REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
CanonFS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Saphire Blue)
 
4.4

(based on 58 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (31)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (21)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (4)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (1)

91%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Comfortable to operate (49)
  • Simple controls (45)
  • Great features (40)
  • Great picture quality (36)
  • Versatile (34)

Cons

    Best Uses

    • Travel (43)
    • Home movies (36)
    • Movies/short films (18)
    • Family (16)
    • Sports (5)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Casual user (35), Enthusiast (16), Semi-pro (3)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Great camera but software marginal

    My goal is to produce instructional videos for the internet. My evaluations are with respect to that specific goal.

    I record in the lowest quality setting to keep file size...Read complete review

    My goal is to produce instructional videos for the internet. My evaluations are with respect to that specific goal.

    I record in the lowest quality setting to keep file size small. I put the camera on a tripod and make good use of the remote; the screen needs to be swiveled to the front for the sensor to see the remote. At this lowest quality setting, it looks pretty good on my 4:3 32" Sony that I use for live monitoring and playback. I record in wide screen format.

    The compelling reason I chose this model was that it has a mic input. I mix a signal from a guitar, my voice, and a backing track, then go through a hand-built attenuator to take line levels to mic levels. Trying to do this without the attenuator requires the mixer to be run at levels too low to be monitored through headphones, at least on this mixer. That puts you much closer to the noise floor of the mixer too, so an attenuator is highly recommended. Just make a voltage divider out of two metal film resistors in series: I used a 10K and a 100 ohm for a -40dB reduction in voltage.

    The Canon software seems more for image management. I tried to install it, but when I connect the camera, my PC configures it as a disk drive, bypassing the camera drivers altogether. I can't seem to find the driver files on the CD to install them manually, so I haven't used it. I don't think I'm missing much.

    The included video editing software was good enough for my needs based on experience burning DVDs from existing movie files in various formats I had on my hard drive. I have not yet edited movies made with the camera with this software. The camera creates .mod files which I assume are MPEG-2 and can be renamed .mpg, but I have not yet done this personally. I have a hazy recollection of .mpg functionality being a time-sensitive trial with the editing software -- I neglected to make sufficient note of those details at the time I installed it -- I guess I'll find out if ability to work with .mpg ever expires.

    Because there are no motors, battery life on this thing is unbelievable. It's tiny for my big hands, but usable. It has manual focus and some ability to control exposure -- even shutter priority to make purposefully blurred video (or conversely, to make sure fast action gets captured with minimal blurring, light permitting.) Camera shake management is digital, not optical. It works fine for handheld shots.

    The wide angle on these cameras is always inadequate, and unfortunately there's no thread on the housing to add a lens -- a small addition to the design they definitely should have included. I think there's a third-party product that attaches to the tripod thread that provides a place to attach a supplementary lens.

    Still photos? If you see the Loch Ness monster and it's the only camera you've got, well, OK, use it. If you're actually planning to take photos as well as video, carry a decent P&S with you.

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    Power up to recording in record time

    The best thing about this flash based camcorder is the speed at which you can begin recording. For anyone with small children this is a must so you don't miss those unexpected precious moments....Read complete review

    The best thing about this flash based camcorder is the speed at which you can begin recording. For anyone with small children this is a must so you don't miss those unexpected precious moments. The FS100 is small and lightweight. There are a few drawbacks, the battery is in an enclosed compartment so larger capacity battery choices are limited. The FS100 uses the MOD file format which is not immediately importable into most editors without some form of conversion. The video quality was OK for an SD camcorder.

    Reviewed by 58 customers

    Sort by

    Displaying reviews 1-20

    Back to top

    Previous | Next »

     
    4.0

    our first camcorder

    By moi

    from ct

    About Me Casual User

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Comfortable to Operate
    • Durable
    • Great Features
    • Great Picture Quality
    • Simple Controls
    • Versatile

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Home Movies
      • Travel

      Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Garnet Wine):

      bought specifically for a trip to the galapagos. easy to use and the images look great, at least on the camera. the only problem is we bought it because we were told it would be compatible with our 3 year old mac. it is not really.

