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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.