Canon ZR950 1.07MP MiniDV Camcorder

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Added on 08/21/2008
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6 Reviews

stephend
02/24/2009

Canon ZR950 1.07MP MiniDV Camcorder 4

This is my first camcorder, so I cannot really compare to anything else that I' ve owned.
I did try a JVC minidv,but was not overly impressed and went with this one over the Sony DCR-HC62 and JVC GR-D870. The JVC I tested was the GR-DA30 which according to JVC ha sthe same sensor as th GR-D870 which was highly rated.

The Sony was interesting due to the infrared low light feature however I will never know if it's any better in low light and am satisfied with the ZR950 although the night feature has some noise andyellow tint, but trying different settings and is getting better.

I honestly do not believe that either of teh camcorders are great in low light so not disappointed with my choice.

Of course this uses a DV (IEEE1394 or firewire) connection as do all miniDV camcorders and if you have a PC you could easily find this out by searching google or reading the specs on the respective sites for the camcorder you are interested in.

A lot of newer motherboards come with a firewire connection, but it's a 6 pin and the camera has a four pin so you need a 6 to four pin cable. My laptop (Compaq 8510w) comes with a four pin connection so I hve to buy a four pin to four pin connecton and will buy online. I already had a 6 to 4 pin cable I used on my desktop.

You can find a firewire card for your pc for under $20 and a cable for about $15 or less.
For those that think this is wrong then they may want to go back when PC's didn't have a USB port and had to buy a card with one to add to their PC.

I bought 60 min cassettes so the battery life prettymuch coincides with the tape length which I want to record. Also ordered more cassettes and an extra battery.

I am thouroughly satified with this purchase as it cost me $220 CAD at FutureShop in Canada.

At this cost; the features, and video quality are pretty much more than I expected from a first camcorder.

I just love the feel over the Sony and should be a deciding factor. I've two Canon cameras and pretty much had good luck with them, so this also helped my decision.

I have Vista on my PCs and was easy to dowload the captured video, but not an expert and took the same amount of time to download as it did to shoot the video. I did not need any special software as it used Vista software (Vista Ultimate).

I also tried Corel Video Studio V2 pro but didn't understand how it worked so no comment.
Well, I'll just say taht you need a video editing software if you want to clean up attach and burn DVDs. I played around with Nero Vision which I also have but once again I can't really comment .

Conclusion is that if you want decent video quality at an inexpensive cost then this camcorder will suit your requirements.

If you want pro quality go for the big buck ones. Note atht after looking at three minidv's I can only say that the recording mechanisms pretty much all look the same so the differeneces in these camcorders would be the sensor and processors.

Good luck in your choice.

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hussoohs2
07/29/2008

Canon ZR950 1.07MP MiniDV Camcorder 5

Film making is not just a hobby of mine. I plan on doing it as a profession so i needed a good low budget camcorder. This is just it. It has 1CCD and 1+megapixel. Also The camera has an amazing 48x advanced zoom that does NOT deteriate the quality at all. Another thing is that the camera is loaded with amazing effects, white balances, and features. Next it has a color view finder, and a nice big lcd screen. It is a very small camera and very light. It has a dv(firewire) output and usb output. Also the picture comes out great on tv, even on a 60 inch full HD tv. Finally the LCD screen converts into a bright white light to use as a small flash. Its not very effective in large areas but it does come handy.
Now a con would be that the camera does not operate to great with auto exposure in low light but then again very few cameras in the world do good in low light. A good thing is it has an accesory shoe to add a flash on the top. One thing i didnt like was that the view finder was non retractable. But thats okay i barely ever use it.
NOW THIS IS TO ANSWER TO ALL THOSE "IDIOTS" THAT GET ANGRY WHEN THE VIDEO WONT TRANSFER WITH A USB CABLE.. HELLO!! ALMOST NO MINI DV CAMCORDER TRANSFERS VIDEOS WITHOUGHT A FIREWIRE CABLE...GET OVER IT!!!!!!!!!

Okay back to buisness... This camera is overall a great buy! It is inexpensive and works great.

In the sunlight the video looks like full 1080i imagery. Its great.

Bad thing... Picture quality not so great but then again thats not what you should buy a camcorder for.

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bonzoboy
07/24/2008

Canon ZR950 1.07MP MiniDV Camcorder 5

I purchased this a couple of weeks ago after reviewing just about every comment on the mini DV cameras. I picked mini DV because I expected a lot of learning and cost reduction to follow on the newer hard disk drives (and I didn't want to spend $600).

I used the camera on vacation (in Oregon and Indiana). Frankly, it was pleasantly easy to use, and very easy to integrate/transfer over to my iMac (I selected this camera partly because it has a firewire).

It's sound is great, it's zoom is amazing. I have no regrets over the purchase. I did need some help connecting it, and called their 800 number, and they were equally helpful (also a pleasant surprise).

I realize the markets are constantly changing in terms of technology. But for this camera, it will last me for years (assuming it lasts for years). But it's really nice, and I've already made several DVD's with it. Now I'd like to upgrade my Mac.....

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cameraenthusia st
06/04/2008

Canon ZR950 1.07MP MiniDV Camcorder 5

I love this camera and and hooke don Canon products. It's very easy to use, and the clarity of the footage is just incredible. For the price, it cannot be beat, in my opinion.

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racermom
06/04/2008

Canon ZR950 1.07MP MiniDV Camcorder 4

Our family ordered the Canon ZR950 to record our son's stock car races. This is a true test of a camera (and operator), as you are recording varying conditions and light levels. The Canon is preforming beautifully! The images, whether bright sunlight or under the lights at night, are crisp and clear. The zoom is a breeze to use and the microphone captures all of the action we need to hear (and some we don't!) Since we've only had the camera a few weeks we have not been able to delve into all of the options the camera has to offer, but so far we love it! We would definitely recommend that anyone looking for a low to mid-level priced camera give this one a try.

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KelbyTroutman
05/31/2008

Canon ZR950 1.07MP MiniDV Camcorder 2

If you are a PC owner be very careful before purchasing this product. Canon wants you to think this is an easy product to synch to your computer, when in fact it is anything but. For instance, it comes with a firewire and USB connection making one think that if you don't have a firewire connection you'll be all set when it comes to transfering videos through the USB connection. This is not the case. The USB connection is only for transfering images. Fine, so pretend for a sec that you do have a firewire connection (which more often than not, is not the case for PC users), once you install the software you think you'll be downloading videos in no time. Well, you would be wrong again. The camera does not come with video editing software despite the fact that Canon labels the CD that comes with the camera as "DIGITAL VIDEO SOLUTION DISK" when all it does is EDIT PHOTOGRAPHS!!! You have to wonder who thought it would be a good idea to label softare that only downloads images as a video solution disk. Probably not the sharpest knife in the drawer over at Canon...

Anyway, that's my too cents. As a video camera it seems ok so far, but it really falls short for PC users who want to purchase a camera that is easy and quick to synch up with their PC. I hope someone finds this useful and avoids making the same mistake I did which was to trust the kid at BestBuy who assured me this synched up easily.

PS. I apologize for the use of all caps, but really thought it appropriate in this case.

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4.17
average based on 6 ratings