Pros Easy to use, good mount for extra mic (doesn't wobble)--see comment below. Can edit clips in the camera which is good if you read my summary below...
Cons Ability to edit in Final Cut Pro would have been great - students like iMovie, which is what the camera automatically downloads to if using a mac--imovie sucks up a lot of memory.
Summary Great for classroom use, it's expensive, but sturdy, which is what is needed when the camera is handled by many. I would have liked to have it use Final Cut Pro without having to download in imovie first, (sucking up much of my boot drive's memory! imovie doesn't go to external drive...so--) then export (slowly) to Final Cut Pro. Makes my job more difficult--teaching and making a documentary integrating some student work.... Oh yea, and my hard drive just crashed, I think this has something to do with it.
Pros Low light capability; ease of use; memory; good size lcd screen; excellent choices in various lighting situations.
Cons Ridiculous no viewfinder at this price
Summary I haven't used this yet, but I traded in an HF M40 for it because there was a price drop within the return period with Best Buy. But, with more gb, some special focusing and light features, and the little built in flash, why not?
Pros Noticeable difference in sensor size from Canon's M3XX series especially in low light. Large high resolution display is much sharper, easy to use due to size and more responsive. The video light is great and continous photo capability is AWESOME.
Cons Perhaps unreasonable at this price, but wish it had night shooting with the infrared green shot. The battery is not the large capacity available as upgrade. Wide angle is not wide enough, allows for upgrade. Wish it had literature on shooting ideas.
Summary I noticed other camera automatic controls don't work the way I want them...S20 works great and exceeds all expectations. I have the confidence that professionals have thought of the video necessaties and included them in this camera. I will take advantage of these features as I learn. I wish it included more educational resources to learn more about the product features, how to use them and shooting video. If I learned more I would be enticed to buying more of the accesories from Canon. You cannot go wrong with this camera. Try asking for an open box for a great deal at any retailer...try the next store if no luck.
Pros Best Image quality on the market for the price, amazing features, true 24frame native
Cons as for the cons mentioned by cnet all not true, the menu screen seems bizarre at first, it will take you 2 days to get used to it and even like it, as for SDXC it is supported you only have to download the new firmware for the camera
Summary This camera can compete against 3000$ cameras if properly setup.
Pros This camcorder's HD performance was on par with the more professional cameras but much easier to use. It has built in automatic face recognition that focuses in on the faces of your subjects and tracks them while shooting. It has a large finder.
Cons The instructions that came with the camera leaves a lot to be desired. In fact, if I had one complaint about this machine it would be that. Why would Canon would put so much technology into this camcorder but do a lousy job on the instructions?
Summary This camcorder is easy to use and completely automatic. Yet, it gives the advanced user much control over many aspects of the shoot. Some reviewers complained that it falls short when it comes to computer connectivity. I disagree! I use a 4 year old MacBook Pro. When I connected the camcorder to my computer, I was immediately recognized by iMovie, and downloaded the video.
In all, this is a fantastic camera and I highly recommend it.