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three of Canon's MV7xxi range of MiniDV camcorders boast DV/analogue
in/out and cost around £400 or less. We check out the range-leading
It's now possible
to pick up a MiniDV camcorder equipped with FireWire for £300
or less and still record acceptable DV footage for PC video editing.
And, cheap (DV-in enabled) MiniDV camcorders also offer low-cost alternatives
to pricey DV decks, with the added bonus that they can shoot footage
and some can act as analogue-to-digital pass-through converters for
getting analogue footage into a computer.
Canon has replaced its MV500i and MV600i ranges of budget, single-CCD
camcorders with the three-strong MV700i series - all with DV-in/out
and all nearly 20 per cent smaller than the models they replace. The
CCD imager also has more effective pixels for video footage - 528K instead
of 400K - and prices are keen. The best deals we could find were at
Pixmania.co.uk, where the MV700i was £338 (inc VAT), the mid-range
MV730i was £412, and the top spec MV750i (reviewed here) was,
surprisingly, just £408.
The 750i scores over the 730i in a number of ways. It offers a built-in
video LED light (for use in total darkness), an S-video output, a longer
optical zoom - 22x, rather than 20x (that's longer than on some high-end
three-chip cams) - and is supplied with a 0.6x wide-angle attachment
lens (WA-30.5) for wide-angle filming.
Both feature still-image recording to tape or SD memory card, and use
a Progressive Photo System. This allows them to simultaneously capture
stills to the card as JPEGs - at 640x480 resolution - while shooting
video. Video can also be recorded to card as Motion-JPEG.
At just £408, the MV750i is great value and stands out in
more ways than price - general design, good quality lens (with impressive
22x optical zoom) and DV/analogue inputs and outputs.
On the downside, there are no obvious improvements in low-light filming
or sound recording or in tape-access - the bottom-loading design grates
as much as always.
But, the 750i is certain to appeal to budding videographers (especially
those on a tight budget), and anyone needing an all-round, compact camcorder
Read the full review
in June 2004's Computer Video magazine.
Reviewed in this issue:
Canopus Edius 2.0
Apple iLife ' 04
Buffalo WBS-G54A-CB1 & WLI-TX1-G54
this issue's news:
Pinnacle USB 2 trio
Portable analogue>DV converter
MainConcept budget editor
Free Adobe Live teach-in
VideoWave 7 Pro goes solo
Budget MPEG authoring
Panasonic set-top DVD recorders
LaCie disc duplicator
Casablanca comes into 21st Century
High-speed FireWire for laptops
Panasonic DVD cams
Canopus and Holdan get creative