Pros nice stills, good video, nice oled, great that it records onto SD
Cons stabilization? What stabilization?, although clear, screen rather small, pistol grip could be a little easier to hold
Summary Ok, I got all excited about this unit. It is sooo close to being everything I was looking for. I thought it was great that it was HD. Some may argue it isn't true HD, it only gets to 720p, etc. I'm just happy it has improved video quality over typical DV formats and uses the very convenient SD format.
The problem is that, even though it does have a pistol grip, and the buttons are well placed, it is still a bit to easily hold solid--mainly because the screen is right up against the housing, and it is prett smal, so it is hard to truly hold it as a pistol grip without the thumb getting in the way of the screen a bit.
The biggest problem is that it is small, and even though it supposedly has image stabilization, the video is still very shaky. Sanyo seriously needs to find a way to fix this. Its too bad too, because the video is very nice, but it is shaky. Sure you can put it on a tripod, but defeats the purpose of having a small portable device.
With a little better design for holding the camera and better stabilization, this would be almost the perfect duo video/still camera.
Finally--I don't know if it is just me or not, but I'm not finding many of the video reviews for products much use. Two in particular from Lori really don't tell us much. One for the Sanyo HD1, and one for the Sony DSC-N1 still camera basically provided no real useful information. She describes what they look like, but really has no useful comments on their functionality. We can look at pictures and find out just about as much. If CNET is going to go through the trouble of providing video reviews, (which I really like btw) I'd would like to see a little more details as to summarized pros and cons
Pros Fits in a shirt pocket, beautiful photos and video, battery lasts a long time, No mechanical parts, No tape to rewind
Cons Video lags at times, In dark rooms the picture deteriorates
Summary Overall I can say it is the best videocamera I have ever owned, especially because of its diminuitive size and excellent color rendition. However, the video stopped recording after 10 days. I have sent it back to the merchant for a replacement. This didn't deter me from replacing it. I only hope it was just a bad unit and not a common flaw in all the machines. I have read that despite the manufacturer's 2 G SD limit, the unit will work with a 4 Gig, and would recommend a bigger memory card especially if you are planning to do a lot of shooting. After experiencing this camcorder I will never buy one that takes tape or disc; SD card or hard drive is the only logical solution. I cannot ubnderstand why a company like Sony has been beaten by Sanyo.
Pros Small, easy to use.
Cons very poor quality video.
Summary If you want good videos look elswhere. its okay as long as you have lots of light. Try to video in the evening, or indoors and you won't even be able to focus. I tried to video my daughter this evening with the lights turned down a little low(I could see fine) and camera wouldn't pick up any light at all. I like that the camera works as a pc cam, although the mic does not work as a pc mic, so all you get it video.. no audio. The photo quality is a lot better than the video. I wish they would have added a focus assist lamp because auto focus is a little slow. the camera starts up fast as long as you don't turn it off. just close the fold down lcd and it goes into 'standby mode', open it again and its ready to shoot. but turning it off and on takes a little time. you need to hold in on the power button for 2 long seconds before it starts to power up, or down. which seems a little silly because the power button is very small and a little difficult to press so it is very unlikely that you could bump it on accident. The camera is easy to hold. It feels very good in my hands. the buttons are well situated. You will need to remember to press a button next to the flash in order for it to pop up and turn on. otherwise you won't get flash. press it again for red eye, and again to turn it off.
I am glad I purchased this camera. I don't like hauling bulky video cameras, and this seems to do fine as long as sufficient light is available.
