Pros Great image, plenty of options/settings. The camera is so light it almost feels like there is nothing there. Dynamic "two handed" optical stabilization works well. Sleek design. Plenty of outputs.
Cons Gets hot after use, especially hot when using an external SD card. I recorded for 5 minutes on SDcard and card was 'en fuego!' Small touch screen is tough for big hands, and isn't responsive unless you really press down. Battery is very poor.
Summary Let me disclose that I have not owned a camcorder in a decade so I do not know how this compares with it competitors.
I went with a Canon because Cnet had picked 3 Canon camcorders out of their 5 best list. I figured that means Canon makes a great camcorder. It does. My first impressions are very positive for my needs and i'm excited to get through the manual. However, the few problems that are neglected by Canon seem easily fixable and I upset that they did not.
The tiny touch screen takes time to get comfortable with, and the heat is very noticeable in my hand after about an hour of use. If using external SD, put your oven mitts on before you take it out of there.
The clincher for me above all is the terrible battery. With all options turned on the battery only lasts 80mins, not meeting up with the internal 32GB storage that allows about 3 hours of record time. So, (a BIG SO) you will definately need an extra battery on hand, maybe 2 extra. Perhaps this is the case for all cameras, i'm not sure.
Please battery gods, send us a battery that's cheap, recharable, has ultra capacity, and doesn't cause cancer. Pleeeeeeease!
Pros Have had nothing but good experience with this camera. Compact, amazing quality of picture. Records in low light better than I've seen for a consumer video camera. When people see video played back on HDTV they always ask me about the camera.
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Cons A faster way to transfer video from camera to computer would be nice. USB just takes a while sometimes. I mainly use the 32GB flash drive. I don't use the software to transfer the video...I prefer to do it manually and organized the files myself.
Pros Works well in all light. It's very light and easy to put on tripods
Cons The onscreen menu is so bad that it's useless, however, just use the remote control.
Summary I bought this camera and the "you break it, we replace it" warranty from Crutchfield for $499. I got it to make web videos for my lawyer website. I didn't bother with the editing software because Cyberlink Powerdirector 64 blows it away.
Pros Excellent image, sounds, and options
Cons BATTERY LIFE - But I haven't looked into larger capacity batteries and how that would effect the ergonomics of using the camcorder.
Summary Disclaimer: I bought mine as an 'open box' special and then haggled it down even further (just under $400 w/ tax) so for the money I don't think there is a better deal.
Pros Great for load and dark locations., I took the camcorder to a New York City club, and put it to a rigorous test of thunderous bass and super hi frequency. The camcorder sounded fantastic with no distortion. The video looked sharp, crisp and vivid.
Cons Comes with three software discs. It's very difficult to work with. The software chooses what video to work with and regards to transferring image to computer it's just simply a nightmare. Can't transfer video to computer.
Summary I would have given this camcorder a 4.5 but the software dose not put out what it's suppose to. Software is terrible. I'm unfortunately returning it.