Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Canon M400, M40 & M41 - a trio of camcorders at bargain prices

I'm usually wary of Black Friday sales, as I get enticed into buying something that's old or discontinued, and that I don't really need.

That said, several online retailers are offering Canon's M400, M40 and M41 camcorders at substantial discounts through November 26th. These camcorders were released just this year, and have received pretty positive reviews. Features include:

  • 2 x SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card Slots
  • 2.37MP 1/3" CMOS Sensor
  • 10x HD Video Lens
  • Dynamic SuperRange Optical IS
  • Canon DIGIC DV III Image Processor
  • Microphone and Headphone Connections

The M4x range is Canon's mid-level consumer camcorders, but with the $250 rebate, the M40 now costs as much as Canon R21, which is in their budget line!

Differentiating between them? The VIXIA HF M400 [$329] is the base model. It has only the dual SD SD/SDHC/SDXC slots for recording. The VIXIA HF M40 [$349] adds 16GB of internal memory, and built in HD-to-SD down conversion. The VIXIA HF M41 [$399.95] has 32GB of internal memory, and adds a color viewfinder.

Which to get? I'd probably choose either the M400 if you're looking to save the most money, or the M41 if you will be shooting outside and like to use a viewfinder. 16GB cards are going for about $20, so the M40 isn't a bad choice; though if 16GB isn't enough space for your regular shooting, then it may be better to just buy a 32GB SDHC card, which are currently selling for $40.

According to several sources, these cameras share the same sensor as the HF G10 [$1,499] and the XF100 [$3,795], and while they don't have the same inputs, features and image processing, they'd make excellent B or C cameras to work with those camcorders.

  • Canon HF M41 vs HF-s100 vs 7D | Bob Nagy | Vimeo
    Compares video shot with the HF M41 to the HF-S100 (previous generation) and the Canon 7D.

  • Vixia HF M40 | Kaitlyn Chantry | Camcorderinfo
    It turns out that Canon’s gamble to put all new sensors into the 2011 consumer lineup has really paid off. The flagship HF G10 put up impressive numbers in low light performance—without much of a penalty to sharpness. For just [], you can get virtually the same stellar performance in the Canon Vixia HF M40.

  • Canon VIXIA HF M400 | Lori Grunin | C|Net
    A fine follow-up to last year's M3xx series, the Canon Vixia M4xx series should please most home-movie-oriented videographers despite its relatively high price. If you don't need the EVF, the M400 is your best buy, but if you'll be shooting a lot in sunlight, it's worth it to step up to the M41.

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