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Canon ZR200

Mini DV digital camcorder

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  • Canon ZR200

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  • Canon ZR200

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  • Canon ZR200

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  • Canon ZR200

    With golf ball (for scale)

Item #: 280ZR200
 

Review Summary

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Our take on the Canon ZR200

by Melanie Seibert
Canon

This little camcorder is big on versatility. Canon packed the ZR200 full of cool features: not only does it shoot smooth, vibrant Mini DV video, but it can also capture digital photos and e-mail-friendly video clips to a separate SD (Secure Digital®) card!

This cam's automatic settings make it easy to film great-looking footage. Want more control of your shooting? You can manually adjust the focus, exposure, shutter speed, and white balance settings. Use the 20X optical zoom to get closer to your subject; even those long telephoto shots will look nice and smooth thanks to Image Stabilizer. And when it gets dark, keep right on filming: Night mode slows down the shutter speed to film your subject in full color. If you've got a widescreen TV, you'll like the ZR200's widescreen mode; instead of stretching the image, it gives you a true 16:9 picture.

When you shoot digital photos or video clips, they're saved to separate SD™ or MultiMediaCard® media. The supplied USB cable allows you to send the pictures and video clips to your computer — attach them to e-mail, post them online, or, if they're photos, print them!

Canon's DIGIC DV processor ensures that both Mini DV video and digital photos look great — it optimizes video for TV viewing, and photos for printing or PC viewing. And speaking of printing, the ZR200 also lets you print directly to a PictBridge-compatible printer — no computer required!

See more info on this item

Highlights:

  • 680,000-pixel CCD
  • digital photo mode
  • photo resolution options: 1024 x 768 (interpolated); 640 x 480
  • Motion JPEG (M-JPEG) movie mode
  • SD Card slot for use with separate MultiMediaCard or SD (Secure Digital) memory cards — card not included
  • 2-3/8" color viewscreen
  • color viewfinder
  • PCM stereo digital audio (12-bit or 16-bit)
  • variable-speed 20X optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 400X)
  • DIGIC DV processor for true-to-life color reproduction
  • Image Stabilizer
  • auto and manual focus
  • shutter speeds: 1/60 – 1/2,000
  • 16:9 widescreen mode
  • 6 Auto Exposure modes, including Night mode
  • digital effects and scene transitions
  • IEEE 1394 digital A/V jack
  • Exif Print (2.2) compatibility for digital photos
  • direct photo printing with PictBridge-compatible printers
  • A/V input/output
  • USB (2.0) interface
  • Mini DV video streaming to PC via IEEE 1394 (requires Windows® XP and a free download of Canon DV Messenger2 software)
  • 2-5/8"W x 3-11/16"H x 5-3/16"D
  • weight: 16.6 oz. with battery
  • warranty: 1 year (90 days video head)
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • A/V and USB cables
  • AC adapter/charger
  • rechargeable lithium ion battery (NB-2LH)
  • wireless remote
  • software CD-ROM (Windows and Mac®)

Hands-on research from the Crutchfield Labs (what are the Labs?)

Features and Specs
General
LCD Screen Size (inches)
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2.4
Viewfinder
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Color
Effective Pixel Count for Video
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340,000
Manual Focusing
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Yes
Optical Zoom
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20 x
Digital Zoom
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20 x
Night Imaging
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Night Mode
Image Stabilization
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Image Stabilizer
Built-in Lamp
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No
Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery
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135 minutes
Digital Still Camera Features
Effective Pixel Count for Stills
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---
Built-in Flash for Stills
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No
USB Port
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2.0 Full Speed
Mic Input
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No
Dimensions
Height (inches)
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3-11/16
Depth (inches)
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5-3/16
Warranty
Parts Warranty
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1 Yr/90 Dys video head
Labor Warranty
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1 Year
Product Research
What's in the box?

Download owner's manual

  • MiniDV camcorder with attached hand strap
  • Lens cap with attached string
  • NB-2LH Lithium-ion battery (7.4V/720mAh)
  • Battery terminal cover
  • CR2025 Lithium battery (3V)
  • CR1616 Lithium battery (3V)
  • Wireless remote control (WL-D85)
  • 47" IFC-300PCU USB cable (with USB type-A connector on one end and mini-B USB connector on the other end)
  • CA-570 AC adapter with attached 5.5' DC output cord (DC output=8.4V/1.5A)
  • 75" AC cord
  • 59" A/V patch cord (with 3.5mm mini plug on one end and 3 RCA plugs on the other end for composite video/stereo audio)
  • Canon Digital Video Solution Disc Ver.14.0 CD-ROM
  • Camcorder Instruction Manual (English/French/Spanish)
  • Digital Video Software Instruction Manual (English/French/Spanish)
  • Warranty/Product Registration card
  • Sheet concerning cleaning the video heads
  • Sheet recommending use of genuine Canon accessories
  • "Stop!" note concerning loading software before connecting USB cable

Our Product Research Team

At Crutchfield, you'll get detailed, accurate information that's hard to find elsewhere. That's because we have our own in-house Product Research team — they open the box, verify contents, check the owner's manual, and record dimensions, features and specs. We stay on top of new products and technologies to help people make informed choices.