Pros True HD, tapeless, Great 5MP Dig Cam w/flash
Cons Poor low-light video, shaky video
Summary I have owned this camera for a week and took it on a fishing trip. It shoots great video in the bright outdoors. The may I quote Owen Wilson from I Spy "Size Matters!!" Seriously, the small size is very nice, and the portability helped me get shots that I would not have otherwise (ie. while biking). The included case makes it easy to carry it safely on my belt. The Digital Image stabilizaion needs improvement (no optical stabiliztion). Also, it's harder to hold smaller cameras steady - so this will continue to be a problem wilth all camcorders as they get smaller. Before I bought this camcorder, I had 2 big questions: How much video on an SD card and Battery Life. I get at least 40 min of HD video in SHQ (highest quality setting) on a 2 Gig card. I have not had a chance to try out my 4 Gig card yet, but many say that it woks in this camcorder. Battery life is great. When you close the LCD screen, the camcorder goes to sleep. I never truly turned it off for 2 days, recorded about 40 min of video, took about 20 pictures (some w flash) and used the camcorder for viewing as well. After all this 2-day "trial," the battery life meter was only down to half. I doubt I will ever need a second battery. This is likely due to the fact that there are hardly no moving parts. The main problem with this camera is that I have to tweak the light settings for indoor/evening shots. Then the picture is quite grainy. In the same setting, however, a still shot looks great. This is because if the incuded flash. The flash doesn't double as a video light however. It's only for still shots. While shooting video the image is so shaky that I will probably buy a tripod. For daylight and a steady hand, the video is fantastic. The 5MP digital camera is good in practically all settings. Probably not as good as my Digital Rebel w/$500 lens and attached flash, but not far off. This is the best camera I have ever seen in a camcorder. The SD card imports to my computer in a couple of minutes. I'm a mac user, and iMovie imports the MPEG-4's into the HD mode just fine. My DVD's look great on the TV. This Camera is for the dedicated DVD compiler. And you will need a powerful computer to handle the HD. Even quicktime jumps while watching clips. If you just want to store these on an external HD, it's a little quirky, because your video is stored In many different clips as separate files. Great for compiling a movie on a computer, but tedious if you want to watch them on you computer unedited. The camcorder had a great docking station. however, that allows "all play" and you can view everything you just took on your TV in a few seconds. The included remote is very nice. The only problem with this method is that you are limited to your SD card space. Originally, I thought about returning this item because I shoot a lot of video indoors (kids & stuff). But as I shopped around, there is nothing else in this class. I'd have to spend thousands more to get anything better. I'll keep my house well lit, keep my camcorder, and keep it steady.Updated
2 GB SD card holds 23 minutes of HD video at highest quality. I had a difficult time doing a Full Format on my 4 GB card, but I eventually got it working. It holds 56 minutes at highest setting. The battery lasts about an hour, including photos and video viewing. The indoor lighting problem can be fixed by having good lighting in the house. You can also adjust the aperature/ISO/white balance and a few other things on the camera to fix this problem. Even at sunset, I was able to get the subject appear brighter than what I could see with my own 2 eyes! I'm happier with the product now that I have figured out how to tweak it to take in more light in the evening. Shawdows are still very dark, and I have learned to brace my hand/arm on something to keep the camera extremely still. Still rate it a 7
Pros 5 megapixel stills
Cons everything else, including the horrible HD, owned for 2 days and already noticed a defect
Summary Ok, so I've owned this thing for roughly 2 days. I tested the HD quality and good god, it's awful. Compression and Artifacts everywhere. When I first read about the artifact and color issues on the reviews, I thought I would be able to fix them in video post (I am a video editor and compositor and I found it nearly impossible to fix). I also tested some fairly lit rooms at night, and the noise you get on even 200 ISO is just horrible. 400 ISO... forget about it. The still pictures were on par with any point and shoot camera, but once again, very very poor low light action. Now on to the defect. Today, during the low light test, I noticed that half the screen (the entire left side split at the very center) was somewhat darker. There was a very noticable line in the center that seperates the the left (completely dark and noisy) with the right side (less dark). I'm guessing there is something with the CCD on my camcorder. Even if you get lured by the HiDef promisses stay far away from this, If I couldn't fix it in video post, good luck. I'm returning mine as soon as possible.