"Good hardware; Really bad manual and software"3.5 starson by amwells3
Pros: Seems like decent functionality for the price
Cons: Very confusing to transfer video from tape to PC
Summary: I think the optics and functions of the camera will meet my needs well. I'm happy with the price point. Autofocus is good. Image quality is good. I think its pretty cool. I have to confess this is only my second camcorder and my first digital.
However, I am not new to technology. The manual looks like it was written by someone with inherent knowledge of the camera but who doesn't like to communicate very much. Or maybe its becuase it was written in Japanese and then translated? The software that comes with it is equally obtuse.
I was able to get into a live chat session with a tech support guy without waiting on a Saturday. Cudos for that. However, he couldn't help me figure out how to transfer taped video to my PC. He ended up refering me to the software company's web site which was even more useless.
Bottom line: Great camera. Be prepared to spend some time trying to figure out how to make it work with your PC--via trial and error, reading the instructions, some of which seem to be in the manual and others of which seem to be in the software, and all of which are less than crystal clear.