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Canon Elura 90

Mini DV digital camcorder

1 Review

Item # 280EL90

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Overview

Our take on the Canon Elura 90

Looking for a lightweight, travel-ready camcorder? The compact Elura 90 fits easily in your palm. Tuck it into a purse or tote bag when you're not shooting, and you'll hardly notice it's there.

Looking for a lightweight, travel-ready camcorder? The compact Elura 90 fits easily in your palm. Tuck it into a purse or tote bag when you're not shooting, and you'll hardly notice it's there.

But just because it's a lightweight camcorder, that doesn't mean it offers "lightweight" picture quality. The Elura 90 records clear, crisp digital video onto tiny Mini DV tapes. Its advanced image processor provides intelligent color reproduction, so what you get is vibrant, realistic video and digital photos. Shoot beach scenes, ball games, cityscapes, portraits — no matter what your subject, you'll love the results.

The Elura 90 also gives you flexible filming options. 20X optical zoom lets you record great close-ups, and built-in image stabilization keeps your shots smooth. For shooting after sundown, either use Night mode, which adjusts the shutter speed to produce full-color video in low light, or switch on the built-in video light. Widescreen mode lets you shoot video that matches the shape of your widescreen TV, without stretching the image. For a better view of the "big picture," attach the included wide-angle lens.

You can do more than just shoot full-motion video, too. Digital photo mode gives you the ability to capture photos to the included memory card. Movie mode lets you save a short video clip in a size perfect for e-mailing to family and friends. When the memory card's full, use the supplied USB interface to easily transfer video and photos to your computer. And you can get more photo and video storage by adding extra Secure Digital® cards.

Product Highlights:

  • 1.33-megapixel CCD
  • advanced DIGIC DV image processor
  • 16:9 widescreen video mode
  • digital photo mode with built-in flash
  • photo resolution options: 1280 x 960; 640 x 480
  • Motion JPEG movie mode
  • SD Card slot for use with MultiMediaCards or SD (Secure Digital) memory cards
  • 2-1/2" color viewscreen
  • color viewfinder
  • PCM stereo digital audio (12-bit or 16-bit)
  • variable-speed 20X optical zoom lens (digital zoom to 400X)
  • Image Stabilizer
  • auto and manual focus
  • Night mode for low-light shooting in color
  • mini video light brightens dark shots
  • digital effects and scene transitions
  • IEEE 1394 digital A/V jack
  • microphone input
  • Exif Print (2.2) compatibility for digital photos
  • direct photo printing with PictBridge-capable printers
  • video streaming to PC via IEEE 1394 for online videoconferencing (both parties must have compatible Canon cams and Windows XP)
  • A/V input/output
  • USB interface
  • 2-7/8"W x 3-3/16"H x 5-1/4"D
  • weight: 1.1 lbs. without battery
  • warranty: 1 year (90 days video head)
  • Our 60-day money-back guarantee
Supplied Accessories:
  • wide-angle lens
  • 16MB MultiMediaCard®
  • USB and A/V cables
  • remote control
  • rechargeable lithium ion battery (NB-2LH)
  • AC adapter/charger
  • shoulder strap
  • lens cap
  • software CD-ROMs (Windows® and Macintosh®)

What's in the Box:

  • Canon Elura 90 Mini DV digital camcorder
  • 16MB Multi Media Card (MMC-16M)
  • NB-2LH Lithium ion battery (7.4V/720mAh)
  • Plastic battery cover
  • CA-570 Compact power adapter with attached 65" Output cable (8.4V/1.5A)
  • WL-D85 Wireless remote control
  • CR2025 Lithium battery (remote)
  • CR1616 Lithium battery (memory backup)
  • 4' IFC-300PCU USB cable (USB type-A to mini-USB version 2.0)
  • 57" STV-250N stereo video cable (left and right RCA audio and an RCA composite video on one end and a mini-plug on the other end)
  • 6' AC power cord
  • SS-900 shoulder strap
  • Lens cap
  • Lens cap cord
  • WA-34 wide attachment
  • Digital Video Solution Disk CD-ROM v15.0 for Windows and Macintosh
  • Instruction Manual (English/French/Spanish)
  • Digital Video Software Instruction Manual (English/French/Spanish)
  • Product Registration Card
  • MMC note
  • Video head cleaning note
  • Canon accessory note
  • USB connection note
Reviews

