Canon’s MVX150i a something of an oddity in today’s digital-camcorder market. Not only does it eschew the super-compact vertical design of most other models, but it places no emphasis on the fancy features and frippery that have become the staple of this market – and is infinitely better for it. It may be a third-again as big as most other models, but it makes fantastic use of this space. Not only do you get a 1.3-megapixel CCD (Charge-Coupled Device) and a 3.5-inch LCD screen, there’s a super-high 16x optical zoom and a 1.23-megapixel dedicated digital-stills function (good enough to print images of 5-x-7 inches from your inkjet printer). Breathtaking images
Image quality is as good as it’s possible to get without straying into the three-CCD, £1,200-plus semi-pro market. Canon boasts that the MVX lens comes with “double-sided aspherical elements for sharp and distortion-free images”. The proof always being in the pudding, I shot a wedding using the MVX150i. The results were breathtaking. Images are as sharp as a razor, and colour – albeit it a tad warm – is eye-catchingly vibrant. The extra features the MVX150i does pack are useful rather than snazzy. It’s possible, for example, to take still images to the bundled 8MB SD card while capturing movie, adding real value to the stills function. Canon has positioned the built-in mic in the optimum place, on the front of the case. Too many pocket-sized camcorders place the mic under your nose, where it picks up not only your breathing, but motor noise. My one real complaint is that the tape-loading mechanism is on the base, making it difficult to change tapes while shooting on a tripod. Thanks to this I missed half the best man’s speech.


At the price, the Canon MVX150i digital camcorder offers unsurpassed image quality, and an impressive bunch of features, such as 16x optical zoom and decent stills capability. Being a tad bulky seems a small price to pay for such camcorder quality.

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