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      Awesome little camera

      By SelphSirv

      from Clarksville, TN

      About Me Video Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Comfortable to Operate
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Great Sound
      • Simple Controls
      • Versatile

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Home Movies
        • Movies/Short Films
        • Travel

        Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Garnet Wine):

        This a great quality device. We have absolutely nothing to complain about in regards to quality of the images or sound. Its small and easily carried, allowing my wife to catch everything she wants. Its also quick to start up. Totally glad that we bought it.

        Share this review

         
        5.0

        Great little camcorder at a great value

        By tapdancer

        from Denton, TX

        About Me Casual User

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Comfortable to Operate
        • Great Features
        • Great Picture Quality
        • Simple Controls
        • Versatile

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Garnet Wine):

            I use the FS-100 to record choreography of my dance classes. Excellent video and sound. Easy to use and playback. The zoom is marvelous.

            It would be nice to have a manual focus. The auto focus is sufficient but at times slow.

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            super sized

            By hawkeye

            from southern maryland

            About Me Video Enthusiast

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Comfortable to Operate
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Great Sound
            • Simple Controls
            • Versatile

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • Home Movies
              • Travel

              Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Garnet Wine):

              easy to use and download. very light an portable. a great value

              Share this review

               
              5.0

              Perfect camera at the perfect price

              By WatchaDoozn

              from Denver, CO

              About Me Video Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Comfortable to Operate
              • Durable
              • Great Features
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Great Sound
              • Simple Controls

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Home Movies
                • Movies/Short Films

                Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Garnet Wine):

                This camera is great for beginners or for those who are more advanced. I bought this with my wife in mind. It has an easy button on the side that makes for extremely easy video taking. She just turns it on, and away she goes. Very light weight, yet feels sturdy. I love to show this little camera off to all my friends. One of my best purchases in the last few months!

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Great Camera for Casual Users!

                By Ziggy

                from Lake Charles,LA

                About Me Casual User

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Sound

                Cons

                • Shaky at times

                Best Uses

                • Home Movies

                Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Silver):

                I use this camera for messing around with my friends. This camera is small, but has good video quality. I like this camera because its small and easy to use. The one thing I don't like about this camera is filming can be shaky at times.

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                Really Fun to Play With!

                By wileyacez

                from Detroit, MI

                About Me Casual User

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Comfortable to Operate
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Simple Controls
                • Versatile

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Home Movies
                  • Travel

                  Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Silver):

                  I bought this as an inexpensive camcorder for a class project. Now I've been using it more than my Canon 40D! It's so small and lightweight--just too easy to snap photos and run short film clips. It was up and running right out of the box. I've only used the instructions once. I haven't had any trouble getting the offloaded files to run on the Vista version of MS Movie Maker after I run them through the SDcopy utility. For the money that I spent, I sure am happy with this camcorder.

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  Love the camcorder - [...]

                  By Ken

                  from Salt Lake City Utah

                  About Me Casual User

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Comfortable to Operate
                  • Great Features

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Home Movies
                    • Travel

                    Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Garnet Wine):

                    We took this camcorder on vacation with us, and it was a breeze to operate. I kept it in my pocket and could get it out and start recording in seconds. We never missed a moment. I bought 2 16gb class 6 SDHC card for it, and I dont know if the class 6 rating helps with startup speed but I have to say I was impressed. I was a little nervous about using a purple camcorder, but it doesnt look or feel cheap at all. [...]

                    Share this review

                     
                    5.0

                    Great value for the money

                    By Gen.Chaos

                    from Jacksonville, FL

                    About Me Casual User

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Comfortable to Operate
                    • Great Features
                    • Great Sound
                    • Simple Controls
                    • Versatile

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Home Movies
                      • Movies/Short Films
                      • Travel

                      Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Silver):

                      This is a very useful and easy to operate video camera. I have been using it for about a month now and I am pleased with it. The only drawback that I see is that still picture quality is poor, but I didn't buy this camcorder for still pictures.

