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Whilst Canon may not be as well known for their value as they used to be, the LEGRIA HF M56 is a step in the right direction. Its price presents a nice model with many features and specifications that are designed to impress. Whilst it can be found cheaper in certain retailers, the value for money is almost spot on for the camera you're receiving.
It has a 2.37Mpixels with 2.07Mpixels used for video. The still images are only captured at 1920x1080 so don't come out as well as they could. The video footage however, is incredible. The resolution is the same as full HD, and works well in low light situations too. Video format options include Full HD at 24Mbits/sec and MP4 formats. The MP4 formats shoot at 720p and 5-9Mbits/sec. The MP4 options work best if you're sharing video footage online, such as YouTube.
The memory does leave alot to be desired in terms of space, as the M56 only offers 8GB. That's around 45-50 minutes of HD footage. So if you're considering purchasing this camera, I'd advise purchasing a larger SD card too. Features are identical to the previous model, the M52. The zoom is good, offered from 10x to 200x but there is a lack of advanced programming. The zoom is also quite hard to reach, with the buttons on the other side of the LCD to the record button. Image stabilisation is complicated, with four different modes. However, with time and patient these can be worked out and used to the purchaser's advantage.
There is an option to add a custom time stamp, but I personally think this is best avoided. The ability to draw animated patterns, images and write freehand is also possible, but again, I cannot really see the point of such features - but there are those who might.
Overall, a decent camera that does its job well. There are better cameras on the market, but you will pay accordingly for them. At this price, this camera offers value for money.