Camcorder Features
Digital Still Camera Features
Software
Power Requirements
Warranty Note

Camcorder Features

DIGIC DV: DIGIC DV is Canon's exclusive image processor, which makes it possible to achieve accurate color for both video and digital photos. Since video and photos have different color requirements, DIGIC DV utilizes two different color techniques to maximize video quality on a TV, and still image quality for print or computer display.

2.4" Color LCD Viewscreen: The ZR200 is equipped with a 2.4" TFT color LCD viewscreen with approximately 112,000 pixels. When the LCD viewscreen is out, it can be rotated up to 270 degrees, allowing you to choose the best angle. You can also push the panel flat against the camcorder until it is flush with the side, with the screen facing outwards. For outdoor recording and playback, you can switch the brightness of the LCD screen between normal and bright for best visibility.

Color Viewfinder: The camcorder has a 0.33" TFT color viewfinder with approximately 113,000 pixels. The viewfinder turns on when the LCD monitor is in the closed position. A dioptric adjustment lever on the top of the viewfinder (when extended) allows you to adjust the focus to your eyesight.

Optics: The ZR200 is equipped with an f/1.6-3.2 Canon Video Lens with a 20x optical zoom and 11 elements in 8 groups. When recording in 4:3 mode, the 35mm equivalent is 53.5-1070mm. During 16:9 recording, the lens the 35mm equivalent is 44.2-884mm. When shooting still images, the 35mm equivalent is 46.9-938mm. It features a 28mm filter diameter.

Digital Zoom: The digital zoom can be switched between 4x and 20x. Combined with the optical zoom, the total zoom is equivalent to 80x and 400x.

Image Sensor: The ZR200 utilizes a 1/6-inch CCD with approximately 680,000 total pixels, 340,000 effective pixels for video and 450,000 for digital still images.

Image Stabilizer: A high quality image stabilization system corrects camera shake instantly, giving you smooth, stable pictures. It enables you to record shake-free images, even on long telephoto shots without a tripod.

High Resolution 16:9 Widescreen Mode: To match today's popular widescreen TVs, the ZR200 can record high-resolution video in 16:9 widescreen aspect ratio. Unlike camcorders which only record a vertically stretched picture, the ZR200 uses the full width of the CCD, filling the entire screen with crisp, high-quality images. The LCD screen conveniently shows the images in letterbox style to let you see how they will look on the TV.

Recording Mode: You can choose from the following recording modes: SP (standard play) or LP (long play), which extends tape usage by 1.5 times. You can't add sound (audio dubbing) or images (AV insert) to a tape that has been recorded in a mode other than SP mode. If you plan to use either of these functions later, record in SP mode.

Audio Recording: The camcorder can record sound on a tape in two audio modes: 16-bit and 12-bit. The 16-bit mode produces the higher sound quality (slightly superior to CD) while the 12-bit mode records on two channels (stereo 1), leaving 2 channels free (stereo 2) for you to add new sound at a later date.

IEEE 1394 DV Terminal: The ZR200 is equipped with a 4-pin DV IN/OUT terminal that conforms to IEEE 1394 standards. It takes just a single digital cable to transfer or copy your videos in pure digital form to your DV-compatible computer or another Canon DV camcorder.

USB Terminal: By using the USB cable and software provided, you can process and organize still images on your PC. The camcorder functions as a memory card reader/writer.

Self Timer: The self timer is useful when you want to include yourself in the picture when recording movies or still photographs. The camcorder starts to record after a 10-second countdown period. When using the supplied remote control, the self-timer has a 2-second countdown.

Backup: The internal backup battery allows the camcorder to remember the date and time and other settings when main power source is removed. The supplied CR1616 lithium button-type battery has a life of approximately 1 year.

"My Camera" Settings: The start-up image and sound, shutter sound, operation sound, and the self-timer sound can be customized with the My Camera function. You can select one of two choices for the start-up sound, shutter sound, operation sound, and the self-timer sound. The start-up image can be turned on or off.

