- 35x optical zoom, relatively cheap, easy to use
- Poor image quality, limited manual controls
With only a 0.8 megapixel CCD sensor, the MD120 isn't a camera for those who want high quality images. However, it's ease-of-use and relatively low price should appeal to beginners.
Price$ 549.00 (AUD)
Canon's MD120 is a low level MiniDV camera that, while delivering relatively poor image quality, comes with a price and ease-of-use that makes it a reasonable recommendation for beginners. A good option for newcomers to the world of digital video, or those who simply want a budget camera for recording video, the image quality and limited manual options make this a poor choice for advanced users.
The test footage we recorded with the MD120 was quite blurry, with very noticeable background noise and digital artefacts evident. Chromatic aberrations, particularly in green background areas (such as trees or grass) were also visible, especially in fast motion scenes. Colour reproduction was actually relatively good, considering the camera's 0.8 megapixel single CCD sensor. Reds tended to be slightly saturated at times, however overall colours proved to be reasonably accurate, especially considering the technology used in the camera. Despite our criticism, the quality isn't unwatchable by any means, and for users interested mainly in recording close up footage, the MD120 performs suitably. Just don't expect to be able to view a stunning rendition of a sunset on a huge 60in television!
The MD120 is quite easy to operate, owing to a simple and well designed menu system, and a very minimalist number of controls. Its light weight makes extended shooting sessions a little less uncomfortable, although we do have one complaint; the battery pack fits onto the back of the camera, rather than onto the side as we've seen in various other models. While by no means heavy, it does (ever-so-slightly) unbalance the camera a little, making it harder to hold steadily.
The list of features and manual controls is reasonably good, going beyond bare minimum at least, and including white balance and programmable AE, as well as including some image effects. It's enough to play around with, and at times slightly reduce some of the problems with image quality, although advanced users will likely find the list to be lacking. Digital zoom is available up to 1000x, although with the already low megapixel rating of the camera, zoom to this level produces some incredibly blurred images. Thankfully, Canon has also included optical zoom to 35x, which is actually very high for a miniDV camera, especially at this price, and is an excellent addition.
The camera comes with a microphone jack, as well as AV output and a cable to allow you to connect it to your television. Battery life is quite respectable, at over an hour, and is generally enough to fill a miniDV tape.
Despite our reservations regarding the image quality, the MD120 is a reasonable offering considering its price. Just in case it needs to be said again though, this is not a camera for advanced users. Nevertheless, its low price and ease of use should appeal to beginners, as well as users who aren't as concerned about image quality.
Join the PC World newsletter!
Most Popular Reviews
- 1 Hisense Series 7 ULED 4K UHD TV review
- 2 Samsung Galaxy Note 7 review
- 3 Portable power: Venom Blackbook 13 Zero review
- 4 Alcatel Idol 4S review: King of the mid-range?
- 5 Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge Review
Latest News Articles
- FBI faces lawsuit because it's stayed mum on iPhone 5c hack
- Jump the line for the newest Chromecast features with Google's new preview program
- Twitter's new Apple TV, Fire TV, and Xbox One apps are all about video, not tweets
- Sony's PlayStation 4 'Shingen' update adds HDR support to every PS4 console
- New TiVo Bolt+ is a DVR powerhouse rolling out September 15
GGG Evaluation Team
First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.
For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.
The Fujitsu LifeBook UH574 allowed for great mobility without being obnoxiously heavy or clunky. Its twelve hours of battery life did not disappoint.
The screen was particularly good. It is bright and visible from most angles, however heat is an issue, particularly around the Windows button on the front, and on the back where the battery housing is located.
My first impression after unboxing the Q702 is that it is a nice looking unit. Styling is somewhat minimalist but very effective. The tablet part, once detached, has a nice weight, and no buttons or switches are located in awkward or intrusive positions.
- CCSenior Project ManagerACT
- FTSenior Front End DeveloperNSW
- FTBackup ConsultantWA
- FTJava DeveloperNSW
- CCSolutions ArchitectACT
- CCNetwork and Security EngineerNSW
- CCProgram Manager - Data InsightVIC
- FTLinux Systems AdministratorNZ
- CCICT Security AuditorACT
- CCiOS DeveloperNSW
- FTNetwork and Security Design EngineerNSW
- CCSenior Infrastrcture Project ManagerACT
- CCSecurity Cleared IT Professionals - Expression of InterestSA
- CCSenior .NET DeveloperVIC
- FTNetApp Storage ConsultantWA
- FTPositive Vetted ICT positions - Defence intelligence and information securityACT
- CCNetwork Design Specialist - TelecommunicationsNSW
- CCSenior Business Analyst -Change and SAP ProcurementNSW
- FTIT Pre-Sales EngineerSA
- FTTechnical Business Analyst | Marketing ServicesNSW
- FTSenior PHP DeveloperNSW
- FTSenior Project Manager | TelecommunicationVIC
- FTCustomer Solutions Engineer | Voice | Data | TelcoNSW
- FTEMC Storage ConsultantWA
- CCPMO AnalystNSW