Canon DVD ‘corder cuts a curve

Hard drive camcorders are getting all the headlines – we refer you to JVC’s brilliant, all-conquering Everio GZ-MG50 for one – but there’s still a pla

Hard drive camcorders are getting all the headlines – we refer you to JVC’s brilliant, all-conquering Everio GZ-MG50 for one – but there’s still a place in our hearts for easy playback DVD video cams.

The Canon DC40 before you is the latest. It also happens to be the best specified DVD shooting machine to have landed in the Stuff inbox, bragging 4.29MP still shots in addition to its MPEG-2 video recording talents.

Like the flotilla of existing Canon, Hitachi and Sony DVD ‘corders, this new beastie makes life far simpler for home movie playback than MiniDV and hard drive cameras. Instead of buggering about encoding footage onto a PC and editing stuff, all you have to do is eject the mini DVD and chuck it in your DVD player.

The flipside? The mini 8cm DVD-R/RWs that the DC40 uses still cost £5 a pop - more than a large Starbucks Moccachino and wheat-free chocolate brownie.

Other features are fairly standard – widescreen recordings, a 10x optical zoom, 2.7in LCD, PictBridge printing (below) – though the ‘perpetual curve’ design is quite cute. Even so, it sounds more high-falutin’ than the reality, which is that the side of the camcorder has been designed like a cylinder to make it ergonomic and grippable.

We’re checking with Canon on battery life and recording capacity.

You’ll be able to buy the easy peasy DC40 for an undisclosed sum in April.

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