The effective pixel count in widescreen mode is , In , that effective pixel count is increased to , These specs are slightly better than we find on entry-level camcorders. The sensor size is the same, but the pixel count is higher, so we should expect to see a higher resolution image. We tested the video performance of Canon DC by shooting in and out of the lab. Our first impression of the DC is vibrancy of the color and sharpness.
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The effective pixel count in widescreen mode is , In , that effective pixel count is increased to , These specs are slightly better than we find on entry-level camcorders. The sensor size is the same, but the pixel count is higher, so we should expect to see a higher resolution image.
We tested the video performance of Canon DC by shooting in and out of the lab. Our first impression of the DC is vibrancy of the color and sharpness. It's a pleasing image, no doubt about that. Of course, it pales in comparison to high definition camcorders a fact that's getting harder to ignore with each passing month. Mind you, neither of these camcorders have completely accurate colors. Both oversaturate to emphasize the colors of the world around you which are apparently too dull to render accurately.
Looking carefully, we determined that the Canon produced slightly more fine detail than the Sony, perhaps due in part to the more visible compression artifacts on the Sony. Out of the lab, the Canon DC proved to be a very good performer. The Canon retained more fine detail, though the difference was not large. The color differences were not significant, though the Canon had slightly warmer and arguably more pleasing colors.
In the images above, looking at the bricks, you can notice the different amount of detail the two camcorders pick up. The DC provided a smooth, crisp image outside in bright light—which is something the Sony had trouble with. There was very little compression artifacting noticeable on the Canon, which was the main difference between the two camcorders.
First, we shoot the DSC Labs Chroma DuMonde chart at an even 60 lux and 15 lux, then compare those results with the results of similar camcorders.
At 60 lux, the Canon DC lost a lot of color information compared to its bright light testing, and the noise increased significantly. However, it faired rather well compared to the competition. The Panasonic VDR-D was the odd performer out, performing much brighter, but completely washing out the color. At 15 lux, the Canon DC got much noisier, but you could still determine which colors were which. However, the Sony's whites were not as bright, which explains why the sensitivity score of the Canon DC was actually higher.
The second stage of the test measures sensitivity. We shoot the same Chroma DuMonde chart while steadily lowering the light. The camcorder's exposure output is determined by a waveform monitor, and measured in IRE.
By comparison, the Canon FS11 produced the same score. The final test examined the color accuracy, noise, and saturation in low light shooting. We shoot an X-Rite Color Checker chart at an even 60 lux, then run frame grabs through Imatest imaging software.
According to Imatest, the Canon DC produced a color error of Overall, the Canon DC is a decent low light performer. It had one of the best color accuracies amongst standard definition camcorders and its noise and light sensativity scores were on par with the competition. Even in very low light, the Canon DC should proivde a decent image with strong colors. The device runs at two different speeds—speed one is roughly equivalent to an unsteady hand, while speed two is more like the motion produced by a jog or rocky car ride.
At speed one, the DC's image stabilization system reduced At speed two it reduced only These are average scores for a camcorder in this price range, but they are somewhat worse than the results from last year's DC Using the system can result in a loss of image quality, so it's not recommended unless you really need a steady picture. The wide angle of the DC measured at 45 degrees, which is slightly below average for a consumer camcorder.
The Canon DC, which had a different lens, had a wide angle of 50 degrees. MPEG-2 is commonly associated with standard def camcorders that record to any type of non-linear media DVD, flash memory, internal hard drive. It is an older compression, and with the popularity of HD video on the rise, it will soon enter retirement. Nevertheless, MPEG-2 is still commonly used and it should be familiar to many users.
The lower quality settings do allow for extra recording time, but we recommend doing all your taping in XP, unless you don't care much about the quality of your video.
DVDs are relatively cheap, but they don't offer much recording time see chart below , scratch easily, are difficult to extract footage for editing, and must be finalized before they'll work in an external player. Dual layer discs are more expensive, but they offer nearly double the storage space although they may not work in older DVD players. This allows the Sony to have more flexibility where media is concerned and videos can be recorded using a specific media depending on what you plan to do with them.
Editing footage from DVDs is difficult and you cannot simply drag and drop files off the discs like you can from an external hard drive for flash memory card. The Canon DC does come with a Corel Application Disk that helps you transfer video and pictures from your camcorder to your computer via USB, but the software is compliant with Windows only.
