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Canon Legria HF S21, HF M31, HF R18 camcorders: Hi-def high jinks

Canon has unleashed a salvo of high-definition camcorders so you can record tedious events in excruciating detail before inflicting your films on uninterested parties

Charles Kloet

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The Copenhagen climate change conference may have ended in something approximating abject failure, but it's not all bad news for future denizens of the planet. Thanks to Canon, they'll be able to enjoy your footage of the rising water levels captured on any of a slew of new high-definition camcorders in the Legria HF S, HF M and HF R ranges. Add in three standard-definition camcorders in the new Legria FS300 range, and Canon has announced a total of 12 similarly monikered gadgets, purely in order to baffle the bejeezus out of us.

With an 8-megapixel CMOS sensor, the top of the line Legria HF S21 (pictured) records 1080p AVCHD footage at up to 24Mbps to its twin SDHC card slots. Together with its 64GB of built-in memory, these slots make for a potential total of 128GB of storage, which is whopping, frankly.

It offers manual controls for experienced shooters, in addition to a 'smart auto' scene-detection mode for those who prefer to avoid anything resembling hard work. It also sports dual image-stabilisation technologies for controlling shake when using its 10x optical zoom, as well as what Canon claims is the largest touchscreen currently available on a camcorder of its type, measuring 88mm (3.5 inches).

In-camera HD-to-SD conversion and an 'easy Web upload' function make it simple to share your apocalyptic movies on the Web, while an HDMI port means you can also ruin other people's evenings by showing your films on your hi-def TV.

The Legria HF S20 and HF S200 differ from the HF S21 primarily in that they have less internal memory (32GB and none respectively) and no electronic viewfinder.

Hit 'Continue' to cop a load of more Canon camcorders.

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The 1080p HF M31 (pictured) heads up Canon's new mid-range HF M line-up. It has a 3.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, 18x zoom and 68mm (2.7-inch) touchscreen. It has a similar feature set to the HF S camcorders, albeit with fewer manual controls. With 32GB of internal memory and an SDHC card slot, it offers more storage than the HF M36 (8GB of internal memory) and the HF M306 (none).
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The camcorders in the new HF R series shoot 1080p video, sport a 20x optical zoom and SDHC card slot, and offer a similar feature set to the machines in the aforementioned ranges, although they drop the touchscreen. The HF R18 (pictured) has 32GB of internal storage, while the HF R16 has 8GB and the HF R106 has none. The HF M and HF R camcorders are expected to be available in March, while the HF S series should be out in early April. Canon hasn't announced UK pricing yet.

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