"Great HD Camcorder!"5.0 starson by P-Slaughter
Pros: Quality of the images is excellent
Audio recording is excellent
Very easy to use
Zoom is excellent, very sensitive
Mic is really good, no any problems
Size excellent easy to handle and move about
Cons: Difficult to control the shake at maximum zoom
Summary: I've just started getting my head around the camcorder. The quality of the images is excellent and I love being able to capture photos at the same time as filming. I have set the camcorder so that all my pics are stored on an SD card, whereas the movies are stored on the hard drive - you can alter this as and when you wish.
I wasn't impressed with the panasonic software which came with it and have been trying out a free download of Magix which I quite like. As such, I would suggest if you purchase this product, you will also need to purchase a video editing programme. I like the size of the camcorder and it is very easy to use. The zoom is excellent and it will automatically brighten images far away once it is focused on them.
I have a 90ft garden and was able to pick up very clear images of my rabbits and other wildlife whilst sitting in my house. I would also suggest that if you wish to record longer scenes or images further away that you consider purchasing a stand to put the camcorder on. I am in the process of doing this as, although the camcorder reduces shake, it is inevitable there will be movement if you are holding it. The zoom function takes a little getting used too as it tends to zoom in and out VERY fast, or should I say the button to adjust the zoom is very sensitive.
As long as you only just touch the zoom button, you will master the technique of a slower zoom and therefore avoid losing focus. The battery life seems quite good, although I can't give an estimate time as I tend to switch it off and on over several days, however there is definately over 1 1/2hrs on the battery. You can also purchase a battery which lasts twice as long as the one supplied which may be useful to use as the main one and then use the provided one as a back-up. You can also use the camcorder whilst connected to the mains.
The mic is really good and I have had no problems with wind noise when outdoors, although we are having exceptionally good weather so I haven't used it in extreme BAD weather yet. Most of my recording so far has been outside and there are no issues with the quality. I haven't used at night or in low lighting. I would purchase this one again. The only issue is that I save everything in HD and my computer isn't quite fast enough to cope with playing these back, resulting in jumping.
However, you can record at a lower image quality and the video editing software that I am trying will also enable you to play back at lower quality.
As such, this is not causing any problems and is a pretty good excuse to upgrade my computer sooner rather than later.
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Hope my review is helpful.