How do you force consumers to adopt high-definition camcorders? Make the standard-def models as weak and pointless as possible. At least that's what Canon's strategy seems to be and that's fine by me.
Having effectively killed off hard-drive-based standard-def models in 2009, Canon is now down to only two flash-based camcorders--the FS300 and FS31. The FS300 has no internal memory, just an SDHC (XC compatible) card slot while the FS31 has the slot and 16GB of onboard flash memory.
Features are for the most part the same as the lowest end FS model from 2009, the FS200, but the mic terminal is gone. The 680K-pixel sensor sticks around, though, as does the 37x optical zoom backed by electronic image stabilization (improved at the wide end according to Canon, but still electronic only).
The FS300 comes in red, blue, and silver versions selling for $299.99, while the $349 FS31 is in gray.