Canon Vixia HF S11 Review: Is This Camcorder Right for You?

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Canon Vixia HF S11 Review (4 out of 5)

Canon Vixia HF S11

There’s a Hollywood cliché that says “I can do the same you do; but I make it look good”. Well the cliché holds true for a very few performers in the world of competition, but the Canon Vixia HF S11, introduced early in 2009, can boast of being quite adept. It’s a mid-ranged camcorder; not as technically deep as the Vixia HF 20 or HF 200; but it is a class act on its own. Very consumer- friendly, and an easy to handle model from the Vixia range; the HF S11, S10 and S100 are more of a family camcorder than professional tool.

Overview and Specifications (4 out of 5)

The Mechanical Details

The technical view on this camera says that it’s not exactly the best in its class or price range; but as I said, this is not a professional camera either. If you feel that the 4 star rating would mean bad picture quality and low video resolution; you couldn’t have misinterpreted it further.

The Basics

To start with the basics, the Canon Vixia HF S11 has a 12 megapixel CMOS sensor and a 10x f/1.8-3.0, 43.5-435mm (4:3) lens. This may not be exactly as high in figures as its competition from Sony or Panasonic in the same ranges, but it makes up with a few more features of its own. The Dynamic SuperRange OIS, for example, gives a far better output with on movement capture and video. It can also be manually boosted to gain 18 dB.

Higher Features

Though I don’t want to get too technical with this Canon Vixia HF S11 review; let’s just mention a few things I find exceptionally good about this camera. It has SMPTE color bars and fixed 70 to 100 IRE; giving it a few finer functions. The S11 also has the Advanced Snapshot mode that allows you to pull 4 second clips video playback as well as in capture mode. As you can see, this camera has some fine features; but has one major drawback. No EVF; you have to know what you’re doing with the camera because the machine won’t locate your shot for you.

Design (4 out of 5)

The Vixia HF S11 is a basic design; as such it’s travel-friendly in being lightweight and easy to master. You don’t need to be very tech savvy to use this machine. It has amazing handling with an easy grip because of two control wheels that makes its slightly bulkier dimensions easy to maneuver. The flash is a pop-up one, protecting it from constant exposure, while the USB and Mini-HDMI ensures easy access to internal memory. The Canon Vixia HF S11 doesn’t have a touchscreen, so you’ll comfortably find all the buttons on the body itself; better yet, these buttons can be reset for what you need. I feel anyone can handle this camcorder; its size makes it comfortable to use and tough to boot.

Performance (5 out of 5)

I would review the Canon Vixia HF S11 as great in its performance as it does hold some unique advantages over its general competition. While the 64 Mb storage gives you more memories to capture; the 24 Mbps bit rate resolution is far superior to the usual camcorders in its class. It’s not a feather weight camera, but the tiny gadget does ensure you better sound due to its larger microphones and additional accessories shoe on top; so enhancements and attachments are easy. The plastic lens cover does rattle some; but it’s not much to bear with considering that the built-in lens cover is more protective than the box ones usually available. Overall; the functional viability of this camcorder is excellent.

Price to Value (4 out of 5)

The price of the Canon Vixia HF S11 may not fit into everyone’s budget, costing $1399.99. The competition is priced lower, thus placing it on the higher end of the range. But then more than a year in the market now, you can get some fine deals off many electronic dealers. Canon could have notched the price down a wee bit; even in considering the quality and amazing functionality of this model.