In the continuum that runs from low-resolution, cheapo camcorders like the Creative Vado to high-quality, solid-state "prosumer" HD models like Canon's own Vixia HF10, Canon's line of SD-based camcorders--FS11, FS10, and FS100--falls exactly where you'd expect. At budget prices under $600, they're small, stylish, and provide a reasonably expansive feature set; unfortunately, the real "budget" aspect of these models is the video quality.
The individual models in the FS series differ only by memory and color, with list prices that increment by $100 (but with lower actual street price gaps). The top-end model, the FS11, comes in dark gray and includes 16GB built-in memory; its lesser sibling, the FS10, wears silver and includes 8GB. The cheapest child, the FS100, has no built-in memory but comes in silver, blue, and red. Capacities run about 13.8 minutes per gigabyte of storage for best-quality mode, 39 min/GB for lowest quality; we don't recommend shooting below best-quality, however.
The Good: Compact, attractive design; mic input.
The Bad: No optical image stabilization; ineffective wind filter; no headphone jack; modest video quality.
The Bottom Line: Convenient, well-designed camcorders that look pricier than they are, models in the Canon FS series--FS11, FS10, and FS100--nevertheless deliver typical budget video in line with their budget price tags.
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