"If you only want point-shoot-play..."1.5 starson by suzleighWV
Pros: Easy to use
Cons: Output in VRO format with no conversion software
Summary: If you want a DVD camcorder to shoot videos, make VERY minor edits from the camcorder itself, and then drop in your DVD player -- the DC210 is okay. It's easy to use, despite the poorly written user guide. As to its features -- it doesn't really stand out in the crowd of similar (less expensive) models.
The audio recording isn't great. From a distance of about 5-6 feet, you'll have difficulty hearing someone who is not projecting their voice.
Regardless, after a weekend of significant frustration, this camcorder is going back.
After talking with Canon, I found out that they chose not to inform their users, or even their retailers, that the output video format in VR mode is "VRO" -- a very new (as of April 2007) format.
Users CANNOT edit their videos without conversion software -- which, according to Canon reps, WILL NOT be provided on the Canon site. And, this format is so new, I had difficulty finding conversion software and I was unable to find freeware to convert the VRO video files (get ready to pay between $15-$25 for conversion shareware -- in addition to DC210'S $340-$400 pricetag).
Canon does not provide ANY software for this camcorder -- their reason: the camcorder is ONLY intended for point-shoot-play. Note: Canon didn't even bother addressing the new "VRO" format in the user manual that came in the box or the PDF file on their site (the term itself isn't in their documentation).
Finally, if you need decent audio via use of an external mic, forget it -- Canon also didn't put an external mic jack on the DC210 (Canon's ZR800 does have an external jack).
During my last conversation with a Canon rep, my message was basically "shame on you." Canon has obviously chosen to ignore rapidly increasing consumer interest in video editing, the credit for this going to Microsoft, Pinnacle, and others, who have given us some good, simple tools to do creative editing on home and/or amature videos.
Canon totally missed the boat on this one. They could have been packaged a decent camcorder with, at minimum, some conversion software and a better user-guide, thus encouraging their customers to get out there and shoot lots and lots of video for sharing, presentations, and so on, which I intend to do -- with a Sony, JVC, or other camcorder.
I'm giving Canon a poor (vs abysmal) rating only because the DC210 does do what they wanted it to do.
Canon gets an "F-" for not shelling out a few extra cents for each camcorder sold to ensure customers have conversion software, and subsequently the capability to easily edit their creations with inexpensive, easy-to-use movie/video editing software.