Excerpt: The Optura 400 is Canon’s upper tier matchbook camcorder this year; though the Optura 500 is slightly more advance, the Optura 400 packs a 1/3.4 CCD with 1.23 effective Megapixels for video and 2 MPs for stills into a small body, with a 10x optical zoom and 200x digital zoom. While these specifications are the same as last year’s Optura 300, this year’s models include more digital still options and offer improved handling.
Conclusion: This $1,000 camcorder has a ton of features. It shoots better-than-average videos and good still images, and it's our Editors' Choice for the $800-$1000 price range.
Pros: Very compact design. Flash for still-image capture, AF assist lamp, and headlight for low-light shooting make this a versatile model. Good still-image capture. Many manual controls, including audio recording level.
Cons: Bottom-loading design gets in the way of tripod usage. EVF doesn't extend, pivot, or have a rubberized eyepiece. Flash stills unsatisfactory.