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Canon LEGRIA HF M31 review

This new camcorder from Canon brings touchscreen control to the fore

Our Verdict

For

  • Touchscreen control
  • Decent video quality
  • 32GB of built in memory

Against

  • No mini HDMI cable
  • Video quality in low-light

The Canon LEGRIA HF M31 camcorder is based on the LEGRIA HF-21 and uses a 6.35mm CMOS sensor to record Full HD video using AVCHD with 15x optical zoom.

The new feature for the HF M31 is the switch to touchscreen controls on the 2.7 inch/68.6mm LCD screen.

The HF M31 has a single button for the Powered IS (Image Stabilisation) feature. This adds an extra level of image stabilisation over and above the amount you get with the Standard or Dynamic settings and comes in handy when using the zoom.

The set-up menus have been created to make the most of the touchscreen controls. You navigate using a swiping motion with your finger. As you scroll past each item, it is highlighted and you can then tap it to see the available options. It sounds reasonable in principle, but doesn't work too well in practice.

There are six hardware control buttons, a switch to toggle between Auto and Manual modes and a hardware zoom rocker control.

There are five data rates on offer for video that range from 5Mbps to 24Mbps, but these only cover two resolution settings of 1440x1080 and 1920x1080.

Canon legria hf m31

The HF M31 comes with an impressive 32GB of built-in memory, along with an SD/SDHC card slot. It also includes a Component cable with a proprietary connector and an AV-out cable with a mini jack on one end and RCA/Composite at the other. It does not include a Mini HDMI cable, which is poor considering the price.

Canon includes a copy of Image Mixer 3 SE Ver.6 transfer utility and video tools on CD to handle your AVCHD movies.

Video quality is fine, although it drops off in low light conditions.

The Canon LEGRIA HF M31 is more than twice the price of Samsung HMX-H200 or Toshiba Camileo SX900, but not twice as good.

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Tech Specs

Product TypeDigital Camcorder
Flash Memory Capacity32 GB
Maximum Video Resolution1920 x 1080
TouchscreenYes
Number of Image Sensors1
Effective Image Resolution3.3 Megapixel
Effective Video Resolution3 Megapixel
Product FamilyLegria HF
Recording MediaFlash Memory, Memory Card
Image StabilizationOptical
Optical Zoom15x
Digital Zoom300x
Brand NameCanon
Screen Size6.9 cm (2.7")
Video FormatsMPEG-4, AVCHD
Built-in DevicesFlashlight, Video Light, Microphone
Image Sensor Size1/4"
Maximum Image Resolution2304 x 1296
Battery RechargeableYes
Battery IncludedYes
Audio ChannelsStereo
Maximum Battery Run Time1.67 Hour
Display Screen TypeLCD
Image Sensor TypeCMOS
Total Camcorder Resolution3.9 Megapixel
Maximum Video Lines1080
Interlaced ScanYes
Progressive ScanYes
Longest Shutter Speed1/2 Second
Shortest Shutter Speed1/2000 Second
Focal Length (35mm Equivalent)39.50 mm to 592.50 mm
Memory Card SupportedSecure Digital (SD) Card, Secure Digital High Capacity (SDHC) Card
Height60 mm
Width68 mm
Depth123 mm
ColourBlack
Video SystemPAL
Sound SystemDolby Digital
Product SeriesHF
Minimum Illumination0.4 lux
Focal Length4.10 mm to 61.50 mm
Image FormatsJPEG
Focus ModesAuto, Manual
ManufacturerCanon, Inc
Product ModelHF M31
Product NameLegria HF M31 High Definition Digital Camcorder
Product LineLegria
Aperture Rangef/1.8 to 3.2
Aspect Ratio16:9
Manufacturer Part Number4354B006AA
Manufacturer Website Addresshttp://www.canon.co.uk
Marketing Information

With an innovative touch-screen interface, enhanced Video Snapshot and Smart Auto, the compact and stylish LEGRIA HF M31 offers effortless Full HD shooting in any situation.

Microphone TechnologyElectret Condenser
Package Contents
  • Legria HF M31 High Definition Digital Camcorder
  • BP-808 Battery
  • Wireless Controller
  • USB Cable
  • Software CD (PIXELA ImageMixer 3 SE, Music Transfer utility)
  • Digital Video Solution Disk
Display Resolution211000 Pixel
Limited Warranty1 Year
Weight (Approximate)320 g
White Balance Modes
  • Auto
  • Daylight
  • Shade
  • Cloudy
  • Tungsten
  • Fluorescent
  • Fluorescent H