Pros Accepable video quality; nice set of manual features (esp. white balance); small size; light weight; solid feel.
Cons Flimsy compartment doors; lack of info on packaging about what class of SD card is required.
Summary I bought this cam today. Was considering a high-end HD camcorder (Canon HF-S10), but decided to look at standard-def camcorders after reading about editing hassles with HD.Need to correct a mistake in my review. At maximum wide angle it is not barrel distortion but vignetting. It is relatively slight.
Saw this cam at Costco and was impressed enough to buy it, with a plan to return it if it didn't test acceptably. Shot footage in several conditions (low light, indoor, outdoor, fast-moving subjects, subtle gradations, etc.) and dumped it into computer for viewing, editing and DVD creation. This was a joy, since I'm used to capturing footage in real time from my Canon GL2's miniDV tapes. Footage imported fine into Pinnacle Studio 11.
After burning the footage onto a DVD, I viewed it using my PlayStation 3 and Samsung 42" 1080p LCD. It was definitely acceptable. A bit jaggy, and certainly not on par with the footage from the GL2, but the GL2 can be a beast to lug around, the startup time is slow, and as previously mentioned there is the hassle of dealing with the tapes. This is absolutely fine for home movies for the time being.
All of the standard features work well with the exception of white balance, so be prepared to get comfortable with the procedure for manually setting the white balance. It's very straightforward, and works just fine. To the extent that the colors aren't perfect you can tweak them in your editing software, but I find them acceptably close right out of the cam.
The audio is surprisingly good, especially since the cam itself is absolutely silent. There was a bit of a problem with wind noise. The cam has a filter for this that I have not tried yet. I may tape a piece of foam over the mic instead, since I like to minimize the amount of processing that the cam does on my video and audio.
The lens is quite tasty, and the zoom is extraordinary! There is a bit of barrel distortion at maximum wide angle, and the lens is a little dark at maximum zoom, but there is plenty there to work with at both ends of the range.
I don't plan to use the cam to create videos for online posting, and I know there has been some concern about the workflow in this regard. I will be shooting, editing and burning to DVD, and this cam seems to work very well for this. Highly recommended subject to the limitations described above.
Updated on Mar 29, 2009
Pros Nice display screen with nice laser touch bottons.
Cons lousy video quality
stupid without Mod format which is hard to convert
Summary For me, this is one of the worst electronic investment. It has a very nice display screen with laser touch bottons which deceive me into buying it. The video quality is bad even if i take it with super fine. As my wife is a piano teacher, we even notice that the video doesnt syn with the Audio. My Vado HD takes better quality video. Totaly disappointing
Pros I love this camcorder, I travel alot and during events the zoom is great! I absolutly think that this camcorder is a great price (I got mine for 120 on ebay!) and shoots great quality video. The memory options are awsome as well!
Cons I can't complain it has never let me down and battery's great!
Summary Buy it! If you have a tight budget and want something that will kepp its value and serve its purpose the way its supposed to, why wouldn't you!
Pros Lightweight, lasertouch, big screen, Very Nice video ever though its not HD.
Cons Bad picture quality, NOT 1 TOUCH UPLOAD
Summary This is a good camera if you are making you tube videos or home videos, but I wouldn't recommend it if you are a professional looking to record whole movies with it.
Pros SD card, lens cap feature
Cons YouTube button never worked, software unfreindly, no customer support unless you pay by the minute online.
Summary I bought this unit at Walmart. I used it for almost one month and returned it. One issue is that the YouTube feature never did work. There is no customer service help unless you want to pay for it. It kept coming up with a file error, then the unit asked if you would like to recover. Nobdy to ask about what the problem was. The software was unfriendly. Several times the battery would not charge at all. All the lights showed that it was charging, but when I unplugged it the battery had just a littly charge. Even after hours of charging it still did not work. The most frustratiing part was there was no customer support. JVC can keep the product if they are not willing to give support.
The video was good quality, and I found a way around their software to updolad to YouTube.