I purchased this camcorder when it was released and have used it for various projects. It is very pocketable, the video image stabilizer works well, the SD cards make it incredibly easy to transfer pictures to your computer and once you've selected the MPG settings that work best for you there's little left to chance. The zoom, color, exposure control, and even audio (I know, it's a consumer camcorder) is quite sufficient for most people who are looking for a great value in this price range.
But -- far too many comments are based on the battery and not on the camcorder itself. Buy they generic BP-727 two pack of batteries and get back to the camcorder.
BATTERY SOLUTION The generic BP-727s and pair of chargers are EXTREMELY affordable. They are generally not chipped yet so the camcorder cannot tell you how much time you have left. I ran my own personal tests on a pair of full batteries and found that they provided 2hr 47min on the first battery and 2hr 53min on the second battery. If you start each day with a fully charged battery there is little need for the battery meter.
STORAGE While a 32GB SDHC card works great for day of shooting this camcorder really shines with a larger capacity SDXC cards. I added a pair of 64GB SDXC cards to the rotation so I could carry a small 3-card aluminum wallet with me when travelling and not have to download for a week. SDXC is a great format but there will be those who will complain about compatibility and lack of functionality as well.
Understand that many of the would-be issues relate to the fact that the exFAT filesystem used on SDXC cards is not natively supported by Windows XP. You will need to install the Microsoft patch for XP that supports the exFAT (SDXC) formatted cards. After a reboot your card readers and SDXC cards will spring to life. That new memory card that you thought was incompatible or damaged now works like a champ.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE -- If you are considering this camera because the features and price are attractive then do it. The battery and SDXC issues that have caused a great many people to feel disappointed can be corrected easily and with very little investment. Overlook every battery comment you see and look for comments on the camera, it's incredible zoom, decent low light performance, good audio and ability to accept a mic input and headphone output. It's a great camera that makes personal HD recordings easy to take and to share.
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