|Storage Type||Removable (Card/Disc/Tape)|
|Media Format||Flash Media, Flash card, SDXC/SDHC/SD|
|Sensor Type||CMOS, HD CMOS Pro|
|Optical Sensor Qty||1|
|Lens Type||Zoom lens|
|Focal Length Range||6.1mm - 61mm|
|Focus Adjustment||Automatic, Manual|
|Lens Filter Size||43 mm|
|Lens System Features||Built-in lens shield|
|Auto Focus type||TTL contrast detection|
|Max Shutter Speed||1/2000 sec|
|Min Illumination||0.1 lux|
|Min Shutter Speed||1/2 sec|
|Exposure Modes||Aperture-Priority, Automatic, Manual, Program, Shutter-Priority|
|Memory / Storage|
|Recording Speed||FXP, LP, MXP, SP, XP+|
|Supported Flash Memory||SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card, SDXC Memory Card|
|Screen Details||LCD display - TFT active matrix - 3" - color|
|Microphone Type||Microphone - built-in - stereo|
|Microphone Operation Mode||Stereo|
|Connector Types||1 x HDMI output, 1 x Hi-Speed USB, 1 x component video output, 1 x composite video/audio output, 1 x headphones, 1 x microphone|
|Expansion Slot||2 x SD Memory Card|
|Battery Form Factor||Manufacturer specific|
|Battery Manufacturer||Canon BP-808|
|Max Operating Temperature||45 °C|
|Min Operating Temperature||-5 °C|
|Effective Still Resolution||2.1 MP|
|Effective Video Resolution||2.1 MP|
|Digital Video Format||AVCHD|
|Still Image Format||JPEG|
|Additional Features||24p Cinema Mode, 5.1 Channel Surround Sound Ready, Auto Backlight Compensation, Auto Gain Control, Brightness Control, Built-In Speaker, Contrast Control, Dolby Digital AC-3 (2 channel) Recording, PictBridge Support, Pre-Rec Function, RGB Primary Color Filter, Relay Recording, Saturation Control, Sharpness Control, Still Shot Capability, Story Creator, Takes Photos While Movie Recording, Touch & Track Technology, Touch Decoration, Touch-Screen Control, USB 2.0 Compatibility, Video Snapshot Mode, accessories hot shoe, face detection, progressive scanning, x.v.Color technology|
|High Definition Video Support||1080p|
|Widescreen Video Capture||Yes|
|Shooting Modes||Digital Photo Mode|
With a nice set of features for home-movie-type shooters and pleasing video quality, the Canon Vixia HF M400 series has lots to like.
A small, coarse LCD that's hard to view in direct sunlight and touch-screen-impaired menu system hamper an otherwise solid design.
A fine follow-up to last year's M3xx series, the Canon Vixia M4xx series should please most home-movie-oriented videographers despite its relatively high price. If you don't need the EVF, the M400 is your best buy, but if you'll be shooting a lot in sunlight, it's worth it to step up to the M41.
Average review score based on 1 user reviews
of customers recommend this product
I wanted an affordable camcorder that shoots HD, records to SD card, makes it easy to put videos online and is small/lightweight. I got almost all of that in the HF M400. The camera is incredibly compact and light while still delivering eye-popping picture quality. There's no internal memory, but there are two SD card slots, and since you can usually find a good price on SD cards online, this actually helps save money (I got this camera used and it came with a 32 GB card, so even better).
Canon could do more to make online sharing easier -- for example, an H.264 MP4 recording mode would be awesome -- but instead we're stuck with the same old dilemma: video is recorded/compressed in AVCHD, which then needs to be converted somehow if you want to edit and/or share/upload. I found that on my Mac, Handbrake was the simplest way to turn the clips into MP4 files, and depending on your computer's speed this winds up being a pretty fast and painless process. Still, if you're shooting something you know is destined for YouTube, an option to record in other formats would be a huge help.
Things I didn't care about as much: battery life (it's just okay) and controls (touch-screen menus can be awkward and unresponsive at times). Still wrestling with the issue of plugging line-level audio (ie. a mixing board) into the mic-in jack -- early attempts resulted in bad sound as the camera tried to adjust levels on the fly -- but this isn't a prosumer camera and I wouldn't expect it to do anything fancy on this front for the price-point. (For what it's worth, the built-in mics are very good.)
I was told by a friend who shoots video for a living that Canon makes the best consumer HD cameras, and after reading about the HD CMOS Pro sensor that the M400/M40/M41 sport, I figured it was worth the ~$200 over the very basic low-end models. Having seen the image quality this puts out, I stand by that decision. Very happy with the purchase and impressed with what I got for the money with the M400.