Pros mic port, built in lens cover, decent image quality, inexpesive
Cons Bottom loader, no accesory shoe,
Summary With the consumer world making the switch over to disc and hard drive options, there's still some of us who know what were doing and stick to tape, don't argue tape is better for camcorders. Being the owner of a Canon xl2 and a canon elura 100, I needed a cheapo camcorder that i can strap to a boom and dangle over the lions at the zoo or basically anything that could had some damage to the camera. Being a professional videographer,the still function is not needed i have a dslr for that stuff. Some positives of this camera is the image quality for being such a cheapo it delivered good enough for me but in comparison to my elura 100 , it was so so. The built in lens cover is great along with a level marker. THIS CAMCORDER HAS A MIC PORT!! THE 850 DOES NOT!! the sound quality is average along with low light. some cons of this camera is the mode switch, on my elura to switch it to camera you turn the switch up but on the 800 you turn it down for camera, this is mildly annoying, The battery life of this is pretty bad but since it's on the back you can buy a extra extended battery. The biggest glitch is that its a bottom loader camera!!!!!!! i love having it on top with my elura and xL2 , i was planing of having this one on a tripod in my studio for using it to transfer over the tapes to my editing station. For somebody whos starting or needs a stunt camera this is a good choice for somebody looking for camcorder of the year go for an elura 100 or an xL2.
"Love this DV Camera"on by bo21619
Pros Nice size, Built-In lens cover, Captures good picture, Crisp sound, Decent low light, Easy to use, Affordable
Cons battery life
Summary My previous DV cam was a Panasonic PV-GS12, and it was horrible. I bought this about two weeks ago, and used it for the first time at night. I was impressed with the low light recording quality. You can switch between two camera modes. Easy and Manual. Easy is exactly what it is. Turn it on and shoot. No matter what the lighting conditions are the camcorder automatically adjusts to those settings to capture the best quality. This camera also captures crisp sound at 12-bit. I edit automotive videos as a hobby, so i bought this since i love making car videos, and wanted to get something fresh. I also like how there is a built-in lens cover. It uses a switch to open and close the lens...brilliant. Now when im filming out of a car window, you dont see/hear the lens cover flying around in front of the camera. Playback controls are easy use, utilizing an analog stick. And lets not forget the price is under $300 brand new. If you dont have alot of money to spend like me, and you want to get the best bang for your buck. The Canon ZR800 is for you.
"Do not hesitate"on by CCarterRN
Pros Good photo quality
Cons Some screen functions not inituitive
Summary After much confusion from reading all the reviews, we settled on this model for my mother. Easy setup, right out of the box. Don't get hung up in all the mess around poor low-light quality...simply not true for the average user! If you are an average user who wants a good all around camera, then this is the one. It's affordable, easy to use, takes good quality pictures. Just be aware of the microphone placement...I clicked the zoom button loudly and it was picked up on the tape. Once I knew that, then no problem. So far, so good. I will probably buy one for myself.
Pros Amazing Picture Quality, Portable
Cons There's no cons.
Summary Cool, I purchased this Camcorder today. I checked it out. Amazing - I reved the zoom up to 975x and I could still read the letters on an object far away. Though it has some picture noise but very little. It's portable - Small enough to fit in my fanny pack - Amazing!
Pros inexpensive, easy to use
Cons audio is surprisingly poor for a canon product
Summary We bought the ZR 800 for the birth of our son. After we downloaded the first 20 minutes of video, the white noise was unbelievably loud, matching the level of our voices. We returned the camera to Canon for repair. The repair sheet came back stating that:
"DV camcorder uses high speed rotating heads. Microphone picks up the drive sound of the head when the DV camcorder is used in very quite situation. We recommend you use an external microphone, to reduce drive sound that is recorded on the tape".
There is an external mic jack, but there is nowhere to attach the microphone, and Canon doesn't even sell a camcorder microphone online.
And as for the reference to very quiet situations, apparently that means anything indoors, because we got the white noise in every indoor situation we recorded (we never tried recording outdoors to see if it happened there, too).
We contacted Canon customer support requesting a refund or credit and they said they couldn't do anything for us since it "meets factory specifications". I will no longer trust the de facto quality of Canon products.Updated
When we hooked our ZR800 directly to our TV, the white noise was not nearly as bad as the Windows Media File I created and played back on my laptop. I don't know if the issue is my laptop or the conversion of ZR800 from the MiniDV to digital. I would update my rating of the ZR800 to 6/7 out of 10 (for the price) instead of the 2 I originally gave it.