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CNET First Look
Canon ZR SeriesThe Canon ZR Series includes some low-budget camcorders with a good feature set, but we suggest spending a little extra for the higher-end model.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:01 >> Hi, I'm Will Greenwald, assistant editor at CNET.com and we're looking at the Cannon ZR Series of digital camcorders. The ZR camcorders currently available, ZR800, ZR830, and ZR850 are three budget mini DVD camcorders you can find for less than 400 and in some cases less than 300 dollars. They're very similar to each other and the different versions only different price by about 20 to 40 dollars. But it's those little differences that really go all the way with these camcorders. The lowest ZR camcorder, the ZR800 has a plain point 68 mega pixel sensor. It has a 35x optical zoom, the very standard 2 and a half inch LCD, and it tapes mini DV tapes. The upgrade over that, the ZR830, which I'm holding here, is pretty much the same as the ZR800 except it also has a secured digital card slot so you can take photos. Now the high-end version of the ZR series is what you should really look for. The ZR850 has a full mega pixel sensor, which is the biggest leap in quality. You will definitely notice better video and slightly larger and nicer stills. It also has a video light. Cannon camcorders like the ZR series tend to not be great when shooting in low light. And just putting a little LED lamp on the ZR850 makes it a lot more useful. They're all pretty good budget digital camcorders. You won't get a lot of stuff out of them, but if you don't want to spend a lot of money and just want to take some simple, decent home movies, they're a good choice. Out of all of them, I'd suggest spending a little extra for the ZR850 because of the high resolution sensor and the video light. I'm Will Greenwald and these are the Cannon ZR digital camcorders. ^M00:01:42 [ Music ]