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CanonZR960 MiniDV Camcorder
 
4.4

(based on 122 reviews)

Ratings Distribution

  • 5 Stars

     

    (62)

  • 4 Stars

     

    (50)

  • 3 Stars

     

    (7)

  • 2 Stars

     

    (1)

  • 1 Stars

     

    (2)

96%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Zoom range/performance (118)
  • Easy to use (110)
  • Great picture quality (81)
  • Image stabilization (55)
  • Large clear LCD (52)

Cons

  • Poor in low light (17)
  • Poor image quality (3)
  • Poor sound (3)

Best Uses

  • Home movies (74)
  • Travel (59)
  • Movies/short films (37)
  • Documentaries (30)
  • Weddings (30)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Casual user (45), Enthusiast (40), Semi-pro (24), Pro videographer (10)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (57), Yes (5)

Most Liked Positive Review

 

Great but I miss the Elura 85

Compared to every other consumer camcorder out there this is a 10 star. Compared to the Canon Elura 85 it's a 4 star.

I am very particular about camcorders (have very...Read complete review

Compared to every other consumer camcorder out there this is a 10 star. Compared to the Canon Elura 85 it's a 4 star.

I am very particular about camcorders (have very particular needs) and spent hours before settling on this one now that Canon no longer makes the Elura 85.

I use several of these my business, a business which involves filming the human face from the shoulders to the top of the head in the most complimentary and close to real life and in person way possible, but where I can still see even the smallest suggestion of a muscle movement anywhere in the face.

And I need the mic jack to attach a Rode shotgun mic for great sound (not even pro camcorders have good internal mics).

Unfortunately there isn't a hot shoe on this model so I have to attach the mic with rubberbands. I make due.

The reason I'm so partial to these Canon camcorders is that they are the only brand at this price point (under $1,000) that offer the external mic jack and still use mini dv cassette camcorders that do not compress the image.

This camera captures the human face as a clean whole whereas all the newer flash drive HD camcorder models on the market these days compress the image, yet being High Def, the image focuses on all the spots and ugly details of the face instead of capturing the face as a whole, the way the human eye sees a face.

Another reason I like this camcorder is that I can set it up on a tripod and record while having the camcorder connect via video/audio cables to my TV so I can watch on the large screen as I film my students. I had assumed this was a feature of all camcorders (as it has been in the past) but not so with so many newer models at this price point.

I say at this price point because I also work with professional camcorders but for good video of the human face, I find you either have to go pro or go with these little Canons.

There seems to be no in between and I've tried countless models.

All in all, great little camera, though my all-time favorite is still the Canon Elura 85. I would pay good money to have my Elura fixed every year if they still made all the parts, instead of having to throw my Eluras away and upgrade to a newer, less ideal model. This built to end up in a land fill in 4 years electronic generation feels really environmentally irresponsible and unneccessary. I don't want to throw them away.

VS

Most Liked Negative Review

 

Works OK if no moisture

We purchased the camera in order to transfer digital tapes from a prior camera and for a vacation in Asia. The camera is easy to use out of the box. Loading tapes requires reading...Read complete review

We purchased the camera in order to transfer digital tapes from a prior camera and for a vacation in Asia. The camera is easy to use out of the box. Loading tapes requires reading the camera instructions as you press tape loader from the side not the top. The quality is decent. There are issues with the general design as you normally hold the camera with the right hand and view through the finder window but the this holding position means only your left hand is available for zoom and recording settings. An awkward reach across the camera with the left hand to hit record button or zoom causes unnecessary movement of the camera while filming. Big problem with moisture! If you film in the rain, mist or muggy heat it shuts down. That's right--you can't film. Instructions indicate you must wait for the camera to reach the "new" temperature and then you can film. Tapes cannot be loaded when moisture is detected. You cannot film in moist conditions so be prepared to miss shots waiting for the camera to "adjust". Best for dry climates.

Reviewed by 122 customers

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5.0

So Far So Good

By Kelsea The Film Student

from Marysville, WA

About Me Video Enthusiast

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to Use
  • Great Picture Quality
  • Great Zoom
  • Zoom range/performance

Cons

    Best Uses

    • HD Shooting
    • Movies/Short Films

    Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

    I haven't used it much, but I am going to be using it alot as I am in film school. This camera was recomended to me by my school and it is great so far. It has a 41x zoom and it handles nicely.

