Canon Optura review:

Canon Optura

Compare These
3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Manual focus ring; cameralike mode wheel; shutter- and aperture-priority modes available for video; optical image stabilization; excellent LCD and microphone; takes decent snapshots.

The Bad Poor low-light video quality; microphone picks up motor noise.

The Bottom Line Canon's feature-packed camcorder shoots very good daylight footage but has reason to be scared of the dark.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.9 Overall
  • Design 7.0
  • Features 8.0
  • Performance 6.0
  • Image quality 7.0

Although the Optura offers impressive features such as manual exposure controls, optical image stabilization, and cameralike still-photo features, its low-light shooting capabilities will likely disappoint the home moviemaker. If you're going to remain outside, we recommend this model over its more expensive sibling, the Optura 60, which has a slightly greater zoom range but is otherwise almost identical. The extra Ben Franklin nets you exactly three upgrades: a 14X optical zoom (the Canon Optura 50's tops out at 10X), a built-in white LED (which helps with low-light shooting but not by much), and an accessory hotshoe. The latter is compatible with only a few Canon add-ons, one of which is a shotgun microphone. But because the Optura has a separate microphone input, you can use any third-party mic. In other words, all the important features are still present in the Optura 50, so we think most buyers will be better off saving the $100.

That said, the two models share the same problems, most notably poor low-light performance. But for enthusiasts looking to make amateur movies or even corporate videos, both Opturas are worth considering.

Editors' Top PicksSee All

  • GoPro Hero4 Silver

    Starting at: $39.99
    4 stars

    With excellent video quality, a long list of video, still and time-lapse options and a...

  • Sony Action Cam Mini

    Starting at: $194.95
    4 stars

    True to its name, the Mini is one small camera, but its features are nearly identical...

  • Sony 4K Action Cam

    Starting at: $398.00
    4 stars

    Sony has its eye on the extreme prize with the 4k-enabled X1000V action camera.

  • GoPro Hero4 Black

    Starting at: $44.99
    4 stars

    It's expensive, the battery life can be brief and the design might not be ideal, but GoPro's...

 

Discuss: Canon Optura 50

Conversation powered by Livefyre