Image Stabilizer: A high quality image stabilization system corrects camera shake instantly, giving you smooth, stable pictures. It enables you to record shake-free images, even on long telephoto shots without a tripod.

AE Shift: You can adjust the AE (auto exposure) function to lighten or darken the image to compensate for backlit or overexposed scenes. The AE Shift can be adjusted from -2 to +2 in intervals of 0.25EV (excluding -1.75 and +1.75).

Shutter Speed: You can set the shutter speed manually to take stable shots of quickly moving subjects. When recording video, you can select one of the following shutter speeds: 1/60, 1/100, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, or 1/2000, or set the Shutter Speed to Automatic. When taking still images, you can select from 1/60, 1/100, 1/250 or Auto.

Manual Focus: In some cases, the auto focus may not work well. In such cases, you can focus manually by turning the set dial up or down until the image is in focus.

Infinity Focus: For focusing on faraway subjects such as mountains or fireworks, you can activate the Infinity Focus mode.

White Balance: To accurately reproduce colors, you can use a preset white balance mode, such as Indoor or Outdoor, an automatic setting, or manually set the white balance.

Recording Programs: You can select from the following Recording Program options:

  • Easy Recording: the camcorder will automatically adjust focus, exposure and other settings, allowing you to simply point and shoot. No manual functions are available.
  • Program AE Modes:
    • Auto: same as the Easy Recording program, except that you now have the option of using any of the camcorder's manual functions
    • Sports: useful for recording high-speed sports scenes in brightly lit conditions
    • Portrait: use this program outdoors to make subjects stand out from a softened foreground and background
    • Spotlight: designed for recording spot lit scenes, such as on a stage
    • Sand & Snow: use this program in places where the background is so bright that the subject appears underexposed in the display
    • Low Light: use this mode to record in dimly lit places
  • Night Mode: You can engage the Night Mode, which allows you to record in dark places where lights cannot be used, without sacrificing color

Skin Detail: When shooting close-ups of people, the camcorder can automatically soften details to reduce the appearance of skin imperfections for a more complimentary appearance. The Skin Detail setting can be switched from Normal to Soft in all shooting modes except Easy.

Faders: You can select one of the following faders:

  • Fade Trigger: When you start recording, the scene gradually fades in from a black screen. When you stop recording, it gradually fades out.
  • Wipe: When you start recording, the picture begins as a thin vertical line in the center of the screen which gradually expands sideways until it fills the whole of the screen. When you end a scene, the image is wiped from both sides of the screen.
  • Corner Wipe: When you start recording, the image appears from the corners until it fills the whole screen. When you end a scene, the image is wiped off from the corners.
  • Jump: When you start recording, a small image appears from the left, jumps into the center and enlarges until it fills the whole screen. When you end a scene, the image shrinks, jumps from the center to the left and disappears.
  • Flip: When you start recording, the image flips into the screen. When you end a scene, the image flips out of the screen.
  • Puzzle: When you start recording, the image appears in 16 pieces and the pieces move around until the puzzle is solved. When you end a scene, the image divides into 16 pieces and the pieces move around and disappear.
  • Zigzag: When you start recording, the image appears in zigzag from the top of the screen. When you end a scene, black stripes appear in zigzag from the bottom of the screen until they cover the whole image.
  • Beam: When you start recording, the screen turns yellow, forms a beam and the full image appears. When you end a scene, a yellow beam appears in the middle of the screen and expands until it covers the whole image.
  • Tide: When you start recording, the image appears from both sides like tides. When you end a scene, the image disappears from both sides like tides.

Effects: You can select from the following effects:

  • Art: adds a paint-like effect, called solarization, to the image
  • Black and White: makes the image black and white
  • Sepia: makes a monochrome image with a brownish tint
  • Mosaic: blurs the image by enlarging the size of some pixels
  • Ball: image becomes a ball
  • Cube: image becomes a cube and rotates
  • Wave: both ends of the image sway in waves
  • Color Masking: image becomes a rhombus through a masking frame that changes the colors
  • Mirror: creates a symmetrical image as if there were a mirror in the middle of the screen

Multi-image Screen: This feature divides your display image into 4, 9 or 16 smaller images with the Image Capture feature. With this feature, the camcorder captures the current scene being shot or replayed.

Wind Screen: The camcorder has an automatic wind screen to prevent wind noise from interfering with the sound track.