    • Was this a gift?:
    • No

    Share this review

     
    5.0

    "I got something great"

    By NANCY

    from Guatemala

    About Me Semi-pro Videographer

    Verified Buyer

    Pros

    • Easy to Use

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Record players in action

      Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

      I use the product to tape the swing and putt of golf players and them analyze it in order to make the needed corrections and help them get better golfers.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Share this review

       
      4.0

      sports taping

      By Radar

      from Aurora, Colorado

      About Me Video Enthusiast

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to Use
      • Good Image Stabilization
      • Great Picture Quality
      • Great Sound
      • Great Zoom
      • Large Clear LCD
      • Zoom range/performance

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • HD Shooting

        Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

        I video golf swings for my students and need a camera that gives good resolution on fast moving golf swings. there is a setting on the camera that will increase the capture rate up to 2000 frames a second. this works really well since I can do slow motion of the swing and the golf shaft is very discenerable. Most cameras won't do this

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

         
        4.0

        Easy to use - would buy again!

        By GAG

        from Bronx, NY

        About Me Casual User

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use
        • Great Picture Quality
        • Great Sound
        • Great Zoom
        • Large Clear LCD

        Cons

        • No photo ability

        Best Uses

        • Home Movies
        • Travel
        • Weddings/Events

        Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

        LOVE THIS CAMERA -- just like the ZR850 I had so very familiar on how to use it -- almost the same!!

        Wish it took photos like the ZR850 which was a mini dv video cam/photo camera .. but AT LEAST it's a mini dv camcorder which we can view our old tapes on from when my baby was first born!! :)

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Share this review

        (0 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        3.0

        Good Backup camera

        By Family Movie Maker

        from Phoenix AZ

        About Me Video Enthusiast

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to Use

        Cons

          Best Uses

            Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

            We bought this camcorder when the firewire port on our Sony DV camcorder stopped working. There are very few DV camcorders still available for purchase and we didn't want to lose our entire catalog of kid videos without being able to transfer them to the computer. So this camcorder sits permanently connected to my firewire on my desk. It seems rather lightweight and not as durable as the Sony. Not sure how well it functions to take video.

            • Was this a gift?:
            • No

            Share this review

             
            5.0

            best minidv on the market

            By Smash Coach

            from Ceres, Ca

            About Me Semi-pro Videographer

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Easy to Use
            • Good Image Stabilization
            • Good in Low Light
            • Great Picture Quality
            • Great Sound
            • Great Zoom
            • Large Clear LCD
            • Zoom range/performance

            Cons

              Best Uses

              • HD Shooting
              • Home Movies
              • Movies/Short Films
              • Travel

              Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

              I NEEDED A MINI DV TO RUN LIVE VIDEO WITH FIREWIRE. IT IS CRYSTAL CLEAR AND EXACTLY WHAT I NEEDED. PICTURE RUNS LIVE, SOMETHING I COULDN'T DO WITH MY SONY HD.

              • Was this a gift?:
              • No

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              (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              Great teaching tool

              By St. Thomas Aquinas Film Class

              from Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

              About Me Video Enthusiast

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Easy to Use
              • Great Picture Quality
              • Mic input

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Classroom tool
                • Documentaries
                • Movies/Short Films

                Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                I am a high school Film instructor who uses the line of Canon cameras for their durability, ease of use, and excellent picture quality. Using this as a replacement for the ZR800 model, I find these cameras to be best in the classroom particularly for their microphone jack that allows us use of wireless mics for audio recording. I have used these cameras with Final Cut Pro on a Mac, and the camera and program make for a great learning tool.

                • Was this a gift?:
                • No

                Share this review

                 
                5.0

                I would buy this product again and again

                By MBG

                from San Jose, CA

                About Me Video Enthusiast

                Verified Buyer

                Pros

                • Easy to Use
                • Good Image Stabilization
                • Good in Low Light
                • Great Picture Quality
                • Great Sound
                • Great Zoom
                • Zoom range/performance

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                  • Documentaries
                  • Indoors/Low Light
                  • Movies/Short Films

                  Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                  We use these cameras in our middle school film editing class. They are durable, easy to use and make uploading footage to Final Cut Pro painless. Perfect for us.

