Hi8 Camcorder Review: Canon ES7000V NTSC and PAL Camcorder

Hi8, Ready to Travel

ES7000V Hi8 Camcorder

($999)

Canon USA, Inc.

One Canon Plaza

Lake Success, NY 10042-1113

(800) 828-4040

www.usa.canon.com

Canon recently introduced the ES7000V, a fully-automatic camcorder with a twist for

point-and-shoot videographers who travel. One of the most common complaints of video

enthusiasts who travel abroad is the fact that North America and Europe use different

standards for television delivery. North America uses the NTSC (National Television Systems

Committee) standard of 525 lines and 60 fields per second, while most of Europe, except for

France, Russia and the whole former Eastern block uses the PAL (Phase Alternating Line)

standard of 625 lines and 50 fields per second for television signals. This makes playback

of video shot on a North American camcorder impossible on a European television, and

vice-versa.

Canon’s ES7000V Hi8 camcorder addresses this problem by offering a simple switch on the

camcorder that lets you choose either NTSC or PAL playback. The ES7000V also features a

large 3.5-inch flip-out color LCD monitor, something that Canon hadn’t included in any of

their earlier Hi8 camcorder models.

The Basics

When you pick up the ES7000V, you immediately feel your thumb migrate towards the

start/pause button, while your index finger rests on the zoom toggle. You must have the LCD

monitor opened if you want to access the titler, turn the electronic image stabilization off

or use the digital effects, because they’re located on the side of the camcorder body

underneath the screen.

The ES7000V features a 16:1 optical zoom, a 72:1 digital zoom and a 160:1 extra-long

digital zoom effect. The ES7000V also has a closeup feature that provides a 1.5:1 digital

zoom. If you combine the closeup feature and the extra-long digital zoom, the ES7000V can

zoom up to 240:1, but the pixelated and grainy image you get at that level of zoom is hardly

worth taping.

The ES7000V has manual focus, but limits itself with automatic exposure control and

automatic white balance. It does, however, have backlight compensation. One nice feature for

beginning shooters is the 10-second counter that appears on the screen whenever you start

taping. This is very handy for avoiding the tendency to shoot lengthy shots while shooting

in-camera edited productions.

This camcorder has a microphone jack, so you’re not dependent on the built-in stereo

microphone. However, it lacks a headphone jack for properly monitoring the audio. For

playback, the ES7000V includes a built-in speaker, so you can review the audio on playback

but not while you’re shooting.

The ES7000V also has an arsenal of digital effects like 16:9 aspect ratio for the

cinematic look, art mode (solarization), mosaic, mirror image and sepia for an old-time film

look. The ES7000V also includes digital faders that include horizontal wipes, mosaic fades,

art (solarization) fades and black-and-white fades. The last feature to round out the

ES7000V is the built-in titler for adding simple titles to your videos.

One of the most appreciated features of the last Canon Hi8 camcorder we reviewed (the

ES4000 in the December ’97 Benchmarks) was the inclusion of Rewriteable Consumer Time Code

(RCTC). Unfortunately, the ES7000V doesn’t support RCTC. It also doesn’t use any of the more

advanced editing protocols, with only an optional remote control to provides the ability to

perform IR editing.

NTSC and PAL: Who’s It For?

The ES7000V is a basic, fully-automatic camcorder. It is not intended to be the successor

to the ES4000: a Hi8 camcorder with full manual controls and time code. If you want to shoot

video casually, and aren’t planning to use your camcorder as a source deck for editing, you

might find the ES7000V to be a handy Hi8. If you want to be able to display your footage on

televisions that have NTSC or PAL standards, the ES7000V could be the camcorder you’ve been

waiting for.

TECH SPECS: Canon ES700V Hi8 Camcorder

Format: Hi8
Lens:16:1 Optical Zoom, 72:1 digital zoom, f/1.4, 4-64mm focal length, 46mm

filter diameter
Image Sensor: 1/4-inch CCD, 470,000 pixels
Viewfinder: 3.5-inch color LCD, 0.5-inch monochrome CRT
Focus: TTL auto, manual
Maximum Shutter Speed: 1/4,000 of a second
Exposure: Auto, backlight compensation
White Balance: Automatic
Digital Effects: 160:1 extra-long digital zoom, 16:9, negative, mirror,

mosaic, art (solarization), sepia, horizontal wipe, mosaic fade, art fade, black & white

fade
Audio: AFM stereo
Inputs: Microphone
Outputs: S-video, a/v jack
Edit Interface: IR (with optional ED-50 editing remote controller)
Other Features: PAL playback, titler, built-in speaker
Dimensions: 4 1/2 (width) x 4 7/8 (height) x 8 5/8 (depth) inches
Weight (sans tape and battery): 1 pound, 15 7/8 ounces

Video Performance (approx.)
Horizontal resolution (camera): 310 lines
Horizontal resolution (playback): 280 lines

Performance Times
Pause to Record: 1 second
Power-up to Record: 7 seconds
Fast-forward/Rewind (120 min. tape): 5 minutes, 49 seconds

strengths

  • PAL playback
  • Large LCD monitor
  • Manual focus
  • Microphone jack

weaknesses

  • Lack of manual controls
  • No time code
  • No headphone jack

summary: A decent point-and-shoot camcorder with the the added bonus of

PAL playback.

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