A critical objective when shooting in high definition is achieving the sharpest focus possible. The VIXIA HF M41 camcorder features Canon's revolutionary Instant AF focusing system which offers a dramatic improvement in auto focus speed and accuracy, compared to traditional auto focus systems. The Instant AF feature uses an external sensor, in combination with Canon's auto focus system, to help significantly decrease the time it takes to find focus, even in low light conditions. This system achieves focus instantaneously, reducing focus "hunting." This is especially beneficial in high brightness or night shooting situations. In addition, with Instant AF it's possible to capture fast, accurate focusing even when following a moving subject.
To further enhance focusing capability, the VIXIA HF M41 also features Focus Assist. This helps in capturing your subject in razor-sharp focus. It works by providing a 2x magnification of your subject, which is automatically cancelled when you start recording. This is a feature normally found in professional broadcast-quality cameras.
Images Excellent, Software Useless
This camera has an excellent video capture - I'm very happy with it's high-def format, low light capability... good overall.
However, I *would not* recommend this for anyone who edits video on a professional level. Files are stored in "MTS" format (a variant of H264). But it is NOT H264 and is NOT read by iMovie or FinalCut Pro. The bundled software will only convert formats when DOWNGRADING the resolution to a lower setting.
I had to purchase a 3rd party software to convert the videos (very, very time consuming) to be useful on my Mac or PC.
Canon has worked hard to make this camera user friendly for video... but not hard at all (Pixela software) at making the files you construct useful.
I'll be replacing this M41 for a camera with files that can be easily managed in HD format.
February 13, 2013
Buy one while you can
The best feature of this camcorder is the optical viewfinder. The bew Canons have only an LCD which is dimmer than previous models and is impossible to see in sunlight. The HF M41 has been discontinued so new ones are hard to find. The price of used ones is now higher than that of new ones (if you can find one). It is true that the new models have a better user interface and Wi Fi capabilities, but if you can't see what you are photographing those features are inconsequental. Buy the M41 while you still can. It is a very good camcorder.
April 30, 2012
Great in low light, the best that i have seen in any camcorder that i have had in the past 25 years without any added video light.
Clear video with bright colors.
Touch screen can be a little tricky.
January 16, 2012
Perfect replacement for a previously perfect cam.
I was in love once I owned the Canon HV20 Camcorder. I once remembered her model by heart but had to look it up. Moving to a mackbook air, no firewire port I was in need of an update. I picked the M41 because other users of my older Canon said this was the perfect replacement. Right they were, this camera exceeds in low-light more than my beloved 1080i miniDV unit. While I agree the settings and menu need major improvement as is a pain, the camera itself makes you forget about the horrible menu. I took night video of Christmas light shows using the preset low light setting and the color reproduction was as close to being there. I have yet to see a consumer camcorder that can record Christmas lights in total darkness without losing the color, until the M41 anyway. Once again, I will always buy a Canon and trust my memories to their ability to capture them and reproduce them just like the day I was there. Even if this is on back-order, it is worth the wait so don't pick another brand, you will regret it. The video is also easy edit on the Mac Ilife and Final Cut despite internet rumors, no conversion required.
November 28, 2011