                  • Was this a gift?:
                  • No

                  Share this review

                   
                  5.0

                  just what I needed

                  By Tam

                  from NY

                  About Me Casual User

                  Verified Buyer

                  Pros

                  • Easy to Use
                  • Good Image Stabilization
                  • Good in Low Light
                  • Great Picture Quality
                  • Great Sound
                  • Great Zoom
                  • Zoom range/performance

                  Cons

                    Best Uses

                    • Live Music
                    • Travel

                    Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                    This camara is easy to use. Works well with sending video to my Mac Book Pro via firewire 800 cable and gets a nice picture with good sound. I have used it for my live music performances and have already posted several videos to Youtube!

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                    (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    5.0

                    Excellent DV Cam - at a great price

                    By zFlo, Inc.

                    from Boston, MA

                    About Me Pro Videographer

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy to Use
                    • Zoom range/performance

                    Cons

                    • Poor Image Quality

                    Best Uses

                    • Motion Capture Software

                    Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                    The ZR960 is basically the last consumer DV cam on the market - and they continue producing the ZR line for a reason. Solid performance, reliability, and price.

                    • Was this a gift?:
                    • No

                    Share this review

                     
                    4.0

                    Very basic handheld camcorder.

                    By gwangung

                    from Seattle, WA

                    About Me Video Enthusiast

                    Verified Buyer

                    Pros

                    • Easy to Use
                    • Good Image Stabilization
                    • Large Clear LCD

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Travel

                      Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                      The transport mechanism to get tapes in and out is a little funky, but the camera does what it's supposed to do.

                      • Was this a gift?:
                      • No

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                      5.0

                      best price on web

                      By gunslinger

                      from burke, va

                      About Me Casual User

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Easy to Use
                      • Good Image Stabilization
                      • Zoom range/performance

                      Cons

                      • Poor In Low Light

                      Best Uses

                        Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                        easy to use from the start.

                        • Was this a gift?:
                        • No

                        Share this review

                         
                        5.0

                        Great Camera for Recording Sporting Even

                        By Hunter

                        from Lincoln, RI

                        About Me Casual User

                        Verified Buyer

                        Pros

                        • Easy to Use
                        • Good Image Stabilization
                        • Good in Low Light
                        • Great Picture Quality
                        • Great Sound
                        • Great Zoom
                        • Large Clear LCD
                        • Zoom range/performance

                        Cons

                          Best Uses

                          • Indoors/Low Light

                          Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                          I've used this small but great camcorder to film my high school varsity baseball team. It works fantastically.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

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                          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                           
                          5.0

                          This is a great camera for the money.

                          By Ragman

                          from NE Vermont

                          About Me Video Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy to Use
                          • Good Image Stabilization
                          • Great Picture Quality
                          • Great Zoom
                          • Zoom range/performance

                          Cons

                          • Battery Life

                          Best Uses

                          • Home Movies
                          • SportsAction

                          Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                          I coach alpine ski racers at a ski racing academy in Vermont, and we shoot video on a daily basis. Most of the video is simply reviewed that day and then filed - it doesn't have to be HD quality. I travel a lot and the gear gets knocked around, so I prefer less-costly cameras since they do break from time to time. This camera is really easy to use. The image in the view finder is large and the clearest I've ever seen, and the zoom is ridiculously fast. I bought this to replace a broken Panasonic that was virtually identical in features and price - this is a better camera. Better picture, more features (such as end search), etc.

                          This camera won't provide an HD quality picture - I knew it wouldn't, but it is more than adequate for what I need, and it is much better than I expected. I do slow motion analysis, etc., and the images are more than good enough.

                          Only two things I am less than thrilled about: battery life - I bought an extra, larger battery to go with the provided battery, and neither is quite as long lasting as I expected - a bit less, it seems, than the Panasonic. Also, the stock charger only plugs into the camera, so the battery can only be charged when attached to the camera, which is somewhat limiting. A remote charging unit can be purchased separately, but at $85 it obviously takes some of the value out of it.

