolution, too, at 230,000 dots.

The series includes all of Canon's new friendly features: effects (Cinema-Look Filters), guided shooting (Story Creator), and graphic overlays (Touch Decoration). There's also dual SDXC slots and telemacro (for close-up shooting)

You can expect to see them in March.

Read the full CNET Review

Canon Vixia HF M40 (Black)

The Bottom Line: A fine follow-up to last year's M3xx series, the Canon Vixia M4xx series should please most home-movie-oriented videographers despite its relatively high price. If you don't need the EVF, the M400 is your best buy, but if you'll be shooting a lot in sunlight, it's worth it to step up to the M41. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Canon Vixia HF M41 (Black)

The Bottom Line: A fine follow-up to last year's M3xx series, the Canon Vixia M4xx series should please most home-movie-oriented videographers despite its relatively high price. If you don't need the EVF, the M400 is your best buy, but if you'll be shooting a lot in sunlight, it's worth it to step up to the M41. / Read full review

Read the full CNET Review

Canon Vixia HF M400 (Black)

The Bottom Line: A fine follow-up to last year's M3xx series, the Canon Vixia M4xx series should please most home-movie-oriented videographers despite its relatively high price. If you don't need the EVF, the M400 is your best buy, but if you'll be shooting a lot in sunlight, it's worth it to step up to the M41. / Read full review

About the author

Lori Grunin is a senior editor for CNET Reviews, covering cameras, camcorders, and related accessories. She's been writing about and reviewing consumer technology and software since 1988.

 

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