Were you to set the Canon DC230 right next to its little brother, the DC220, you would be hard-pressed to tell them apart. Besides slightly darker accents, the DC230 looks identical to its little brother. Both DVD camcorders sport the same size, shape, and design, measuring 2.1 inches thick and weighing a relatively svelte 15.9 ounces with battery and DVD. However, the similarities run deeper than the skin. Apart from its higher-resolution 1.07-megapixel sensor and bundled remote control, the DC230 shares nearly the exact same characteristics as the DC220.
Unfortunately, that means that this camcorder shares all the same irritating design flaws as its predecessor. A flimsy-feeling joystick and three awkwardly placed menu buttons dominate the DC230's control scheme. While the joystick doesn't feel quite as bad after some practice, the three menu/function buttons remain almost impossible to access without obstructing the LCD screen. You can use the viewfinder while pressing those buttons, but that approach has its own problems since the buttons are difficult to press without shaking the camera. Also, the viewfinder is nearly flush against the camcorder's body and can't extend, so your face mashes up against the controls as you peer through it.