"Happy overall"4.5 starson by kuro
Pros: -Great photos
-HD videos (both AVCHD 1080i and MP4) look fantastic on my 50" plasma TV
-FINALLY, SD card compatibility. (Did our emails to Sony finally break thru?)
Cons: -Little loss of detail when photos are zoomed in but for family viewing, it's fine. I'm not photographing for a magazine or anything.
-Proprietary mini-HDMI adapter. Another adapter I may lose...
-Choosing 16:9 format reduces to 7meg photos
Summary: I have 3 Canon Powershots (A540, SD700IS, SX10IS) from reading past recommendations and I'm not overly happy with them. Especially in low light. I also looked at this HX5V's main competitor, the Pana TZ10/ZS7 and looks like it takes better photos and video. But the Pana causes annoying light streaks on videos (see Youtube), which I would find irritating and unacceptable. Also, I owned 2 Pana camcorders that broke so reliability was in question. Therefore, I chose Sony this time around. Especially since they decided to incorporate SD card usage. Yay! My 8GB card can hold 1500 photos or approx. 1 hour of 1080i video.Perfect! No need to take my video camera on trips anymore!I got a Blu-ray player with a network DLNA feature (Samsung 5500). I copy the original mts file to my desktop computer and stream the file over my network to my bluray and TV. NEAT! This is just to view the raw, unedited file.
I've had it for 1.5 days and so far, am quite happy with the quality. I viewed photos and videos on my plasma TV and it's amazing. The AVCHD video format needs to be converted before you can edit them on your computer. I have both a Mac and PC so I'm still playing around on both and looking for an easy method. The original MTS file format is not recognized by iMovie 08. You can shoot in a lower quality MP4 which iMovie will recognize. Also, if you have the Sony DVDirect VRD6, there's a firmware download on Sony's website to accommodate burning AVCHD from a digital camera video such as this HX5V.
I recommend ordering an extra battery and 1-hour quick charger from eBay. Standard charger takes 4+ hours. If you don't need the GPS, turn it off to save battery power. Some say the build quality is cheap but I don't find that to be the case. There is a metal band that wraps around from the top to the bottom to protect it. The battery cover may need a little softer touch but there are other cameras that sells itself as waterproof, shock-proof, etc so go buy them instead if you're clumsy and tend to drop things.
That's it for now. Rating this Sony a 4.5 stars. Only because the AVCHD's MTS video format is still difficult to edit.
Updated on Jun 1, 2010
My rating has not changed since, on the Mac, I need to get iMovie '09 to transfer, but must use iMovie '08 to edit. ('08 does not transfer but can edit; '09 can transfer but cannot edit. ***?)