Canon Legria HF R16

Features


The Canon site for the camera is here. The manual can be downloaded here. Features from the Canon site:

Dual Flash Memory --Records video to 8GB built-in flash memory and to memory card. Up to 15hrs with 8GB built-in and 32GB SDHC Cards
Fast Capture and Processing -- True Progressive 1/5.5" HD CMOS sensor for fast capture and processing and low power consumption
HD Video Lens and Zoom -- High precision aspheric video lens with 20x zoom
High Speed Processing -- DiG!C DV III image processor for high speed and quality processing of HD data
Intelligent Auto and Face Detection -- The camera automatically recognises the optimal shooting settings based on your environment (31 scenes)
Internal Down Conversion -- Convert HD video to SD video for easy uploading and burning
Dynamic Image Stability -- Perfect when shooting while on the move
Sharp Focussing on Demand -- Instant Auto Focus for crisp and quick re-focus to ensure optimum HD footage
Video Snapshot V2 -- Capture a 2, 4 or 8 second series of video and create engaging movies from a sequence of these clips and play it back to music

The most important of these are:
  • Dual memory -- The camera can record to the built-in 8 GB flash memory and to a removable SDHC card (maximum 32 GB).
  • HD video lens -- The camera captures excellent HD images.
  • Internal down conversion -- Videos can be converted in the camera to SD format which can be more easily transfered to the computer and uploaded.
  • Other auto settings and image stability -- Make it easier to capture good quality images in "Auto" mode.

Copying video to the computer


  • Instructions on how to transfer the video from the camera to the computer are here. This process uses the ImageMixer transfer utility from the PIXELA Application Disc 1 (see below).
  • If the video is converted to SD format, by pressing the "WEB" button and using the camera's own conversion software, it may be possible to transfer the video without using ImageMixer; or, possibly, directly from the SDHC card (using a card reader).

Using the camera


The most important buttons and ports are listed below.
  • 13 -- Button for taking still image.
  • 14 -- Power on/off.
  • 19 -- USB port for transferring images and video.
  • 23 -- Port for connecting charger.
  • 24 -- Button for starting video recording.

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Legria HF R16 operating options.


Recording and playback


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Legria HF R16: Record and playback.


The most important buttons here are:
  • 1 -- Switch between record and playback, for both still and video.
  • 4 -- Switch AUTO mode off and on. With AUTO off, various camera settings -- including focus and exposure -- can be altered.
  • 3 -- Press the "WEB" button to convert a video from HD to SD format. An SD format video can be edited by most software and easily uploaded to the web.

Issues with the camera


These may be problems:
  • The battery pack does not last all that long, about 60 to 80 minutes, depending upon usage (see here). This is, however, only when the camera is left on (and relying on its own battery saving settings). Turning the camera off between takes will considerably extend this time.
  • The video is saved in "m2ts" (see here) which older software (e.g. Windows Movie Maker) will not recognise. Editing the video will require newer software or conversion to another format. This can be done on the camera by selecting the video and pressing the "WEB" button. Doing this will overwrite the original file.
  • On one camera, there was a problem with corrupted memory which required return to Canon for replacement. What caused this problem is unknown.

Software


The camera comes with three disks of software:
  • LEGRIA: Camcorder; Instruction Manual/Photo Applications -- This disc, obviously, has the instruction manual. The "Photo Applications" are for working with (still) image files, not video files.
  • PIXELA Application Disc 1: Transfer Utilities-- This disc has the Windows software for transferring, viewing and managing video files. This is the only software that is required to get video off the camera and on to the computer. In my experience, it works fine when transferring the video but is inclined to lock when required to do anything else: this may be a memory problem (see, e.g., here).
  • PIXELA Application Disc 2: Video Tools -- This disc has software for editing video files. The video editing application is, in my opinion, not great and has not been well received (see, e.g., here).

Accessories


Accessories supplied with the camera are illustrated below (image from Canon manual for the camera).

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Canon Legria HF R16 accessories.