Canon Elura 90 Reviews

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Hands-on research

Features and Specs

General
LCD Screen Size (inches) 2.5
Viewfinder Color
Effective Pixel Count for Video 690,000
Manual Focusing Yes
Optical Zoom 20 x
Night Imaging Super Night
Image Stabilization Image Stabilizer
Built-in Lamp No
Max Recording Time w/ Included Battery 120 minutes
Digital Still Camera Features
Effective Pixel Count for Stills ---
Built-in Flash for Stills Yes
USB Port 2.0 Full Speed
Mic Input Yes
Dimensions
Height (inches) 3-3/16
Depth (inches) 5-1/4
Warranty
Parts Warranty 1 Yr/90Days Video Head*
Labor Warranty 1 Yr/90Days Video Head*

Product Research

General Features
Mini DV Camcorder Features
Digital Still Camera Features
Software Requirements
Specifications
Warranty Note

General Features

DIGIC DV: DIGIC DV is a system for achieving superior quality video and photographic images. DIGIC DV 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.

2.5" Color LCD Screen: When the LCD Screen is out, it can be rotated up to 270°, allowing you to choose the best angle. When rotated 180° the image inverts. You can also push the panel flat against the camcorder until it is flush with the side, screen facing outward. The intensity of the LCD backlighting is switchable from normal to bright.

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.

IEEE 1394 DV Terminal: The Elura 90 is equipped with a 4-pin DV terminal that conforms to IEEE 1394 standards. It takes just a single digital cable to transfer audio and video in pure digital form to your DV compatible computer or another Canon DV camcorder. Once you've transferred video images to your computer, you can edit your movies, send your movies over the Internet, or post them on your Web site.

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 (or shoots a still photo) after a 10 second countdown period (2 seconds when engaged with the remote control).

DV Messenger (Version 2): DV Messenger is software that operates with Windows Messenger preinstalled on Windows XP. You can use the following operations with your digital camcorder via the Internet:

  • Real-time Video Communication (Videoconference): Use the camcorder and your computer for real-time video and voice communication
  • Sharing Recorded Video: Send video and sound recorded with the camcorder via the Internet
    • Note: DV Messenger Version 2 is not compatible with DV Messenger Version 1, you cannot communicate with a contact who is using DV Messenger Version 1

Backup: The internal lithium battery allows the camcorder to remember the date, time, and other settings when main power source is removed.

My Camera Function: The start-up image and sound, shutter sound, operation sound, and the self-timer sound can be customized with the My Camera function.

Shutter Speed: You can set the shutter speed manually to take stable shots of quickly moving subjects. When recording to a Mini DV tape, you can select one of the following shutter speeds: 1/60, 1/100, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, or 1/2000. When recording to a memory card, you can select one of the following shutter speeds: 1/60, 1/100, or 1/250.

Manual Focus: The focus can be adjusted manually using the set dial on the side of the camcorder.

Skin Detail Function: When shooting close-ups of people, the camcorder automatically softens details to reduce the appearance of skin imperfections for a more complimentary appearance.

Wide Attachment: The WA-34 wide attachment gives you a wide perspective for indoor shots or panoramic views (0.7x). The wide attachment is designed for use with the lens at its widest position (the telephoto zoom will function but will cause the picture to be out of focus).

Mini DV Camcorder Features

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. You may decide to turn the image stabilizer off when the camcorder is mounted to a tripod.

Built-in Speaker: The camcorder has a built-in speaker so you can review the sound track alongside the picture when you're using the LCD screen to play back a tape. The built-in speaker is monaural.

Headphones: You can also use headphones to monitor the sound track. The speaker turns off when headphones are used.

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

Widescreen: In this mode, the images are recorded in 16:9 format for playback on widescreen TVs. The display on the LCD is Letterbox so you see exactly what is recorded on the tape.

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 while the 12-bit mode allows two stereo recordings. In 12-bit mode the first audio track is recorded when the video is recorded, the second track can be added later.

Audio Dubbing: You can add sound to an existing recording from an external audio source (AUDIO IN), with the internal microphone, or with an optional external microphone (MIC IN). The original sound will not be erased.

Audio Mix: When you play back a tape that was recorded in 12-bit mode, you can set the audio output to play stereo 1 (the original sound), stereo 2 (any new sound, dubbed to the tape after recording), or mix the two. The relative volumes of the two audio tracks is adjustable.

Easy Recording: The camcorder adjusts focus, exposure, and other settings automatically, leaving you free to point and shoot.