                      Share this review

                       
                      4.0

                      Even tech deficient grandmoms will love

                      By Barb the therapist

                      from Crown Point, Indiana

                      About Me Casual User

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Comfortable to Operate
                      • Durable
                      • Great Features
                      • Simple Controls
                      • Versatile

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                        • Home Movies
                        • Travel

                        Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Silver):

                        Read the instructions on flight to Disney. Loved the versitility and compact style. Still learning how to use it's multifunctions, but the ride to getting better is fun. Sales rep was very helpful and understanding this tech deficdient grandmom. Will prob give 5 stars when I find time to totally understand and learn to use completely.

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Fantastic little camcorder - great price

                        By Laura the Traveling Naturalist

                        from Home base: Lancaster County, PA

                        About Me Video Enthusiast

                        Verified Reviewer

                        Pros

                        • Comfortable to Operate
                        • Great Features
                        • Great Picture Quality
                        • LONG battery life
                        • Versatile

                        Cons

                        • Long battery charge-time

                        Best Uses

                        • Documentaries
                        • Home Movies
                        • Nature filming
                        • Travel

                        Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Garnet Wine):

                        First off, I couldn't believe how tiny this camcorder is! Standing it on it's end, it's about as tall as a soda can but not as large in circumference. That's a BIG plus for me as I have small hands. It's extremely lightweight and portable. I've been a still photographer for years and decided to get into video with this camera, so I'm a newbie at this. First time right out of the box it was very easy to set up and use. All the controls are in the right places and natural to reach while holding the camcorder. The only negative is the battery's charge-time (approx 3hrs! my first time) but the battery does last a long enough time for a day-outing with an 8gb card (in high-quality mode). I'll be getting a backup battery right away, though. The video quality is fantastic! Outdoor/nature filming is a joy with the 48x optical zoom. I can't say enough positive things about this great little camcorder! It will be tucked in my bag and carried with me at all times. LOVE it!

                        Share this review

                         
                        4.0

                        "I love this camcorder"

                        By Chaduncle

                        from Far Rockaway, NY

                        About Me Casual User

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Comfortable to Operate
                        • Durable
                        • Great Features
                        • Great Picture Quality

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Home Movies
                          • Travel

                          Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Silver):

                          Simple and fun to use. It is very light to carry and yet has many features that make this camcorder a pleasent way to record video.

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          Perfect for our use and budget!!

                          By Fishin' Time

                          from Washington, DC

                          About Me Casual User

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Comfortable to Operate
                          • Great Picture Quality
                          • Great Sound
                          • SDHC
                          • Simple Controls
                          • Versatile

                          Cons

                          • none yet

                          Best Uses

                          • Home Movies
                          • Movies/Short Films
                          • Travel

                          Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Silver):

                          We have been pleasantly surprised with what this little camcorder has to offer so far. We've been looking for a replacement for a SONY Hi-8 camcorder that was on it's last legs for about 6 months. So which one should we get is the magic question? Geez, there are way too many camcorders out on the market!! After we determined what we wanted to spend, it helped immensely to narrow down our search. We're not turbo techies, and the price of HD cameras just seemed like overkill to us, but I wanted to make sure that I got a noteable brand with good reviews, and features that met our needs. Well, the F100 fit not only our budget, but it also fit our simple needs. While it doesn't have a ton of features like others in its class, we are simple people, so simplicity works for us!!Like many past reviewers have suggested, make sure you go into a local store and look at the camcorders in person. Overall, it does what we want and I would surely recommend this to someone who had budget and use in their minds!!

