Canon Vixia HF M30
Manufacturer: Canon Part number: 4355B001
- More product information:
- Editors' review
- User reviews
- Product series
- Manufacturer info
- Bottom Line:
- At its best, the Canon Vixia HF M3x series--composed of the M300, M30, M31, and M32--delivers a very good blend of video quality, features, and performance for the money, but some people may find the touch-screen interface extremely frustrating to use and the battery life painfully short. Plus, you really need to bump up to the highest bit rate quality. Of the series, the HF M300 is the best deal.
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as of 07/12/2014
CNET editors' review
price range: $875.00
- Reviewed by: Lori Grunin
- Reviewed on: 08/04/2010
- Released on: 03/25/2010
The good: Very good video at highest quality setting; nice lens performance.
The bad: Poorly designed touch-screen menu system; short battery life; defaults to low-quality video mode.
The bottom line: At its best, the Canon Vixia HF M3x series--composed of the M300, M30, M31, and M32--delivers a very good blend of video quality, features, and performance for the money, but some people may find the touch-screen interface extremely frustrating to use and the battery life painfully short. Plus, you really need to bump up to the highest bit rate quality. Of the series, the HF M300 is the best deal.
Love this camcorder!!
by N0Namer on April 6, 2010
Pros: Great sound quality, video && image quality, low light conditions not grainy.
Cons: Expensive, short battery life.
Summary: I love this camcorder! For so long I've been trying to find one that was great in low light, had a mic jack, had great sound quality, etc. I ...
Summary: I love this camcorder! For so long I've been trying to find one that was great in low light, had a mic jack, had great sound quality, etc. I never expected the sound quality to be so good just by itself!
I am into music, so when I record I want it to be accurate and sound realistic. When I recorded and playbacked my music, everything sounded exactly how I heard it in real life.
The touchscreen is easy to use and there are a lot of features and color options. When recording in low light, I found it the best to use an option "Shade". It makes everything look very clear... more than the automatic setting. I also noticed that there's barely any grain when recording in low light. I recently bought 2 other camcorders but returned them because they were awfully grainy (one from Kodak and another from Panasonic).
The only thing that I don't like is the battery life. I wish they could've made it longer... around 3 1/2 to 4 hours at least. Instead it lasts around 2 hours.
Also, the camcorder was expensive but worth it in the end. I wanted something cheaper, but this is an upgraded version of the HF20. I am mostly using this camcorder for youtube recording, movies, etc. So i'm happy that this is HD and the quality is excellent. The low light & sound quality is one of the top reasons I chose to keep this. Hope this helped!
3 out of 3 users found this user opinion helpful.
A little expensive, but well worth it.
by Shamu2 on June 10, 2010
Pros: Great image quality, unbeatable image stabilization, comfortable feel, very small and light weight, solid construction, enough bells and whistles to keep me happy.
Cons: Touch screen is not sensitive enough and the touch screen menu is hard to see when you're trying to navigate through it due to your finger getting in the way. The battery life could be a bit longer.
Summary: My wife and I did a lot of research before we purchased this camcorder, and I?m glad we did. Sure there are some cheaper camcorders out there, but the ...
Summary: My wife and I did a lot of research before we purchased this camcorder, and I?m glad we did. Sure there are some cheaper camcorders out there, but the cost is well worth the quality in my opinion. Here?s a little expansion on the pros and cons. . .
The Pros. . .
It goes without saying that Canon provides great image quality. The picture on both the video and the still shots are clear, crisp and accurate.
The stabilization quality is one of the features that won me over on this camcorder. I was amazed to see how stable the picture was even when I had it zoomed all the way in to 300X, (with the ?Powered IS? engaged).
It is comfortable to hold, and quite light. The design is sleek and nothing feels cheap. Unlike other camcorders we researched, the LCD on the HFM30 flips out and around without feeling flimsy at all.
This camera offers the user the ability to manually fine-tune anything just the way they want it. It also offers a feature called ?Dual Shot? where the camera takes care of all the settings automatically. This is nice for those times when you don?t need the settings just so. The video quality in Dual Shot mode is actually quite good.
There are plenty of options and features to keep me happy without drowning me with too many useless content. I mainly use this camcorder for home video use and limited unprofessional video production, so I don?t need every bell and whistle there is to offer. This camcorder provides a good balance.
I also like the fact that this camcorder has 8 gigs of internal storage. This doesn?t offer a lot of recording time, especially if you record in the highest quality (about 45 minutes). But if you don?t mind transferring the recorded material to your computer ever so often and erasing it from the camcorder, 8 gigs works out pretty well.
The Cons. . .
