Top critical review
36 people found this helpful
This Camcorder has its UPS and DOWNS
on October 11, 2011
Overall, end product (film quality) is great. G series lens lives up to its rep. HOWEVER:
HUGE HUGE HUGE Problem with this camera is the zoom. It's beyond terrible. The see-saw zoom button that rocks back and forth is so bulky and unpredictably inaccurate it's worthless. you have to depress the button half way (which is a good quarter inch) until it does anything and then it's so sensitive that it zooms in out out super fast out of your control. Even worse, the zoom ring on the barrel of the lens is unusable. THIS PRODUCT SHOULD NOT EVEN HAVE BEEN SHIPPED LIKE THIS. In my eyes, it's broken right out of the box. The reason you can't use the barrel zoom is because when you turn it ever so slowly for a creeping zoom, it steps in little tiny jerk movements. In other words, it zooms in like this: "zoom, pause, zoom, pause, zoom, pause,"etc. It renders your footage worthless. And I'm not talking super slow either. I'm talking at a medium speed it does this. So it's either super fast zooms or no zoom. How could a conglomerate like Sony ship these with such a design flaw is unfathomable. I have read other reviews of this camera with the same gripe so it's not just me. So there is really no usable zoom on this almost $3000 camera. Lastly, it's only a 10x zoom which is nothing. Gimme a 20x at least like all the other cameras in this price range (It has a digital zoom but we all know you cannot even use that in a professional end product. It looks like utter garbage I don't even know why it's offered, it's just "cropping" the frame, it's not actually zooming). Anyway, all the pros to these cons can be found in any other cameras in this price range (IE 24-60i frame rates) so i wont mention them. Here are a few notable unique pros worth mentioning:
Pros: it is supposedly water/dust proof which I'll never use (or be confident enough to attempt ruining my new camcorder)
The wide angle G series lens operates at low light very well. Night shot might prove to be useful one day, the user interface is laid out very intuitively. Reminds me of my Nikon D90 DSLR menu ... kind of... and I am a big fan of the on board analog mixer which has a 10db and 20db pad for the condenser mic. In the end the half inch sensor in this beast gives me incredible imaging so I'll keep it, but damn it Sony, you better come out with a software update to fix the zoom so i can change this review and give you 4 or 5 stars!!!! Until then, I would only recommend this camera to people who will not be zooming in or out of the subject they are filming. Which is no one.
P.S. For almost $3000 you can give us the longer lasting FV100 battery. It's like a $30 difference sheesh. how cheap are these guys?