To edit the MPEG-2 footage, you'll have to find your own software that will work with the video Avid Liquid and Adobe Premier both worked for us and if you're working with a Mac you'll probably have to use a conversion program to get the files into a workable format we found MPEG Streamclip worked extremely well. The automatic controls on the Canon DC are more than sufficient if you have no desires beyond point-and-shoot operation. In bright to moderate lighting, exposure, focus, and white balance all appeared to work well.
Most adjustments take about seconds. In lower light, the auto focus will weaken considerably. Precious few camcorders in this price range are low light champs, and the DC is only a moderate performer. If auto focus is giving you a problem, try turning the light up then fixing the focus manually. The focus will stay locked even after you turn the lights down again. There are a small handful of one-touch controls that give you fast, simple correction tools for problem shots.
Canon includes a very useful set of options called Image Effects. There are three presets here: Vivid to boost saturation, Neutral to decrease it, and Soft Skin for skin tone correction. Canon is one of the few manufacturers to offer any sort of control over color in this price range. The Canon DC, along with nearly all standard definition Canons, offers a solid set of manual controls. There's enough here to keep the enthusiast satisfied, but presented in such a way that beginners should get the hang of it in due course.
Mind you, Panasonics in this price range offer more powerful manual control, and the Canon interface is not the easiest, but it's a good balance overall.
Zoom 6. The Canon DC has a small, slim rocker switch on top to control the zoom. The switch feels cheap, to be sure, as does the rest of the body. However, it works quite well. We had no problem producing three distinct zoom speeds, including an impressive, slow crawl — great for amateur filmmakers. If you're not keen on doing the work yourself, you can actually fix the zoom speed to three different settings, deactivating the touch-sensitive.
While the zoom is being actively used, a small scale appears in the upper right corner to indicate where in the zoom range you are. The optical zoom on the Canon DC extends to 37x.
This is an impressive zoom in its own right, but it's not the number you'll see plastered on the side of the camcorder. Rather, a '48x' zoom is touted. This refers to something called the Advanced Zoom, a new development from Canon that tinkers with the information from the CCD sensor to boost the magnification. We can see virtually no difference in image quality between the optical zoom at its farthest and the Advanced Zoom. The Advanced Zoom is dependent on the chosen aspect ratio.
In , or widescreen, ratio, the power goes to 48x. In , the Advanced Zoom extends to 55x. While the camcorder doesn't come close to matching the quality of a dedicated still camera, it does have an adequate number of options for taking photographs. Shutter speed is adjustable, there are two continuous shooting modes regular and 'Hispeed' , and there is an Auto Exposure Bracketing option.
There are two autofocus modes in still mode—one that focuses on the center of the image, and the default mode, which uses nine separate points within the frame to autofocus the image. Lastly, there's a second self-timer, which is good for setting up the camcorder to take a group photograph. Photo mode, which is accessed by flipping the mode switch on the top of the camcorder, has its own Function and Administrative menus.
Both have some of the same options you'll see in video mode, but there are a few that are unique to photographs mainly Image Quality, Shooting Mode, and Camera Setup options.
To view still images you must switch the camcorder to still image mode using the toggle on the top of the device. The process is just like viewing video clips—you navigate through thumbnails and select the images.
Pressing the function button in this mode gives you a few unique options—slideshow, protect, print order, and transfer order—all features that are associated with still image playback only. Pressing the display button while reviewing your photos brings up a good deal of information about your images: image size, a histogram, white balance, image effect setting, file size, aperture, shutter speed, exposure compensation, quality, date, and time are all displayed.
This is a wonderful amount of information and it matches the display settings available on some digital SLR cameras. Canon's standard definition line of camcorders usually contain a good deal of still features, and the DC follows this trend. The information display for still photos is one of the best we've seen on a camcorder in this price range the Canon FS has the same display.
Unfortunately, the image quality isn't nearly good enough for the camcorder to replace even a low-end digital camera. The stills were then run through Imatest imaging system to determine color accuracy, noise, and saturation. At best, the DC produced a color error of 8. These scores are consistent with other Canon camcorders. The still resolution of the Canon DC was tested by shooting an Applied Image ISO resolution chart at an even, bright light, and then run the stills through Imatest imaging software.
The vertical resolution measured Canon took a page out of Sony's book and implemented an 'Easy' mode on the DC
Canon DC330 instruction manual and user guide
Quick Links. Download this manual See also: Instruction Manual. Table of Contents. Digital video software windows ver. Refer to the installation guide for further details.
DC330 Instruction Manual
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Canon DC330 Instruction Manual
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