However, more pixels in the same amount of surface areas can sometimes result in decreased low light ability. The effective pixel count of the FS11 is tricky to explain because it changes depending on the shooting mode. All the Canon camcorders mentioned above have a new feature called Advanced Zoom, which plays with the pixels to boost zoom. We tested the video quality both in and out of the lab. Under these conditions, the Canon FS11 looked pretty good.
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However, more pixels in the same amount of surface areas can sometimes result in decreased low light ability. The effective pixel count of the FS11 is tricky to explain because it changes depending on the shooting mode. All the Canon camcorders mentioned above have a new feature called Advanced Zoom, which plays with the pixels to boost zoom.
We tested the video quality both in and out of the lab. Under these conditions, the Canon FS11 looked pretty good. The colors are intensely vivid, which can be offputting, but is the standard for consumer camcorders. Overall, the Sony had the most even colors, though the Sony saturated the blues too much and the Canon pushed the greens too much.
Most of the entry-level Sonys from last year, including the DCR-SR42, created more in-camera sharpening, which added the appearance of more detail without actually adding anything. The results can be seen below. We were pleased to see that, for its price range, the Canon FS11 produced great colors, sharp images, and quick, effective responses to changing lighting conditions. If you can swing it, there are solid HD camcorders only a couple of hundred dollars more.
The playback footage was then examined on an HD monitor. This was better than average for a camcorder in this price range, but only by a little. At 60 lux, the FS11 lost a good deal of fine detail and a decent amount of color information. The noise is clearly evident to the eye, and flickers and pops like a swarm of mosquitoes.
The colors are strongly saturated. There was virtually no change in image quality. However, the camcorder does a decent job retaining some color information. The second stage of the low light testing involved shooting the same chart under a light that was slowly and steadily lowered while connected to a waveform monitor.
We found the Canon FS11 to produce a color error of These scores are average-to-good when compared to the previously tested competition. This lowers the effective resolution of the image, which is something you generally want to avoid. The preferred system is Optical Image Stabilization OIS , which operates by isolating and stabilizing the lens element from the body of the camcorder.
Speed one simulates typical handheld shake, while Speed Two is akin to shooting out of the back of a bumpy car. The FS11 displayed an impressive Pint-sized camcorders with EIS simply cannot handle high frequency shake patterns.
The video was later interpreted on an external monitor in order to obtain a true wide angle reading. The FS11 displayed a maximum wide angle measurement of 48 degrees, which is average. Each have their occasional headaches, but the all-in-one files are easier to transfer from camcorder to computer using a simple drag-and-drop action. The Canon FS11 has the other kind of files, with separate audio and video.
Most free or cheap editing software will do the job. MPEG-2 leaves a lot of image artifacting, mostly in the form of squarish chunks that seem to segment the screen. There are three quality settings on the Canon FS11, and the lower the quality, the more these artifacts increase. You can rely on one media as your primary source and another as backup. If you budget your time out, you can fit a whole vacation on the internal memory and a card or two.
The file format has been around long enough to enjoy wide support. The camcorder also ships with basic editing software for both PCs and Mac on a pair of discs. In this mode, the camcorder takes all the burden of focusing, exposing, and adjusting colors off your hands so you can shoot carefree. All the auto adjustments were very good on this camcorder.
The auto exposure had an odd habit of exposing almost instantly from dark to light, but gradually light to dark. The auto focus worked very well as long as the light was good.
We found that at around 15 lux the rough equivalent of a dimly lit room the focus would bounce around, unable to fix on the target.
The auto white balance was a pleasant surprise, adjusting color accurately for all types of lighting. However, most Canons and Sonys tend to have good auto responses overall, making them reliable purchases for the point-and-shoot crowd. The FS11 has a small handful of one-touch correction features that allow the shooter some sort of image quality control without them having to understand some of the more complex controls like shutter speed.
