Canon DC50 review: Canon DC50

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CNET Editors' Rating

3.5 stars Very good
  • Overall: 7.2
  • Design: 7.0
  • Features: 8.0
  • Performance: 7.0
  • Image quality: 7.0
Review Date:
Updated on:

The Good Very robust still-photo mode; good video quality; features both video light and flash.

The Bad Pricey for a standard-def camcorder, uses miniSD instead of SD cards.

The Bottom Line If you can get past the DC50's sticker shock, you'll find a very nice, simple DVD camcorder that can produce some surprisingly good snapshots.

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Typically, when shooting still photos, camcorders offer few exposure options and turn out low-quality images. Conversely, most dedicated still cameras tend to offer disappointing video, and are best left to only take pictures. The Canon DC50 manages to avoid these limitations, to an extent. This standard-definition DVD camcorder not only fulfills its primary role as a video camera, but its 5-megapixel sensor and generous still-photo feature set makes it a capable tool for taking snapshots.

The DC50's design feels very similar to its little brothers the DC210, the DC220, and the DC230 and because of this, it retains many of the awkward aspects those lower-end models carry. Fortunately, its generally strong build quality and minor design tweaks make the DC50 much easier to work with. Its 18.2-ounce frame sits a bit heavier in the hand, feeling solid without seriously weighing you down. The tiny joystick with which you navigate menus and settings feels slightly tighter than on other models, as do the function and display buttons that sit on the camcorder's side. The viewfinder doesn't slide out, but it sits slightly further back and at a steeper angle than the ones in the DC220 and DC230, reducing the chance of mashing your face against the camera while shooting. The camcorder's flip-out LCD screen seems nearly identical to the other Canons, offering a 2.7-inch, pivoting wide-screen view.

As Canon's top DVD camcorder, the DC50 includes several high-end features not found on less pricey models. Its 10x optical, f/1.8-to-f/3.0 zoom lens features an optical image stabilization system to help reduce shake and can accept 37mm accessory filters. While its less expensive brethren include 35x lenses, they can't use filters, and they omit the optical image stabilization found in the DC50, in favor of a less effective electronic solution. The DC50 also sports both a video light and a flash with red-eye reduction; two valuable features not found on the DC230, DC220, or DC210.

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Quick Specifications See All

  • Effective Sensor Resolution 5.39 megapixels
  • Optical Sensor Type CCD
  • Type built-in flash
  • Width 2.4 in
  • Depth 5.1 in
  • Height 3.5 in
  • Weight 16.9 oz