My biggest complaint about this camcorder is that the touch screen is not very sensitive. It doesn?t respond well at all to my finger when I try to ?flip? the menu choices etc. I find that I have to use my fingernail in order to make it work. It works fine for my wife who has skinnier fingers than me. So maybe my fingers are just too fat to work well with this camcorder.
The other thing about the LCD display that I?m not a fan of is the fact that your finger inevitably gets in the way when you?re trying to navigate through the flip menu, which makes it hard to see what menu choice is currently highlighted. Again, maybe I just have fat fingers.
Because of its sleek design, the battery is a bit small, resulting in a short-ish life. At a full charge, I can squeeze about 100 minutes of life out of it. This isn?t continual recording, or playback time. It?s a mix of recording, playback, and messing around with the menus and features. The manual says that it will give you about 65 minutes of continual recording time, and about 2 hours 40 minutes of playback time. I haven?t put that to the test. I purchased a second battery as it?s always a good idea to have one that?s charged and ready to go. Which leads me to another con. . .
The only way you can charge the battery is if it?s connected to the camcorder. Most camcorders are also like this. If you do end up buying another battery, make sure to purchase a battery charger so you can have one charging while you use the other one in the camcorder.
One last con I found is that it can run a little warm to borderline hot on your hand if you tinker around with the features too long. It runs cool enough when it?s just recording or playing back recorded material. So if you like to tinker like I do, limit the time you spend doing it.
One thing that everybody seems to run into with any HD camcorder is transferring video to their computer and being able to play that material back. This is not so much a con of the camcorder as it is of the computer. I too have run into this problem. The good news for me is that I own a PlayStation 3 which accepts the HD content seamlessly. So I just hook the camcorder to the PS3 via the included USB cable, transfer the material onto the PS3's hard drive and it?s instantly ready for playback in beautiful HD. So my suggestion for you is either get a PS3, upgrade your computer, or buy a program that you can install on your computer that will recognize and accept the HD content. This is probably the cheapest way to go. They include a bare-bones video conversion/editing version with the camcorder. It?s not great.
All and all, I really like this camcorder. Enough to write this long of a review about it! Even though I listed more cons than pros, the pros very much outweigh the cons in my opinion. I don't have time to write down every single thing I like about this camcorder. But I did have time to write about every single thing I did NOT like. Hope this helps.
2 out of 2 users found this user opinion helpful.
The miniature Vixia HV40
by d_x2 on August 19, 2011
Pros: Awesome video and sound quality!
Cons: Stupid touch screen... can get grainy when filming in low lit settings
Wonderful Features for Price!
by mikeyg36 on June 5, 2011
Easy computer connection (Mac)
Low memory for price
Summary: This is a wonderful camcorder for its price class. It includes high end features that Sony camcorders could only dream of, yet it has a simplistic "auto mode" for novice ...
Summary: This is a wonderful camcorder for its price class. It includes high end features that Sony camcorders could only dream of, yet it has a simplistic "auto mode" for novice shooters. The quality is amazing for its Class and the pictures are very good. The touchscreen swivels and rotates completely around for filming yourself. The design is compact and stylish with excellent button placement. It records in AVCHD which is an excellent HD video file to work with. It plays very well with a Mac, with iMovie and Final Cut. It also can download files directly to a PS3. It includes all necessary cables (component & composite) but the HDMI cable must be purchased separately. The touchscreen has a large learning curve and can be frustrating at times, but if you take it slow and make each press and swipe deliberate, it will work fine. The camera includes 8 GB of storage, expandable with an SD card. This is a little low for its price, but the features make up for it. The battery life is abysmal, although recording at the 17mbs setting leaves the battery life on par with the storage. So battery isn't an issue as you'll run out of recording space at the same time. If you can get over the screen, it is an excellent pro-sumer camcorder with professional options and features.
Awesome HD video quality
by ericvillarreal569 on February 19, 2011
Pros: Very good quality, durable construction and many manual settings.
Cons: HD video is diffucult to handle once in your computer, not much support from Canon and menu layout could be simplified.
Summary: Video quality is VERY sharp and colors are VERY vibrant and true especially outdoors. The operational buttons layout are convinient to operate with a single hand. Solid mechanical construction makes ...
Summary: Video quality is VERY sharp and colors are VERY vibrant and true especially outdoors. The operational buttons layout are convinient to operate with a single hand. Solid mechanical construction makes it seem durable since nothing is flimsy. The black colors, finishes and size make it look great. Great features like taking pics while recording film.
I wish the widest angle would be wider so you could self record or an near object while capturing a larger background. The HD format the it produces is difficult to edit, due to its large size, on all but the best computer processors. The menu configuration for settings can be difficult. So much that I have, towards the beginning, not been able to change between video and photo or reviewing photos.