A button on the bottom edge of the LCD panel engages the Backlight Compensation, which should be used when shooting a subject against a strong backlight. Canon once again offers the Image Effects round of controls, though in a less impressive array than on the HD line of camcorders. The upper-end Canon camcorders offer a greater level of control in this regard, including the ability to alter in-camera sharpening and create a custom setting.
Note that the camcorder cannot be in a Scene mode and allow you manual shutter speed control at the same time. Overall Manual Control 5. Nevertheless, the level of control it offers it quite good.
The FS11 is capable of producing an incredibly slow zoom, which should please all those aspiring filmmakers out there. Depending on finger pressure, you can get about different zoom speeds.
When zooming, a scale appears in the upper left corner that gives you a sense of range. However, the camcorder does not offer the actual numerical value of the zoom power.
We like that the Canon FS11 includes the option to fix the zoom speed, regardless of finger pressure. There are three settings: Speed 1 slow , Speed 2 medium , and Speed 3 fast.
Zoom Power Ratio Secondly, the manufacturers are in a constant war to have the biggest zoom on the block, constantly besting each other by small increments. We tested the feature by shooting some high contrast, fine detail images from a great distance. There was very little increase in resolution, but neither was there a decrease in resolution. Keep in mind, however, that this is a standard definition camcorder recording in a consumer format.
Of course, the Canon FS11 also offers digital zoom of x. With the powerful optical zoom and Advanced Zoom, you have no excuse to fall back on digital zoom at all.
Focus 4. To activate the manual focus, push in on the joystick. The Joystick Menu pops up in the lower right corner. Unfortunately, you only have the image itself on the LCD screen to tell if the picture is in focus.
The LCD is relatively low-resolution, so this will largely be a guessing game. Something like this, or better, is standard on HD camcorders. The scale is relative to the automatic exposure adjustment. The opposite would happen if you pointed it into a bright light. The Exposure tool in action The FS11 does not offer any way to directly adjust the aperture, which is a shame.
Upper-end Canons do offer this option. At the same price point as the FS11, any Panasonic camcorder has aperture adjustment. Some JVCs also offer this. Shutter Speed 6. When activated, the shutter appears in the upper left corner of the screen. This is a decent range, but falls sort on the uppermost and lowermost range of speeds.
White Balance 5. The limited number of presets is a small loss, but it hurts the target audience of point and shooters who need all the one-touch help they can get. Making a manual adjustment is easy. Just toggle over to the Set option and push in on the joystick. There is a moment of adjustment time, and your colors will adjust. Gain 0. Panasonic is the only consumer camcorder manufacturer to offer this feature. JVC offers the ability to turn the auto gain on and off.
Other Manual Controls 1. These markers are not recorded to your final footage. Options include a single horizontal line in white or grey, or a 9-sector grid in white or grey. That said, the resolution on this camcorder is not on par with a point-and-shoot still camera by any means. Images can be captures to either the 16GB internal flash memory or a memory card. Dual Record mode allows the shooter to capture an image while in Video mode, so if you see an irresistible shot you can capture it instantly, rather than switching over to Photo mode.
The Digital Effects options have been slimmed down compared to video mode. While shooting in Single mode, one image is captured per snap. Continuous mode captures multiple images every. Auto Exposure Bracketing captures three images--one at Auto Exposure, one an EV step down, and one an EV step up in order to provide a selection to choose from on the fly. One of the most rewarding features on the FS11, and all Canon camcorders, is the image data that accompanies a still in Photo Playback mode.
No other manufacturer packs in this much info.
Canon FS11 manual
Canon FS11 Trusted Reviews may earn an affiliate commission when you purchase through links on our site. This provides 1, x stills, and as this camcorder shoots standard definition at x , video requires less than the full resolution. The lens itself is only capable of 37x. Canon achieves the extra 8x factor by using a smaller area of the CCD. However, a digital zoom crops into the sensor to achieve its extra magnification, so dropping below the native video resolution.
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