Canon DC100 review:

Canon DC100

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3 stars

CNET Editors' Rating

The Good Fast focusing, long zoom lens; solid image stabilization; decent low-light video; aperture- and shutter-priority exposure modes.

The Bad Fair-to-middling video quality overall; awkward navigation controls; poor still photos.

The Bottom Line A basic, inexpensive DVD camcorder, the Canon DC100 is a safe, if unremarkable, choice.

Visit manufacturer site for details.

6.4 Overall
  • Design 6.0
  • Features 7.0
  • Performance 7.0
  • Image quality 6.0

Although it's hardly the polar opposite, the Canon DC100 DVD camcorder is a very different beast from the Canon DC40 that I like so much. In addition to the obvious dissimilarities--the DC100's longer 25X zoom lens, lower-resolution 680,000-pixel sensor, and slightly flimsier-feeling body--Canon cut corners in some subtle but noticeable ways as well. Toss in its middling video, and the DC100 delivers a much less pleasant shooting experience--just like all its budget DVD competitors. Only its handful of semimanual exposure controls and surprisingly fast focus provide notable bright spots.

Light for a camcorder at just a hair over a pound, the DC100 fits comfortably into medium-size hands, with thumb and forefinger falling naturally into position atop the most important controls.

Canon DC100
The standard controls--power, mode, and record--are located where your thumb naturally lands. The DC100 has no media slot for still images, but you can save stills to the DVD. Ironically, I found Canon's method for snapping stills--using the record button--induced far less shake than the typical dedicated photo-shutter button.

Canon DC100
Although the controls on the left side are simple to understand, they're a bit difficult to use. The four-way navigation switch with its central enter button is not very responsive and is hard to operate precisely.

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