This last Canon MiniDV Camera that ever shipped provides access to legacy MiniDV tape archives
R. Scott "macfanboy", Amazon
26 November 2014
Summary: The era of shooting movies with my spent Canon ZR10 is over but, I was able to buy this Canon ZR960 for cheap to give me access to the 150 plus Mini-DV cassettes I have shot over the last 13 years. I am shooting all my video now with a Canon HD 1080p camcorder, using an SD card instead of tape. I just use this Canon ZR960 for transferring my MiniDV footage to iDVD, on my Mac, and for playback on my television.
Summary: There really isn't much to say here that hasn't already been said. Sufficed to say, this camcorder is about the best quality you're going to get for this price range. In fact, you'd pretty much have to double the price to see a noticeable increase in picture quality (at least among digital camcorders I've personally used, which is quite a few).
Summary: So first - shame on me for not reading all the fine print tech specs about it only being hooked into Firewire and not USB. But come on, Canon, where can you even purchase a base model PC with Firewire anymore? Its hardly even available as an upgrade for most avg. consumers running Windows 7.
Summary: I purchased this camera a couple of years ago, right when it first came out. I've been using it ever since, and I'm pretty happy with it. First of all, it's not a professional camcorder that has multiple 4:3 CCD sensors. It's got one sensor. It does have a jack for an external mic, but it's an unbalanced mini-jack, not dual XLR inputs. It has a headphone jack, but I've never used it. It also has an internal mic, and I can report that it picks up sounds very, very well.
Summary: Videotape is essentially dead on the consumer side. MiniDV is still the single best codec available for standard definition video, though, so it's still a good idea to have one of these cameras lying around for quick, high-quality SD shooting. The video quality is decent enough for single-sensor SD; it does tend to wash out and get grainy in low light, but the quality is still acceptable.
Summary: This camera has what it takes to get the job done. Naturally, it will be a good tool for capturing family outings and events. I decided to take it a step in another direction and that is for making videos and low budget films. It runs at 30 frames per second, which means, if you want that slowed down film look, you'll have to be careful with your panning and compositions. Also, it would help to use ample light and run tests.