Canon DC220 Camcorder Review
Audio / Playback / Connectivity
Let’s just start off with the catch or catches. The DC220 does not feature a microphone jack, headphone jack, or accessory shoe—hot or cold. Therefore, you’re stuck with the onboard built-in stereo microphone, which is nothing special. The DC220’s recorded audio is accompanied by a flourish of background noise. It records every mechanical click, buzz, or zoom is picked up, especially the whirring DVD hatch. Audio levels are not available, and your only sound control is a wind screen, which amounts to nothing. It’s almost impossible to tell which audio was recorded with the windscreen on and with the windscreen off. This spells low-end consumer in every which way.
Playback can be engaged by shifting the mode switch down once to bring up a screen filled with icons. The icons represent recorded video clips and up to six icons can be displayed at a time. Using the joystick, you can scroll through clips and select them by pressing the center. When a clip is selected, you can press the center of the joystick again to cue a small submenu consisting of volume control and next/last clip toggle. A horizontal strip of flattened buttons runs along the bottoms of the LCD panel containing the rewind, fast forward, play/pause, and stop controls. Unfortunately, these controls are not available when viewing clips through the viewfinder because the LCD must remain closed. Audio is not available either, and the DC220’s lack of a headphone jack ensures that. Regardless, the viewfinder is so minute that it would only make sense to view your video clips through its.27" display to save battery power.
|Clips appear as thumbnails on the playback screen.||Playback menu|
Usually, video and still image playback are almost identical, but things are a bit different on the DC220. Shifting the mode switch once brings up a full image with an elaborate histogram and information including image size, digital effect used, white balance used, aperture, shutter speed, exposure, quality setting, date, and time. Wow. You don’t get this level of treatment from most camcorders. Pressing the display button once makes the histogram disappear and pressing it once more clears the screen entirely. By pressing the center of the joystick, a small submenu pops up, allowing you to scroll through each picture and jump to the next 10 or 100 pictures if you’re an amateur Ansel Adams. The playback function menu is drastically different as well. Here you have the option to convert to scene, copy from disc to MiniSD card, view images in a slideshow, protect an image, print, or transfer. The administrative menu provides the options to erase all images or copy all to a MiniSD card in the still image operations screen. You can also configure disc operations, display setup, system setup, and date and time setup.
*The DC220 is highly minimalistic, so don’t expect to see a cluster of ports and terminals. With no headphone or mic jack, the DC220 offers only a USB terminal embedded in the LCD cavity and an A/V out jack located beneath the MiniSD card slot found underneath a stealthy silver plastic port cover. The cover is relatively sturdy, but it’s held on by those infamous thin plastic strips that will snap under a medium amount of applied tension. Aside from the awkwardly placed DC input jack on the bottom right of the DC220 that just about sums up your connectivity options here. Don’t be surprised, though—this is exactly the case with the DC50.
Get Our Newsletter
Real advice from real experts. Sign up for our newsletter
Thanks for signing up!