Analog-Digital Converter: Connecting the camcorder to your VCR or 8 mm video camera allows conversion of recorded analog video and audio signals to digital signals in an instant. The digital signals can be output to the other equipment with a DV terminal.

A/V Dubbing: Using the supplied A/V patch cable you can copy video recordings from the camcorder to a VCR or a digital video device. You can also record videos or TV programs from a VCR or analog camcorder onto the tape in the camcorder. The A/V terminal on the front of the camera can be used as an output or an input.

Webcam Feature: Canon's DV Messenger2 software, for Windows XP users only, allows the camcorder to be used for Internet Video Chat through IEEE 1394 and Windows XP's Windows Messenger program. The software, available as a free download from Canon's website, also facilitates sharing of video clips, transfer of digital photos, and even control of the other party's camcorder (with permission).

Digital Still Camera Features

Recording Still Images to a Memory Card: You can record JPEG still images and movies onto an SD Memory card or MultiMediaCard. Still images can be recorded in one of two sizes: 640 x 480 or 1024 x 768; and one of three image quality settings: Normal, Fine, or Superfine. Motion JPEG movies can be recorded in one of two sizes: 320 x 240 and 160 x 120.

Simultaneous Recording: When you are recording a movie on tape, you can record the same picture as a still image on the memory card. The image will be recorded at 640 x 480, and you can choose between Normal and Fine image quality.

Other Recording Sources: In addition to recording through the lens onto the memory card, you can record still images from other sources as well. You can record a still image from a recorded tape in the camcorder, or from a device connected via the AV terminal or DV terminal. The image will be recorded at 640 x 480.

Focus Priority: The subject you wish to record is not always in the center of the screen. In the Focus Priority mode, you can choose from one of three focusing points to automatically put the subject you wish into sharp focus.

Recording Panoramic Images (Stitch Assist): You can shoot a series of overlapping images (up to 26) and merge them into one large panoramic scene using Photo Stitch on the supplied computer software.

Viewing Still Images: There are 3 ways to view still images: Single image, Slide show (one after the other automatically in order of recording), or Index screen (six images at once).

Card Jump Function: You can jump from the current image to the desired image of an adjacent image number without displaying the images one by one.

Utilizing Memory Card Still Images on a PC: You can download still images from a memory card to a PC connected to the camcorder via the USB interface. Using the software provided, you can organize, store and print still images. Images can be deleted singly or all at once, or protected from deletion.

Card Mix: You can create unique effects not possible with just a tape with the Card Mix function. Using images provided on the supplied Digital Video Solution Disk, you can mix recorded video with picture frames, backgrounds and animations. There are 4 Card Mix methods: Card Chroma Key, Card Luminance Key, Camera Chroma Key, and Card Animation.

Printing Still Images: You can print still images on the memory card in a number of ways:

  • Direct Print: You can connect a compatible Canon Compact Photo Printer, Canon PIXMA Photo printer, or any PictBridge compliant printer, and control all printing options from the camcorder.
  • Print From PC: If you have a photo printer connected to your PC, you can upload images from the camcorder to the computer for printing.
  • Print From Memory Card: You can remove the memory card from the camcorder, and take to a professional photo shop or self-service printing kiosk.

Print Orders: You can pre-select the images to be printed, the number of copies of each image, and other print settings. These print order settings are compatible with DPOF, the Digital Print Order Format standards, and can be used for printing on DPOF-compatible printers. A maximum of 200 images can be selected for printing.

Exif Print: The camcorder supports Exif 2.2, also known as Exif Print, a standard for enhancing the communication between camcorders and printers. By connecting to an Exif Print-compliant printer, the camcorder's image data at the time of shooting is used and optimized, yielding extremely high quality prints.

Software

Digital Video Software: The supplied Digital Video Solution Disk Version 14.0 contains the following software:

  • ZoomBrowser EX (Windows only):
    • downloading images from a memory card to your computer
    • viewing downloaded images
    • categorizing, organizing, and searching large volumes of images
    • editing still images
    • editing movies
    • changing the data for still images and save them as new files
    • viewing still images in a slide show
    • adding sound to an image
  • ImageBrowser (Macintosh only):
    • downloading images from a memory card to your computer
    • viewing downloaded images
    • categorizing, organizing, and searching large volumes of images
    • editing still images
    • editing movies
    • changing the data for still images and save them as new files
    • attaching still images to e-mail
    • viewing still images in a slide show
    • adding sound to an image
    • printing still images with a background, frame, title, and comments
    • printing indexes
  • CameraWindow:
    • selecting a method to download images in the Camera Control window
    • viewing images recorded on a memory card
    • applying DPOF settings
    • uploading My Camera settings to the camcorder
  • PhotoStitch: merging a series of overlapping still images into a single, seamless panorama
  • PhotoRecord:
    • printing still images with background, frame, title, and comments
    • printing indexes
    • creating still image albums
  • USB Driver:
    • driver software that enables you to download images from a memory card to a computer (not needed for Windows XP users)
    • Windows 98/Windows 2000: Canon DV TWAIN Driver
    • Windows Me: Canon DV WIA Driver

