"Great for New Filmmakers!"4.5 starson by selectro87
Pros: HD, easy use software, OUTSTANDING VIDEO/AUDIO (little to no background noise-no hummms, unbelievable price point,
Cons: The side panels may be hard to open if you have large fingers (I have small hands and long nails), need bright light for best quality filming
Summary: I have been researching various cameras under $200 for the past month. I went into Best Buy and sampled quite a few and wasn't all that impressed, even with Canon and Sony. Initially, I avoided the "shoot & share" , but now I am so glad I have this little baby.UPDATE- I've now owned my camera for about 2 months and it continues to amaze and perform well. I have since bought a tripod for it and external lighting since I am in video production. I am about to buy the Sony Condenser mic for improved sound quality. Filming in HD makes it look like a real movie (very high quality). I recently shot a "how to" HD video for Youtube. Clarity is excellent. None of that cheap internet video look. My opportunities are growing and I am so proud to own a decent camera that captures excellent video. Don't take pictures with this camera because the resolution is too low. If you buy good video editing software, you can capture HD shots directly from your video.
Since I am starting a career as a filmmaker, I needed something easy to understand, use, tote along and CHEAP! I really wanted a HD camera, but most of those are very costly and I never in a million years thought I could afford one right now. When Best Buy put this on sale last week for $99 I couldn't believe that it would be any good, but after reviewing the CNET reviews and a ton of other reviews on other sites, I decided to spend the money--after all, I could also return it.
I am pleased to report that within just a few minutes of my first use, it delivered the video quality that I need in order to create sophisticated looking films for the internet and HDTV (I hooked the camera to my Vizio tv). I immediately made several short films and saved them to the memory. I also just bought an 8GB SanDisk SDHC card since I am sure I will be using this camera for the immediate future until my filmmaking skills improve enough to justify buying a more expensive machine.
I am fairly savvy when it comes to electronics and as I mentioned, I did my homework before purchasing.
Most people are pleased that it makes good home movies, but I can assure you that this camera is EXCELLENT for true films. So if you are a person who wants to start making real movies, buy this camera. Obviously for expert filmmakers, it may be a little lowbrow, but this is absolutely perfect for newbies.
I'm giving it 4.5 stars instead of 5 since I haven't made a full length film yet but am quite certain that this is a 5 star camera.
Updated on Mar 14, 2011
CONS: Lighting and sound. I bought external lighting and about to buy a stereo mic, but for amateurs who don't want to buy extras, just make sure you are in very good light and the internal mic WILL pick up every little sound.