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: Makes subjects stand out from a softened foreground and background
  • Spotlight: Designed for recording spot lit scenes or fireworks
  • Sand & Snow: Use in very bright places so the subject doesn't appear underexposed
  • Low Light: Use in dimly lit places

Night Mode: Three night modes are available

  • Night: Allows you to record in dark places where lights cannot be used, without sacrificing color
  • Night+: The assist lamp lights up and stays on
  • Super Night: Allows you to record in very dark places, the assist lamp lights up automatically, responding to the surrounding brightness

Record Search: When the camcorder is in record pause mode, you can use record search to play the tape forwards or backwards to find the point where you want to start or resume recording. By using record search, you can ensure a smooth, noise-free join between the new scene and the old one.

Record Review: When the camcorder is in record pause mode, you can use record review to play back the last few seconds of your recording and then return automatically to record pause mode. You can quickly make sure that a scene has recorded properly and then go on to shoot the next scene, without producing any noise in the picture.

End Search: When you have played back a tape, you can use this function to locate the end of the last recorded scene.

Date Search: You can locate the change of the date/time on the recording with the Date Search function.

Zero Set Memory: If you wish to return to a particular scene later, you can mark the point with the Zero Set Memory function and the tape will stop at that point when you rewind or fast forward the tape.

Faders: Select from 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 to black.
  • Wipe: When you start recording, the picture begins as a thin vertical line in the center of the screen which gradually expands sideways (both directions) 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 two corners until it fills the whole screen. When you end a scene, the image is wiped off from the other two 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, sections of the image appear 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
  • 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 sides 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

Card Mix: Enhance the appearance of your recordings by combining still images from the memory card with camcorder recordings. You may select from prerecorded cartoon-like frames, or create personal frames and titles that can be layered over movies or still images. In addition, you can combine your recordings with animations from the memory card.

Exposure Lock: You can lock the exposure when recording in situations where the lighting may change suddenly, allowing you to control the brightness of the image.

Exposure Adjustment: When the exposure is locked, you can adjust it manually to handle difficult lighting conditions. You can adjust the level from -11 to +11.

White Balance: The camcorder's auto white balance system compensates for a wide range of lighting conditions. The white balance can be set to auto, manual or one of the two preset modes, Indoor Mode or Outdoor Mode.

Multi-image Screen: This feature captures moving subjects in a sequence 4, 9, or 16 of still images and displays them at one time.

Wind Screen: The camcorder has an automatic noise reduction to prevent wind noise from interfering with the sound track. The Wind Screen can be turned off when recording indoors or when the microphone needs to be as sensitive as possible.

Analog-Digital Converter: Connecting the camcorder to your VCR or 8mm video camera allows conversion of analog video and audio signals to digital signals in an instant. The digital signals are output via the DV terminal.

Digital Still Camera Features

Memory Card: The camcorder can take, store and manage still images on 2 types of memory cards: MultiMediaCard (supplied with the camcorder) or SD Memory Card.

Recording Still Images to a Memory Card: Still images are recorded onto the memory card. Additionally, you can record still images from a tape in the camcorder or from equipment connected to the DV or AV terminals. When recording to a memory card, you can select a still image size of 640 x 480 or 1280 x 960 and an image quality of Normal, Fine, or Superfine.

Image Review: You can choose to display a still image for 2, 4, 6, 8, or 10 seconds after it has been recorded.

Auto Exposure Bracketing (AEB): With Auto Exposure Bracketing, the camcorder records a still image in three different exposures (dark, normal, light), allowing you to choose the best shot.

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 put the subject you wish into sharp focus.

Continuous Shooting: There are two continuous shooting modes: Standard and High Speed. The shooting interval is approximately 3 frames per second at Standard Speed and 5 frames per second at High Speed.

Recording Panoramic Images (Stitch Assist): You can merge separate images into one large panoramic scene using the supplied software on a PC.

Flash: The flash is used when recording still images in dark places. There are four flash settings, on, off, automatic, and automatic with red eye reduction.

AF-Assist: The AF (AutoFocus) Assist lamp may light when the shutter button is pressed halfway to assist focusing in low light conditions. The AF-assist beam can be turned off.

Movie Mode: The Elura 90 lets you record short movie clips in JPEG format onto the memory card. Using a MultiMediaCard (16 MB MMC included), the length of each video clip is limited to 30 seconds at 160 x 120 and 10 seconds at 320 x 240. Using an SD Memory card up to 512 MB the length is limited only by the size of the SD card (33 minutes at 320 x 240 using 512 MB SD card).

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: Using the image number, you can jump from the current image to the desired image without displaying them one by one.

Transferring Still Images to a PC: You can download still images from a memory card to a PC with the included USB cable. Using the software provided, you can organize, store, and print still images.

