We use cookies to provide you with a better experience. If you continue to use this site, we'll assume you're happy with this. Alternatively, click here to find out how to manage these cookies

hide cookie message
Camcorders Reviews
15,670 Reviews PC Advisor Recommended

Canon Legria HF R106 review

£425 inc VAT

Manufacturer: Canon

Our Rating: We rate this 4 out of 5

Canon makes a wide range of video cameras, from sub-£500 models like this Canon Legria HF R106 to professional recording equipment for broadcasters.

Canon makes a wide range of video cameras, from sub-£500 models like this Canon Legria HF R106 to professional recording equipment for broadcasters.

What really impresses us is that the build quality is excellent even in the entrylevel models. The Canon Legria HF R106 has easily the best build of the traditional flip-out-style camcorders here, showing just what spending a little bit more can get you. It also records to AVCHD rather than H.264 or Mpeg4 by default.

The Canon Legria HF R106 is physically larger than the other camcorders here and is 80g heavier than both the Panasonic and the Sanyo SH1. It also has a much larger lens and produces better-looking video footage. You get a 20x optical zoom, a flash module that sits to the lower left of the camcorder lens and a large microphone pickup that is the most effective of the models here at picking up speech.

This zoom is controlled using a left-to-right slider on top of the Canon Legria HF R106 camcorder and which sits slightly forward of the photo trigger button. The zoom is faster and smoother than the others and is more controlled than the Sanyo SH1’s, in particular.

As well as pressing gently for a slow zoom or harder for a faster one, Canon has given the Canon Legria HF R106 three levels of zoom that can be set within the menus. At its maximum zoom detail takes a moment or two to come into sharp focus, but when it did we were delighted with the clarity and sharpness of detail. Colour balance in good natural light was superb, with nuances picked out beautifully. We were also pleased with how well the Canon coped with close-ups: none of the other camcorders here were as competent in this respect.

Context-sensitive menus on the outer edge of the Canon Legria HF R106's flip-out LCD allow you to adjust white balance, specify the level of detail and audio levels captured, call up the focal assistant and face chaser and so on.

Photos are a slightly different matter. There’s a silver hardware button on the top labelled Photo and pressing this down halfway allows you to prefocus your shots and then to take a quick snap. There’s no dedicated camera mode, however, and we found the process of taking photos largely unsatisfactory, eventually abandoning our efforts to do so.

The Canon Legria HF R106 is also picky about the media cards it will accept. We tried three SD cards before it would accept one.

NEXT: our expert verdict >>

Canon Legria HF R106 Expert Verdict »

Canon Legria HF R106 reviews verified by Reevoo

Canon Legria HF R106Scores 9.3 out of 10 based on 8 reviews
Camcorder - 1080p
Camcorder Sensor Resolution: 2.39 Mpix, Camcorder Effective Video Resolution: 1.56 Mpix, Camcorder Effective Still Resolution: 1.73 Mpix
Widescreen Video Capture
1/5.5in CMOS
Max/min Shutter Speed: 1/2000 sec / 1/2 sec
Face Detection
SD Memory Card, SDHC Memory Card
Lens Aperture: F/1.8-3.6
20x Optical Zoom, 400x Digital Zoom
TFT active matrix, 2.7in colour, Rotating, 112,000 pixels
built-in microphone
component video output/composite video /audio output, HDMI, USB
SD Memory Card
USB port, CD-ROM Drive
Li-ion rechargeable battery
  • Build Quality: We give this item 8 of 10 for build quality
  • Features: We give this item 8 of 10 for features
  • Value for Money: We give this item 8 of 10 for value for money
  • Overall: We give this item 8 of 10 overall

A camcorder first and foremost, the Canon Legria HF R106 is the camcorder to buy if high-definition video is your primary intention. Other models offer reasonable HD video capture and throw in still photo functions too, but the Canon is the best at pure video.

  • Canon Legria HF R18 review

    Canon Legria HF R18

    The Canon Legria HF R18 is an entry-level high-def camcorder aimed squarely at the casual end of the market. Its main selling points are a 20x optical zoom lens and a semi-affordable price tag.

  • Canon Legria HF21 review

    Canon Legria HF21

    The Canon Legria HF21 is a Full HD flash memory-based camcorder aimed primarily at casual users.

  • Canon Legria HF S21 review

    Canon Legria HF S21

    The Canon Legria HF S21 is Canon's flagship consumer camcorder.

  • Canon Legria HF200 review

    Canon Legria HF200

    The Canon Legria HF200 is a midrange high-definition camcorder for videographers on a budget.

  • Canon Legria HF S10 review

    Canon Legria HF S10

    The Canon Legria HF S10 is a flash memory-based 'Full HD' camcorder equipped with 32GB of built-in storage.

IDG UK Sites

Apple WWDC 2015 rumours: iOS 9, OS X 10.11, Apple TV & more

IDG UK Sites

Why I think the Apple Watch sucks and you'd be mad to buy it

IDG UK Sites

Kung Fury VFX behind-the-scenes: how Fido blew up everything for this year's most over-the-top film

IDG UK Sites

What will Apple launch at WWDC 2015, with one week to go? Apple TV, Macs, Beats Music, iOS 9, OS X 1......