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Canon Legria FS22
Its 56 x 122 x 58 mm size makes it small and the total weight of 230g keeps it light enough to carry along wherever you go.
It uses a 32 GB internal hard drive for storage with an option for additional memory through its memory card slot. Considering that this camcorder records only in standard definition, the internal memory gives you around 7 hours of record time in XP mode (9Mbps), which is the highest quality and close to 21 hours in LP mode (3Mbps).
The 2.7-inch LCD display is quite good, and just like most other camcorders, it does make the video look a lot better than it actually may appear on your PC or TV. But as most manufacturers are moving towards touchscreen displays, Canon decides to keep this one old-school with its handy joystick and soft touch button controls.
The optics on the FS22 support 37x Optical Zoom, but you can up that to 45x in 16:9 mode and 46x in 4:3. The zoom definitely seems more than satisfactory but the problem is that the electronic image stabilization built into the FS22 is not strong enough to handle it. Unless you have nerves of steel (or a good old tripod), you'd be better off shooting at wider angles.
With a tiny 1/6-inch CCD Image sensor (1.07 megapixel sensor resolution), you only get a standard definition video output. The MPEG-2 video did show a bit of interlacing, but not to the extent where it was evident immediately.
A lot of camcorders these days, especially in the consumer segment come without a mic and headphone jack, which to me is a ridiculous idea. Considering how widely camcorders are being used these days for video-casting, not having an external mic can make the audio extremely muddled. Luckily you don't have to worry about that on the FS22, as it has both mic as well as a headphone jack that's easily accessible.
That said, the in-built mic is capable of capturing stereo sound, but it also captured ambient sounds a bit too easily as well. So if you're shooting someone talking, either that person shouldn't be too far or should be really, really loud.
Though the manual mode may seem a bit limited, I personally liked the fact that it was very easy to access, even in the middle of recording. Thanks to the great LCD, manual focus was also very easily doable on the FS22.
Overall, the picture quality of the FS22 was just as good as one can expect from a camcorder of this range, but it did have a tendency to under-expose indoors,even when the room was brightly lit. The noise in the higher ISO settings didn't help either. That, and its auto white balance leaned more towards the warm side, which gave a yellowy tinge to everything I shot. The latter can however, be easily corrected by manual white balance.
The biggest draw of the FS22 is its compact size and ergonomics, but besides that it's pretty much a standard camcorder. With a considerably high price point of Rs. 34,500, there are a lot more camcorders out there that can give you a bigger bang for your buck in features and even in performance. What they wont give you is the FS22's compact size.