Canon Legria HF R28 review
A long zoom and good specifications, but image quality doesn’t quite cut the mustard
Review Date: 29 Apr 2011
Reviewed By: Jonathan Bray
Price when reviewed: £312 (£374 inc VAT)
Features & Design
Value for Money
Canon’s new range of HD camcorders is littered with confusing numbers and names, as it’s long too, and it includes a staggering 17 different models. Confused? We don’t blame you, but it’s simpler than it looks, essentially boiling down to five different series of camcorders, each with different sizes and types of sensors. The models within those ranges are mostly differentiated by the amount of integrated storage.
Thus, the Canon Legria HF R28 is all-but identical to the R26 and R206 models, but with 32GB of integrated storage, as opposed to 16GB and none. Bizarrely, the R28 is currently the cheapest of the lot, so obviously that’s the one we’d choose. It also comes with the same dual-SD card slots as models further up the range, giving you flexible upgrade options.
The R28 and its kin have smaller CMOS sensors than the M-series Canon we reviewed recently, but the specifications look just as impressive.
From its 1/4.85in (0.21in) sensor it produces 1080/50i footage at a high bit rate of 24Mbits/sec, there’s a long 20x optical zoom, and it even has the same Dynamic image stabilisation as the more expensive models in Canon’s range. This combines optical and electronic approaches to image stabilisation to give smoother results than with optical or electronic alone.
The lack of a viewfinder, accessory shoe and microphone input came as little surprise at this price, but there are compensatory factors. The touchscreen is a good one, sporting 230,000 pixels and a 3in diagonal, and the 3.5mm AV output can double as a headphone connector to let you monitor audio levels from the integrated stereo microphone.
A camcorder stands or falls by its video quality, however, and here the R28 falls behind its main rivals. The image stabilisation system isn’t as effective at maximum zoom as Panasonic’s equivalent system, jittering about much more when zoomed in. In low light, we saw a huge amount more noise from its footage compared to either the M-series or Panasonic HDC-SD90.
The lack of a 50fps progressive mode also puts it at a major disadvantage when compared with the Panasonic; panning shots and fast-moving subjects don’t look nearly as silky. Under close inspection, even footage shot in good light looks less clean and crisp.
With such a large gap in quality you’d expect the Canon Legria HF R28 to be far cheaper than its rivals, but alas that’s not the case either; in fact it comes in at roughly the same price as the Panasonic HDC-SD90. That camera may lack the 32GB storage of the Canon, but we’d sacrifice storage for superior quality every time.
Author: Jonathan Bray
- Google reveals why it thinks we'll buy smartwatches
- Windows 8.2/Windows 9: release date, features and free cloud version
- Apple's top reasons for rejecting apps
- Raspberry Pi unveils HTML5-optimised browser
- Apple and FBI "actively investigating" celeb photo hack
- Swatch Touch smartwatch in development
- Did iCloud flaw lead to celeb photo hack?
- Microsoft refuses to hand over customer emails
- Apple signs up credit-card companies for NFC payments
- Apple bans developers from selling your health data
- 20 years of PC Pro: our best covers
- Why we've closed the PC Pro forums
- How to turn off Google Location Tracking
- 20 years of PC Pro: our greatest review mistakes
- 20 years of PC Pro: our first A-List
- Wikipedia's "right to be forgotten" protest hits the wrong note
- 3D printing hits the high street for plastic selfies
- 20 years of PC Pro: What amazed us in our first issue
- How Google Glass ruined my lunch hour
- Smartphone battery packs: can a USB power pack beat the festival battery blues?
- Best of IFA 2014: what smartphones, tablets, smartwatches are expected to launch at IFA this year?
- How to uninstall a program on Windows: remove unwanted apps from your PC
- How to format a USB drive on a Mac or Windows
- What’s the best 4G network in the UK?
- How to set up a wireless hotspot for your business: give customers free or paid for internet access
- How to download YouTube videos: save YouTube videos to your iPhone, iPad, laptop or Android device
- How to access iCloud on a PC
- Nexus 5 vs Moto G 4G (2014 model)
- Chromecast vs Roku Streaming Stick vs Apple TV: what's the best TV streaming device?
- The 8 best small tablets of 2014: what's the best compact tablet?
- How to sell more ebooks on Amazon
- 10 ways to make your business more secure
- Top five VoIP mistakes
- How to add in-app purchasing to an iPhone, Android or Windows app
- Remote-control ransomware: TeamViewer and software hardball
- Why laptops with serial ports matter to the Internet of Things
- Make your mobile battery last longer
- Small steps into handling Big Data
- Nexus 5: does it really run stock Android?
- How to get broadband to a garden office