"Nice "just below pro" camera for the $ (if its on sale)"4.0 starson by olatte
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!