Pros + Color is fantastic
+ Clips are recorded in .mov format which works great
+ Low light image quality is impressive
+ Same sensor as the XF105, a $4300 professional camcorder
Cons - Lame OEM battery and the viewfinder touch screen doesn't respond to finger commands easily
Summary Had my VIXIA HF M41 about a month and really love it. Bought the camera in preparation for our Alaska trip in a few months but use it to shoot property videos which end up on Youtube. I've been shooting primarily in FXP mode to save space which gets you 720p on Youtube. You can get some beautiful videos in the top MXP mode but you'll eat up battery and storage space in a hurry.Edit Link
Color is fantastic and all I could ask for as a semi-professional without spending a lot more money. When played back directly on HD tv the picture is stunning.
Clips are recorded in .mov format which works great with the iMovie9 editor that came with the MacBook Pro I bought last year. I spent about two minutes looking at the software that came with it from Canon and then tossed it.
Waiting on a WD-H43 wide angle lens I just ordered. Will have to buy a larger capacity battery also. The one that comes with it is pretty lame. The good news is the battery cavity and easily handle the additional 1/2 inch of the BP-819 with protruding out the back. The BP-827 will get in the way of the optical view finder.
I bought this camera because I wanted an optical view finder and this one has it. It's not great and it's in a single fixed position but on bright sunny days I'll have that option.
Why not five stars? Lame OEM battery and the viewfinder touch screen doesn't respond to finger commands easily. However, once I got the settings dialed in I set the focus on Auto and you shouldn't have to mess with the touch screen that much.
*** P.S. If you will buy this digital camcorder I suggest you have compare prices before you decide at: www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/B004HW7E2O?ie=UTF8&ref_=dp_olp_new_map&qid=1314936197&sr=1-1&condition=new#?ie=UTF8&tag=***************&********=ur2&camp=1789&creative=390957
Updated on Oct 15, 2011
I suggest for best deal at: HF-M41.hit.to
Pros Price keeps tumbling. Was $700.00 and can now be found for just under $400.00.
Features a EVF. Low energy consumption. Easy to hold and transport. Packaged with a HDMI cord.
Cons Image stablization is the worst ever; even when set to maximum. Picture quality is good but not excellent. Menu is a challenge.
Summary Great at $400. Otherwise, look at a Sony or Panasonic.
Canon excels at still photography; better than most but has always been weak in video when compared to Sony.
I expect Costco to carry one of the 400XXX series within weeks to clear it out for the coming 2012 models brought out at the CES 2012 show.
Pros 32gb Built-in Memory, Viewfinder, 1080p, Canon HD Lens, Touchscreen, Digital Zoom Stabilizer, Microphone.
Cons Battery Life
Summary I cannot say enough about this camera, it definitely exceeded expectations considering all of the videos I saw said it was only consumer-level quality, but it has definitely shot just as well as some of my higher quality cameras that cost nearly 2500$. I use it for skate videos, since its easy to hold in your hand and produces amazing video. I also love that it has a manual focus option, for amazing looking close-up shots and the ability to change your subject simply. The touchscreen was hard to get used to, but in the end is very easy to use, and I don't have to use the little tip they send you with as my fingers work fine. The battery life is only about 2 hours, which is enough to record 75%-ish of video at the highest quality, but it has a deep battery cavity and the small battery is easily upgradeable to one that will last you several hours. While I love the viewfinder, I was a little upset that you couldn't adjust it, however it works fine for me, and the touch screen is glare resistant. I am constantly astounded by the video that this tiny camera uses, and will be sure to love this camera for years to come. Go buy it!
Pros Excellent performance in auto mode for just about all conditions.
Cons Canon cleans up on overpriced proprietary batteries. WARNING: You can buy aftermarket a lot cheaper but this camera recognizes the difference and punishes you with a constantly flashing red light, if and when they work at all.
Summary Image stabilization is great, and the touch screen is very good after you become acquainted. Even the CNET pro reviewer is wrong about that touch screen. Most importantly, this is THE camera for shooting for the web because it trades all those still-quality pixels for the best possible results in low and changing light conditions. If price is no object then lucky you, but don't be fooled by higher prices if you are all about using the net. YES you can capture a better image quality elsewhere without sacrificng anything, but that's no worry unless your aim is also stills and HDTV. If just don't forgo Canon's HD CMOS Pro sensor, available also on G10 and XA10, or you will lose the flexibility that this model is all about.