No Canon support on this camera!
by cramert on January 26, 2011
Pros: Picture was nice, Camera was only a month old, hardly used when lense cover stopped working .
Cons: Lense cover stopped working. Sent it back to Canon for repair and they said wanted to charge $261.00 to repair. Canon should let people know that their camera shouldn't be used in windy place, lakes, or ocean beaches.
Summary: Have always used Canon products but do not feel the product is reliable or that Canon is standing behind their product. Wish I'd had more time to become familiar ...
Summary: Have always used Canon products but do not feel the product is reliable or that Canon is standing behind their product. Wish I'd had more time to become familiar with the product before it broke.
by duncanwood on January 4, 2011
Pros: This is my first mid-level camera, and I'm in love with it. Decent zoom with incredible optical stabilization, good audio quality, and amazing resolution. The video is very clear. Whoever said the menu system is confusing is misguided.
Cons: I use Final Cut Pro for importing. It does log and capture well, but you do have to have the camera plugged into a charger for it to work. It's only slightly troublesome.
Summary: Overall, it's great. I don't see any reason you could put this camera down. True, it's no professional camcorder, but for intermediate projects it's more than ...
Summary: Overall, it's great. I don't see any reason you could put this camera down. True, it's no professional camcorder, but for intermediate projects it's more than acceptable.
by maytrix0 on December 19, 2010
Pros: Affordable underwater housing
Improved zoom level over prior models
Cons: None that I have found
Summary: I upgraded to the M30 from an HF100 for a few reasons. One was primarily due to an issue with my zoom on the HF100 and the choice that made ...
Summary: I upgraded to the M30 from an HF100 for a few reasons. One was primarily due to an issue with my zoom on the HF100 and the choice that made it easy was that I wanted an underwater housing and upgrading and getting Canon's housing was really cheaper then getting housing for the HF100.
The camera works great both in and out of the water. Quality is excellent and it's easy to transfer video and photos to a computer.
I'd highly recommend this or any others in Canon's line as they all provide great quality.
Not what I thought!
by ms121212 on May 15, 2010
Pros: I like the compact size of this camera.
Cons: Bad picture quality. Poor quality even at high speeds (17Mbps). Worse than my old Sony miniDV.
Very grainy in low light (in a well lit auditorium).
Battery runs out very fast. Said 7 min remaining battery. In about 1 min, it said 2 min remaining.
Summary: I'm returning camcorder. I don't know what I will buy now, but I definitely think I would find something better. My old sony minidv is good till I ...
Summary: I'm returning camcorder. I don't know what I will buy now, but I definitely think I would find something better. My old sony minidv is good till I find a better HD camcorder.
The Canon M300 and siblings are a BIG disappointment.
by Johnny Mac 7 on August 9, 2010
Pros: Nothing at all.
Cons: Look, design, touch screen menu, battery life etc.
Summary: I needed to buy another camcorder. I have a Canon HF20 which I like very much. I wanted to stay with Canon because I wasn't into learning another brand ...
Summary: I needed to buy another camcorder. I have a Canon HF20 which I like very much. I wanted to stay with Canon because I wasn't into learning another brand of camcorder's operating system and the performance of the HF20, once I learned how to use it, has been top notch. I checked out the Canon M300 series expecting improvements over last years models. I couldn't believe what I found. First the look of the M300 series. In comparison to the HF20 they are ugly. The ugliness is in the rear of the camcorder, the layout and the battery. The HF20 is an elegant, classy, beautiful to look at machine. The battery integrates beautifully in it and the high gloss black speaks of quality. Not so with the M30 or 31. What were the designers thinking? My first camcorder was a Sony Hi8, my second was a Canon Elura 100 Mini DV. I liked them both so when I was ready for a HD camcorder I considered both brands. It was the touch screen interface that drove me away from Sony. I really like the system on the HF20
and expected that the new Canon models would have an improved version of it. NOT. What a huge let-down. So I started looking for a HF200 or another HF20 left over from last year. I was getting discouraged because all I found was a HF200 that they wanted over $800 for. Then the heavens opened and I found an HF21, the top of the HF line, for $600. I jumped on it right away. It's is an improvement over the HF20 and I couldn't be happier. I may have purchased an M30 or M31 if I couldn't find what I wanted, but I would have been very disappointed. Lori's review tells the truth but I think a 3 star rating is very generous.
1 out of 4 users found this user opinion helpful.