Windows System Requirements:

Operating System
  • Windows 98 (Second Edition)

  • Windows Me

  • Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4)

  • Windows XP Home Edition or Professional (Service Pack 1 or 2)
     *Proper operation is not guaranteed on an OS that has been upgraded from a previous version.

Computer Model Computers that come with the above OS preinstalled and have built-in USB ports
CD-ROM drive is required to install the software
CPU Pentium 500 MHz or better
RAM Windows 98/Me: 128 MB or more
Windows 2000/Windows XP: 256 MB or more
Interface USB: only preinstalled Windows 98/Me/2000/XP systems with built-in USB ports
Free Hard Disk Space

Canon Utilities:
   ZoomBrowser EX: 250 MB or more (including the PhotoRecord printing program)
   PhotoStitch: 40 MB or more
Canon DV TWAIN Driver: 25 MB or more
Canon DV WIA Driver: 25 MB or more

Display 1024 x 768 pixels or better / High color (16-bit) or better

Macintosh System Requirements:

Operating System
  • Mac OS X Version 10.1.5

  • Mac OS X Version 10.2

  • Mac OS X Version 10.3

Computer Model Computers that come with the above OS preinstalled
CD-ROM drive is required to install the software
CPU Power PC G3 / G4 / G5
RAM 256MB or more
Free Hard Disk Space

Canon Utilities:
   ImageBrowser: 200 MB or more
   PhotoStitch: 40 MB or more

Display 1024 x 768 pixels or better / 32,000 colors or better

Power Requirements

Lithium-Ion Battery: The ZR200 is equipped with an NB-2LH Lithium Ion rechargeable battery pack (7.4 volts/720 mAh). The battery can be charged while attached to the camera, or in the optional CB-2LT battery charger. You can also operate the camcorder on standard household AC current with the supplied AC adapter. You can keep the battery pack attached while operating on AC power, and the battery power will not be consumed.

Battery Charging, Recording, and Playback Times:

  Battery Pack
NB-2LH
(supplied)
NB-2L
(optional)
BP-2L12
(optional)
BP-2L14
(optional)
Charging Time 130 mins. 115 mins. 205 mins. 235 mins.
Maximum
Recording Time
Viewfinder 135 mins. 115 mins. 245 mins. 300 mins.
LCD Normal 95 mins. 80 mins. 170 mins. 210 mins.
Bright 85 mins. 70 mins. 145 mins. 185 mins.
Typical
Recording Time
Viewfinder 75 mins. 60 mins. 130 mins. 160 mins.
LCD Normal 55 mins. 45 mins. 95 mins. 120 mins.
Bright 50 mins. 40 mins. 85 mins. 105 mins.
Playback Time 100 mins. 85 mins. 175 mins. 220 mins.

Warranty Note

Video Head Warranty: The video head has a 90-day warranty while the rest of the camcorder has a 1-year parts and labor warranty.

 
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Canon ZR200 Reviews

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5 out of 5

Canon ZR200

Written By Cable, Johnson, Vermont on Tuesday, January 17, 2006
 
This is a great little camera. Super simple to use right out of the box. Its nice and small, fits in my coat pocket when im on the slopes and the remote comes in handy. It takes pretty good still pictures too. great little camera for the price. THe only thins that i dont like about it is there is no light for nights shots, but that fixed easly with a mini mag and some zipties. The other thing is the cable that it comes with for hooking up to a computer is only for the pictures, inorder to get video onto your computer for editing you need to buy a 30$ cable. but besides those, its great!!
7 out of 7 people found this helpful
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4 out of 5

Compact but not lacking in features.

Written By Marc, Asheboro, NC on Wednesday, October 12, 2005
Crutchfield Customer Review (What's this?)
 
I recently purchased the ZR200. Operation is easy right out of the box. The instruction seems a little intimidating until you realize that it is set up in different languages. I found instructions easy on some of the more complex features, but I was able to operate the camera using the basic features as soon as the battery charged. The images are far superior to VHS as was expected. I recommend the ZR200.
119 out of 144 people found this helpful
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