"The Only Choice in HD Camcorders. Why buy Anything else?"4.5 starson by petarded
Pros: Optics, Sensor, HardDrive, Zoom rocker, build in lens cover, LCD, size, weight, AVCHD, 1920x1080@60i, 24P mode
Cons: Power/mode button hard to use, requires power supply to transfer video, grainy in dark
Summary: This camcorder has it all. It has a great sensor in 1920 x 1080 @ 60i or offers 24P which works great paired with excellent Canon optics. With the build in lens cover is one of the fantastic features compared to older camcorders.
The Zoom rocker is professional level, placed perfectly and has excellent control and smooth variable zoom speeds.
The Construction is like solid hunk of metal. It feels sturdy in the hand and the construction is very high quality.
The biggest part of this camera is that is has a harddrive for recording between 6 and 15 hours of video depending on resolution. Transfer to PC is lighting fast @ 20MB/second. so you can copy over 2 hours of video in about 15 minutes.
AVCHD is the future standard for ALL camcorders & video. While some early adopters of AVCHD are complaining about lack of editing software and support, I really don't see that as a big deal. The best software is Pinnacle Studio 11.1.1 or Sony Vegas 8a and they both work great TODAY. But it's only going to get better as the months move on. and at CES2008 100% of the camcorders are AVCHD format, so it's very clear that this format is full-speed-ahead!
This camera has a 24P mode which is great for film like effects. I must say that it works FLAWLESSLY!!!! Yes, contrary to some reviews it is FLAWLESS! Those people giving it low marks for 24P and some saying that it's so bad it's unusable all made big mistakes in their review! They did NOT use a compatible player!!!!! the player they used tried to convert the 24P to 60i and back to 29.97P and that is why you get bad playback. But if you get a compatible player it's PERFECT!!.
Confusion over 1440 x 1080 or is it 1920 x 1080. there's a lot of debate and no real answer here.. no one can say for sure at this point what the REAL resolution of this camcorder is. it's advertised at 1920, it shows up in some appications at 1920. However other applications show it as 1440... but some are starting to lean toward the applications being the issue and downsizing the 1920 to 1440 incorrectly.
The only Con's I have are all minor, but I do have 5.
1.) The power/mode button is a little awkward to reach and use. most of the time I need to use my left hand.
2.) Missing standard accessories: There is no battery charger, only a power cord. and there is no neck strap.
3.) The low light performance is viewable, but very noisy and grainy.
4.) When copying files to the PC you MUST have the power cord connected... which can be annoying since it's a 2 piece cord with power pack.
5.) I have not found a way to go strait to play mode. you need to go to Record mode, wait for it to start, then go to play mode. about 4 seconds of time, but it also opens the lens cover unnecessarily.
Overall, I have no idea why you would buy any other camcorder on the market... especially anything with tape????