camcorders

Canon DC22 Camcorder Review

November 29, 2006
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Performance

 **Video Performance**  *(6.6)*The Canon DC22 is equipped with a 1/3.9" CCD, with a gross pixel count of 2.2MP. In 16:9 with the image stabilization on, the effective pixel count is 1.38MP. In 16:9 with the image stabilization off, the effective pixel count increases to 1.5MP. In 4:3, the effective pixel count is reduced to 1.23MP.  At 3000 lux, the DC22 produced a surprisingly well-balanced color spectrum. Normally, the lower and middle-end DVD camcorders – corresponding in quality to low-end MiniDV camcorders – tend to produce washed-out or poorly balanced images. The colors are clearly undergoing a little extra saturation in the processing, but in the end, the product does not look all that far from the DC40, which retails for a few hundred dollars more. That is, at least in terms of color. The larger imager of the DC40, however, produced less noise. The DC22’s image, on the other hand, was also a little blurry along borders; colors tended to bleed into each other along high contrast areas.

Canon-DC22-3000lux-auto-web.jpg
 The Canon DC100 showed the same color bleeding, though the color performance was far less impressive in this entry-level model. The DC100’s image was generally flat and washed out. Noise was even more of an issue.  The Panasonic VDR-D200, about $100 less than the DC22, offers little competition. The colors were not nearly so even, lacking decent yellows and reds. The image was far noisier, as well.  Finally, the Sony DCR-DVD305 produced a bright image, but the image was marred by blotchy blue noise. The colors appeared oversaturated and the entire image had a soft look to it.  Overall, we were pleasantly surprised with the video performance of the DC22. In a field of poor performers, this mid-line DVD camcorder managed to produce a picture that should satisfy the market.  {column='Video Performance' models='Canon DC22,Canon DC40,Canon DC100,Panasonic VDR-D200,Sony DCR-DVD305'}  **Video Resolution*** (13.0)*We tested the Canon DC22’s video resolution by shooting a standard ISO 12233 resolution chart and running stills from that footage through Imatest imaging software. In 16:9 aspect ratio, the camcorder showed 423.3 lines of horizontal resolution and 307.1 lines of vertical resolution, yielding an approximate resolution of 129995.43. We did not test this camcorder in 4:3 mode because it is a 16:9 native camcorder. The 16:9 resolution was used to determine the score. The chart below shows how the DC100 fared against similar camcorders. {column='Video Resolution' models='Canon DC22,Canon DC40,Canon DC100,Panasonic VDR-D200,Sony DCR-DVD305'} **Low Light Performance***(3.75)*At 60 lux, the Canon DC22 lost a fair amount of color information. The vividness we saw in bright light is all but a distant memory here. The green-yellow portion of the spectrum seems to be the worst, all blending together. Noise levels, however, are not too bad. Some fine detail was lost. All in all, this is a pretty average performance for its price class.
Canon-DC22-60lux-auto-web.jpg
 The DC100 was much brighter, which certainly counts for some something, but the noise levels were severe. The colors, though brighter, appeared almost neon in some areas. The DC40 was better than both of them, with a cleaner image altogether, stronger, more differentiated colors, and low noise. While the DC40 was not the best performer against camcorders in its own class, it was far better than the DC22.  The Panasonic VDR-D200 was terribly noisy at 60 lux, not surprising given the fact that it was noisy even in bright light. Again, though, the picture was brighter than the DC22, which may win points for users who do not consider noise to the bane that we do. The Sony DCR-DVD305 was even worse, though, with severely overprocessed colors and heaps of blotchy blue noise.
Canon-DC22-60lux-1-30th-web.jpg
Canon-DC22-60lux-1-15th-web.jpg
 We also tested the Canon DC22 at 60 lux with two alternate shutter speeds. At 1/30th of a second, the colors improved immensely. If you’re not shooting high-speed action, the slower frame rate may not have too much of an impact on your video. At 1/15th of a second, the colors look as bright as they did at 3000 lux. You will notice a sizeable impact on motion at this speed, however. Expect serious trailing to occur.
Canon-DC22-15lux-auto-web.jpg
 At 15 lux, the DC22’s picture is lost. There is no color left, and hardly any image to speak of at all. This is not a useable picture in the least. The DC100 is actually brighter, though the noise is terrible. The DC40 managed to retain a fair amount of detail; however, the image is essentially black and white.  The Panasonic VDR-D200 pushed a few recognizable colors through the avalanche of noise, but nearly all fine detail was lost. The Sony DCR-DVD305 had a few more colors, but the blotchy blue noise is really terrible.
Canon-DC22-15lux-1-30th-web.jpg
Canon-DC22-15lux-1-15th-web.jpg
 At 15 lux with a shutter speed of 1/30th of a second, the DC22 showed a major improvement in color. At 1/15th of second the picture, naturally, brightened up even more, but as mentioned above, serious trailing will occur.  {column='Low Light Performance' models='Canon DC22,Canon DC40,Canon DC100,Panasonic VDR-D200,Sony DCR-DVD305'} **Wide Angle***(10.0)*The Canon DC22 records natively in16:9, and also offers a cropped 4:3 setting. We tested the Canon DC22 in both widescreen 16:9 mode and 4:3 mode.  As we would expect from a native 16:9 camcorder, the angle of view differed significantly between modes. In 16:9, we measured a wide angle of 50 degrees; in 4:3 mode, the angle was only 39 degrees. This difference is a result of a pillar box 4:3 image, where the sides of the frame – originating on a 16:9 sensor - are cropped to achieve a 4:3 aspect ratio.   

Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.

Sections

  1. Performance
  2. Format
  3. Tour
  4. Auto/Manual Controls
  5. Still Features
  6. Handling and Use
  7. Audio/Playback/Connectivity
  8. Other Features
  9. Comparisons/Conclusion
  10. Specs/Ratings
Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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Our editors review and recommend products to help you buy the stuff you need. If you make a purchase by clicking one of our links, we may earn a small share of the revenue. Our picks and opinions are independent from any business incentives.
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