                          Nevertheless, for the money this is a great buy. I'd buy another in an instant.

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          1.0

                          Good for First Camera Purchase for Teen

                          By kt for cameras

                          from New York, NY

                          About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy to Use

                          Cons

                          • Limited Zoom

                          Best Uses

                          • Home Movies

                          Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                          I wasn't satisfied with this camera. I anticipated a better constructed camera and found that it only contained the basics. I think this camera is a great first camera for a teenager, just getting their feet wet in video recording. As for shooters with experience shooting higher end cameras, this isn't a great choice.

                          I recommend this camera for a child or teenager.

                          Nonetheless, I still love Canon products!

                          • Was this a gift?:
                          • No

                          Share this review

                           
                          5.0

                          ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder

                          By Chapper

                          from McMinnville, OR

                          About Me Video Enthusiast

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Easy to Use

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                            • Documentaries
                            • Home Movies
                            • Travel

                            Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                            Use it to film skateboarding videos.

                            • Was this a gift?:
                            • Yes

                            Share this review

                            (1 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

                             
                            2.0

                            too outdated

                            By Teddy

                            from Silver Spring, MD

                            About Me Video Enthusiast

                            Verified Buyer

                            Pros

                              Cons

                                Best Uses

                                • Home Movies

                                Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                                I returned this camcorder because it doesn't have a usb connection, only firewire. I didn't pay attention on the specs to see whether or not it has a usb connection when I ordered it. I assumed it would have it because most camcorders do. It would have been ok if my workstation has a firewire input but it didn't and I didn't want to go through the hassle of buying and installing a firewire card. In my judgment, if it doesn't have a usb connection, the price shouldn't be more than $100 for it is too outdated

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

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                                (1 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                4.0

                                Bang for Your Buck!

                                By CarrieCat

                                from Muncie, IN

                                About Me Video Enthusiast

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy to Use
                                • Good Image Stabilization
                                • Great Zoom
                                • Large Clear LCD
                                • Zoom range/performance

                                Cons

                                • Average image quality
                                • Poor In Low Light

                                Best Uses

                                • Documentaries
                                • Home Movies
                                • Travel
                                • Weddings/Events

                                Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                                This camcorder is a great start for beginners and is a great value! The features that are the most beneficial and make this a money-well-spent purchase are the optional mic plug-in (a must-have, even for beginners in video), good zoom, and a built in lens cover. The only flaw is that the picture is not absolutely clear all the time and I'm sure HD picture would be much better, but you get what you pay for! I would recommend this product to any beginner looking for a stable start in their video career for a very reasonable price!

                                • Was this a gift?:
                                • No

                                Share this review

                                (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

                                 
                                5.0

                                Satisfied with quality

                                By LivingInMissouri

                                from St. Louis, MO

                                About Me Casual User

                                Verified Buyer

                                Pros

                                • Easy to Use
                                • Good Image Stabilization
                                • Great Zoom

                                Cons

                                  Best Uses

                                  • Home Movies
                                  • Travel
                                  • Weddings/Events

                                  Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                                  Small in size, quiet and lightweight. Quality of video is pretty good. Priced right. I wish it had AV input too (it has IEEE I/O and AV out). I had AV input on my old Panasonic PV-DV800D and it is useful when transferring tapes from VHS or recording TV on Mini-DV. Supplied battery has very low capacity but larger ones are available elsewhere.

                                  • Was this a gift?:
                                  • No

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                                  (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                                   
                                  5.0

                                  GREAT FOR HIGH SPEED GOLF VIDEO

                                  By CATHY GOLF

                                  from BRADENTON, FL

                                  About Me Semi-pro Videographer

                                  Verified Buyer

                                  Pros

                                  • Easy to Use
                                  • Good Image Stabilization
                                  • Good in Low Light
                                  • Great Picture Quality
                                  • Great Sound
                                  • Great Zoom
                                  • Large Clear LCD
                                  • Zoom range/performance

                                  Cons

                                    Best Uses

                                      Comments about Canon ZR960 MiniDV Camcorder:

                                      I GET IMPACT HAVE TWO OF THESE ZR960 CANNON

                                      • Was this a gift?:
                                      • No

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