Direct Print: With Canon's Direct Print capability, you can make high-quality color prints directly from the Elura 90 without having to use a computer. Simply connect a single cable from the Elura 90 to an optional Canon Photo Printer that is Direct Print compatible.

PictBridge Printing Capability: Using the supplied USB cable, you can connect this camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer. PictBridge is a standard that allows you to connect a PictBridge compliant camera directly to a PictBridge compliant printer and make prints, regardless of brand.

Exif Print (Exif 2.2): The Canon Elura 90 conforms to "Exif Print", a worldwide standard. Vital camera settings (such as: exposure mode, white balance, exposure time) and scene data are recorded to the image file when it is captured. Printers compatible with "Exif Print" are able to use this information to produce high quality photographs, exactly the way they were intended at the time of capture. This intelligent communication process also allows the printer to correct for poor lighting or mistakes, resulting in photos which can be even better than the originals.

DPOF (Digital Print Order Format) Settings: On the memory card, you can select which image or images you want to print and how many copies you want. This is convenient for printing images all at once on a Canon Direct Print function compliant printer or printing at participating photo labs.

Software Requirements

Digital Video Software Minimum System Requirements (Windows):

  • OS: Windows 98 SE, Windows Me, Windows 2000 (Service Pack 4), or Windows XP Home or Professional (Service Pack 1 or 2). Proper operation is not guaranteed on an OS that has been upgraded from a previous version.
  • CPU: Pentium 500 MHz
  • RAM:
    • Windows 98 SE/Windows Me: 128 MB
    • Windows 2000/Windows XP: 256 MB
  • Interface: USB preinstalled
  • Free Hard Disk Space:
    • ZoomBrowser EX: 250 MB (Including PhotoRecord printing program)
    • PhotoStitch: 40 MB
    • DV TWAIN Driver: 25 MB
    • DV WIA Driver: 25 MB
  • Display: 1024 x 768 pixels/high-color (16-bit)

Digital Video Software Minimum System Requirements (Macintosh):

  • OS: Mac OS X (10.1.5/10.2/10.3)

  • CPU: PowerPC (G3/G4/G5)

  • RAM: 256 MB

  • Free Hard Disk Space:

    • ImageBrowser: 200 MB

    • PhotoStitch: 40 MB

  • Display: 1,024 x 768 pixels/32,000

Specifications

Estimated Capacity of a 16 MB Memory Card and File Size per Image:

1280 x 960 640 x 480
Image Quality Number of Images File Size per Image Number of Images File Size per Image
Superfine Approximately 15 images 850 KB Approximately 85 images 175 KB
Fine Approximately 25 images 550 KB Approximately 115 images 120 KB
Normal Approximately 45 images 300 KB Approximately 185 images 65 KB

Maximum Total Recording Time on a 16 MB MultiMediaCard and File Size per Second:

Image Size Maximum Recording Time File Size per Second
320 x 240 Approximately 1 minute 250 KB/second
160 x 120 Approximately 2 minutes 120 KB/second

Note: The times specified above are total recording times using the supplied MultiMediaCard. When recording to MMC the length of each video clip is limited to 30 seconds at 160 x 120 and 10 seconds at 320 x 240.

Battery Recording Time:

Battery Max Recording Time Typical Recording Time
Viewfinder LCD (Normal) LCD (Bright) Viewfinder LCD (Normal) LCD (Bright)
NB-2LH (supplied) 120 minutes 95 minutes 85 minutes 70 minutes 55 minutes 50 minutes
NB-2L (optional) 100 minutes 75 minutes 70 minutes 55 minutes 45 minutes 40 minutes
BP-2L12 (optional) 205 minutes 165 minutes 140 minutes 120 minutes 95 minutes 85 minutes
BP-2L14 (optional) 250 minutes 205 minutes 180 minutes 150 minutes 120 minutes 105 minutes

Battery Playback Time:

Battery Pack Playback Time
NB-2LH (supplied) 110 minutes
NB-2L (optional) 90 minutes
BP-2L12 (optional) 185 minutes
BP-2L14 (optional) 230 minutes

Battery Charging Time:

Battery Pack Charging Time
NB-2LH (supplied) 135 minutes
NB-2L (optional) 120 minutes
BP-2L12 (optional) 210 minutes
BP-2L14 (optional) 240 minutes

Warranty Note

Video Head Warranty: The video head has a 90-day warranty. The rest of the camcorder parts are warranted for 1-year and labor is covered for 1-year.

Our Product Research Team

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