on October 7, 2011
So, I purchased this camera thinking that a sub-$400 HD camera that could create videos that looked and sounded really good existed. Apparently, I was mistaken, and this may have been my own fault for not doing enough research, but these are complaints I have with the camera:
1) Everything recorded sounds like a film reel going in the background (or a HDD periodically spinning but I assumed that there was flash memory in this and therefore there shouldn't be any moving parts). The mic is picking up some sort of noise made by the camera that really can't be heard normally. I tried it in a silent room with the door closed and changed some settings (turning the "Wind Screen" off helped a little), but if you want to use this for anything decent, you're going to want to use a different mic (there's a 1/8 inch jack for that)
2) The picture is kind of grainy. I was recording on the highest possible setting, and it didn't really look any better than the Flip cameras I've used (that you can pick up for $100, and their mics aren't very good either). It may shoot in 1080p, but the film is still grainy and doesn't look HD at all. I have compressed SD DVDs that looked better.
3) The initial file it creates is kind of useless. It records into its own proprietary format, which you then have to convert with the included software if you want to do any real editing of it (the editing software it comes with is much more basic than even Windows Live Movie Maker). WMP plays the files, but for quick editing from any computer, this is very inconvenient, you'll have to also carry a laptop with the correct editing software around with you too.
Ultimately, I would not recommend this camera if you're seriously looking to purchase an HD camcorder. Even if you're just going to be using it for home movies, I'd recommend either saving some money and buying a Flip or one of the sub-$200 mini handheld "HD" cameras, or save up some more and wait until you can afford something closer to the $600+ range. The quality sub-$400 camcorder has not yet arrived.
on August 7, 2012
I've owned this camcorder for almost a year now,I had trouble at first trying to figure why It wouldn't record in HD,but I figured it out,the dual SD card slots are a great idea,the quality of picture is awesome to at 3 megapixels,the only downside I can see is that you can only take pictures in Auto mode,but other than that it's an awesome camera.