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          Great camera, fast start-up

                          By Mike

                          from Ann Arbot, MI

                          About Me Casual User

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Comfortable to Operate
                          • Great Features
                          • Great Picture Quality
                          • Great Sound
                          • Simple Controls
                          • Versatile

                          Cons

                          • No date stamp on video

                          Best Uses

                          • Home Movies
                          • Travel

                          Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Silver):

                          I use this for home movies, nothing technical. This camera takes great video. The pictures are so-so so if you want anything nice make sure you are set to the highest setting. IF YOU HAVE A MAC - you must have iMovie 08 at a minimum to transfer directly from the camera. If you do not have iMovie 08, it will be a lot more difficult. I have not tried it but it will probably involve converting the files to a different format before iMovie recognizes them. You can take the files directly from the camera and copy to your hard drive also. They are .MOD files but can be renamed to .AVI and be played easily.

                          The picture is quite good. I have no complaints for what I do. The start-up time is great when you need to catch something quickly. Even the digital stability isn't bad. The size is truely the winner. It is really as small as a pop can.

                          The only drawback I have found is that there is no time stamping on the video. On analog, you had the date and time on the video as you played it back. I don't think that is possible on this camera.

                          Share this review

                           
                          1.0

                          Not for Mac!

                          By fotofixer1

                          from los angeles, ca.

                          About Me Casual User

                          Verified Reviewer

                          Pros

                            Cons

                              Best Uses

                              • Home Movies
                              • Travel

                              Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Garnet Wine):

                              Great little camera if you're on a PC. Mac users will find the software is not compatible with their systems. Canon tech support is next to useless. It took two phone calls before they said so. They say Canon FS100 may work with iDVD's newest version...hmm...that means buying new software without really knowing if that will fix the problem. Teeny tiny print on box does says software is not Mac use. Wear your glasses and carry a magnifying glass.

                              Share this review

                              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Good for the price

                              By Mister moose

                              from Connecticut/Vermont

                              About Me Casual User

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Comfortable to Operate
                              • Great Features
                              • Great Sound
                              • Simple Controls
                              • Versatile

                              Cons

                              • See review

                              Best Uses

                              • Home Movies
                              • Travel

                              Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Silver):

                              After surveying the field, I bought a Canon FS-100, which records to flash memory. I'm quite happy with it, but there are some quirks. I've used it to record on the mountain skiing, a demanding environment.

                              On the plus side, it's small, light, and the flash memory is great stuff, fast and no issues in the cold (10 degrees) I'm using a 4GB card and this gives 2 hours of recording time in medium quality. If you download to any practical size to email or post on a website, even medium quality is way too high a resolution. The only place the difference shows is at home on your large screen high def TV. The zoom speed is controllable, a great feature, and the optical zoom goes to 38x. It's shaky at full zoom, but I've tried leaning on a ski pole and that helps a lot. Free hand in the windy bitter cold is the worst. In one opening scene I was able to zoom in on a skier 350 feet away and followed him for several hundred feet. The value of a good zoom for skiing shouldn't be underestimated. The auto focus gets confused in snowstorms, it sometimes can't find the subject at 150 to 200 feet. I've had zero issues with exposure problems in flat or bright light on snow. The battery life has been good, never ran out on the slopes. The lens is protected with an electric shutter style cover. The camera sits in the hand well, and the basic controls are easy to operate. In still mode you can snap off 1MP stills at 3 per second if you want, or individually.

                              On the minus side, you do get what you pay for. If you watch the videos you'll see some multi imaging in higher speed action shots. (there is a setting for 'sports', but you don't have much time for button/menu fiddling when trying to capture powder day candid moments) Viewing using the LCD screen can be difficult outdoors with fast moving subjects, but also you learn some technique to compensate. The biggest minus so far is the awkwardness of the editing software. I've managed to get through it, but it's always cumbersome. There is no back function to switch modes, you have to close the application and restart. It hangs at a whim. Most of these issues go away or get better with smaller files. I had one 4 minute clip which was 50 meg, and getting that edited took forever. I've taken to doing the initial edit and then downsize the file with the Canon software, and then finish the movie with Windows Moviemaker. In order to transfer files to your pc, you have to have the proprietary AC adapter plugged in. This is annoying, and seems unnecessary.

