"Great for on the move families"4.5 starson by ericheatherh
Pros: pocket sized video and photo with good quality
Cons: Large file size
Summary: First let me say that after a month of using this camera I couldn't be more satisfied with my purchase. I wanted to address some of the "concerns" I have read in different reviews.
I have 4 small children and I almost never get to see a candle blown out on a birthday cake because I always find myself looking through the video camera in one hand and the still camera in the other. They are constantly on the move and doing "cute" things. For YEARS I have waited for a viable hybrid option. I learned long ago that if it didn't fit in my pocket I wouldn't take it many places and I would miss most of the wonderful family moments that exist. Additionally I hate having my pictures and video in two different locations and on different media.
There were two main options for providing good stills and video that would be "good enough" to eliminate the video camera from most situations, the TX1 and the Sanyo HD2.
I know that I mentioned large file size as a con because of the time it takes to transfer them to my computer and then the need to rework them to a usable size for sharing but it is also one of the primary reasons I chose this camera over the Sanyo HD2. Space is getting cheaper by the second and I am buying a 500GB "vault for just video for less than $100. My main concern is the quality of the video which is substantially better in the TX1 (precisely because the file sizes are bigger and less compressed). I can compress the video with MPEG4 on my computer to similar sizes and still maintain better quality than the Sanyo, it just takes more time.
I have read people complaining about the quality of the TX1 video as being less than other dedicated HD camcorders (that take poor stills) but the video quality is still far superior to my miniDV or my DVD camcorders.
I have also read complaints about the "short" 13 min of video that can be shot in a single sequence. I have learned that the longer the clip, the more boring it is and the less likely you are to watch it ever again and that is not my goal. My typical shots are between 10-20 sec. This camera works wonderfully with this.
Battery life is a bit short but this camera also uses the same batteries that the canon still cameras use so I have three of them.
Another concern I have heard is the ergonomics of the TX1. I have yet to press the wrong button nor have I had much trouble with the tiny joystick on the back.
The camera is small, VERY small but that is exactly what I need, something the size of a wallet that I can throw in my front Levi pocket and not feel like I am lugging something around. If I use it during the day, great, if not, thats OK too. I have heard many reviewers say that it is not a replacement for the camcorder but I have found that the quality genuinely IS good enough for me to leave my camcorder behind. But I am also not the type to video an entire soccer game or play.
Have you ever noticed how guests enjoy flipping through photo albums but abhor watching "home movies"? I think it is because videos are much longer and boring so they are never shown. I would encourage any parent to pick up something like this camera and force themselves to limit their video clips to 25 seconds so they can catch all the beautiful "spontaneous" moments in life in short enough clips that they will be a joy to watch instead of on the shelf collecting dust. All this in video with great stills to boot!