- Manufacturer: Canon
- Part number: 4355B001
- Description: The Canon VIXIA HF M30 dual flash memory camcorder features an 8GB internal flash drive and an SD memory card slot in an ultra-sleek, compact and lightweight body - it's a brilliant blend of capability and convenience. Canon's advanced imaging technologies, including a genuine Canon 15x HD video lens and 3.89-megapixel Full HD CMOS image sensor, help to deliver high definition video and 3.3-megapixel photos with incredible detail and lifelike color. Sophisticated features such as smart auto "reads" the visual components of the scene you're shooting and choose the best settings. Touch and track allows you to achieve sharp focus and precise exposure for any subject, simply by touching the 2.7" touch panel LCD. And to complete the entertainment picture, 5.1-channel surround sound ensures your audio is every bit as impressive as your video.
- Packaged Quantity 1
- Product Type Camcorder - 1080p
- Camcorder Sensor Resolution 3.89 megapixels
- Effective Video Resolution 2.99 megapixels
- Digital Zoom 300 x
- Effective Photo Resolution 3.31 megapixels
- Total Pixels 3.89 megapixels
- Camcorder Media Type Flash card
- Optical Sensor Size 1/4"
- Optical Sensor Type CMOS
- Min Illumination 0.4 lux
- Analog video format NTSC
- Digital Video Format MPEG-4,
- Image Stabilizer Optical (SuperRange)
- Image Processor DIGIC DV III
- Max Shutter Speed 1/2000 sec
- Shooting modes Digital photo mode
- Shooting Programs Snow,
- White Balance Automatic,
- White Balance Presets Cloudy,
Fluorescent light (warm white),
Fluorescent light (cool white),
- Exposure Modes Program,
- Camera Flash Built-in flash
- Image Recording Format JPEG
- Widescreen Video Capture Yes
- AV Interfaces HDMI,
- Type 15 x x Zoom lens - 4.1 mm - 61.5 mm - F/1.8-3.2
- Lens aperture F/1.8-3.2
- Features Built-in lens shield
- Optical Zoom 15 x
- Lens system type Zoom lens
- Min focal length 4.1 mm
- Max focal length 61.5 mm
- Auto Focus TTL
- Filter Size 37 mm
- Focal Length Equivalent to 35mm Camera 39.5 - 592.5 mm
- Focus Adjustment Automatic
- Min Focus Range 0.4 in
- Zoom Adjustment Motorized drive
- Low Lux / Night Mode Yes
- Additional Features 24p Cinema Mode,
Accessories hot shoe ,
RGB primary color filter,
Dolby Digital AC-3 (2 channel) recording,
Takes photos while movie recording,
USB 2.0 compatibility,
- Remote control Remote control - Infrared
- Software Pixela ImageMixer 3SE,
Drivers & Utilities
- Included Accessories Component video cable,
IR remote control,
Audio / video cable
- Type 2.7 in LCD display
- Connector Type 1 x Component video output,
1 x Composite video/audio output,
1 x HDMI,
1 x Microphone,
1 x USB,
1 x Headphones
Memory / Storage
- Media type Flash card
- Memory Card Slot SD card
- Supported Memory Cards SD Memory Card
- Internal Storage 8 GB Flash
- Included Memory Card 8 GB
System Requirements for PC Connection
- Peripheral Devices USB port,
- Supported Battery Canon BP-808
- Supported Battery 1 x Canon BP-808 Li-ion rechargeable battery ( Included )
- Audio input type Microphone
- Microphone type Built-in
- Microphone Operation Mode Stereo
- Service & Support 1 year warranty
- Battery type - Lithium ion
Viewfinder / Display
- Display Features Rotating
- Resolution 211,000 pixels
- Width 2.7 in
- Depth 4.8 in
- Height 2.4 in
- Weight 11.3 oz
15 x x Zoom lens - 4.1 mm - 61.5 mm - F/1.8-3.2,
Canon VIXIA HF M30 - Camcorder - Flash card,
15 x x Zoom lens - 4.1 mm - 61.5 mm - F/1.8-3.2,
Canon VIXIA HF M31 - Camcorder - Flash card,
- Sony SPK HCG - marine case for camcorder (34580847)208.98
- Sony SPK HCH - marine case for camcorder (35266605)299.00 - 299.99
- Porta-Brace Rain Slicker RS-55 - rain jacket for camcorder (31059775)239.84 - 242.17
- Canon HC 4100 - hard case for camcorder (30584700)239.95 - 256.30
- JVC KA-551U tripod adapter (32090695)295.00
- KATA PRO Video Collection CCC-1A - case for camcorder (34931653)299.00
- Panasonic AG-HT30G - hard case for camcorder (30964047)270.34
- Panasonic AG-YUC150 - hard case for camcorder (33617594)202.50
- Porta-Brace Cargo Case CAR-3 - case for camcorder (32042445)207.45
- Sony LC-ZA1TH Hard Thermodyne Transit Case - hard case for camcorder (32464209)209.00 - 214.95