                              The other cameras I looked at were too crude you tube only types, had limited zoom, or had controls that I thought might be cumbersome with gloves on, or cost significantly more.

                              Canon has the FS-200 coming out soon which is a small upgrade from the soon to be discontinued FS-100. The 200 has an external mike jack and comes in different colors, and maybe some other minor upgrade. Panasonic also has some interesting models in the pipeline for May/June.

                              I'm happy with it and recommend it for the price point it's at. I like the functionality enough to put up with the lousy editor, some of which might be exacerbated by my pc. You can completely avoid the Canon editor by going in and changing the file extension types, and then just use Windows.

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Wife loves it !

                              By Papa Tool

                              from West Monroe, LA

                              About Me Casual User

                              Verified Reviewer

                              Pros

                              • Comfortable to Operate
                              • Durable
                              • Great Features
                              • Great Picture Quality
                              • Great Sound
                              • Simple Controls
                              • Versatile

                              Cons

                              • Low light video is grainy

                              Best Uses

                              • Home Movies
                              • Travel

                              Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Garnet Wine):

                              [...] Packaging was excellent as well. Installed the software without any problems on our home computers. Camera fits in the palm of my hand. It was very easy to figure out even without using instructions. Great quality in the video this thing takes. I had wanted to get an HD camcorder but my wife talked me into this one. Video playback on our 46" HDTV is awesome. The only thing I do not like is the fact that you must use the included power adapter when downloading files straight from the camcorder your PC. Of course if you have a compatible card reader in your PC or a USB SDHC card adapter, you can download that way as well. Charge time was not very long. Low light video is as others describe as a little grainy but that's okay for us. All in all, we are very pleased with this product so far. [...]

                              Share this review

                               
                              5.0

                              Great Camcorder

                              By a mom

                              from Minnesota

                              Verified Buyer

                              Pros

                              • Comfortable to Operate
                              • Great Features
                              • Great Picture Quality
                              • Simple Controls

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Home Movies
                                • Travel

                                Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Garnet Wine):

                                Great for the kids concerts and sporting events. Lightweight, easy to use and hold for long periods of time. Easy transfer to PC.

                                Share this review

                                 
                                3.0

                                You get what you pay for

                                By Danno

                                from Grand Rapids, MI

                                About Me Video Enthusiast

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Great Picture Quality
                                • Great Sound
                                • Simple Controls
                                • Versatile

                                Cons

                                • Complicated burning
                                • Inadequate Features
                                • Poor image stabilizer

                                Best Uses

                                • Home Movies
                                • Travel

                                Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Silver):

                                I have bought Canon still photo digital cameras in the past because of the quality products that they make. I bought this video camera because I wanted to upgrade from my 10+ year old Hitachi Hi-8 camera to digital for easier burning. Although the Hitachi has been flawless, the battery life doesn't last long and converting to DVD was a time consuming event.
                                The FS-100 took a little getting use to since it is much smaller than my last video recorder and the controls are obviuosly closer together. With somewhat large hands it was a little awkward at first but eventually got used to it. The picture quality is exc
                                stabilizerellent as expected but shooting in low light was a little disappointing. Also, the image stabilizer (or lack thereof) doesn't help in the least for steady and smooth picture taking.
                                If your going to rely on the manual included with the camera for downloading and burning your videos you're going to be greatly disappointed. The manual is worthless.
                                This camera will do in a pinch but if you're serius about good quality video and ease of use you may what to spend more. If the image stabilizer was better I would have ranked this camera higher.

                                Share this review

                                 
                                4.0

                                Excellent for the price

                                By Cousin Vinny

                                from The Bronx,NY

                                About Me Casual User

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Comfortable to Operate
                                • Simple Controls

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                    Comments about FS-100 Flash Memory Camcorder (Silver):

                                    There are newer versions of this camcorder,but I am very happy with this product. The price was low and the quality is high.The only thing missing is a built in light source

                                    Share this review

                                    Displaying reviews 1-20

                                    Back to top

                                    Previous | Next »