Top positive review
15 people found this helpful
A pleasant surprise
on November 9, 2009
Prior to ordering my camcorder I read all the negative reviews. While I appreciate that they warned me about the poor image quality under low light conditions, I was a little surprised that the camera even recorded under low lighting at all. Mind you, I am upgrading from a behemoth of Sony VHS camcorder that I bought in 1998, which just flat out wouldn't record in a dimly lit room without the lamp on (which also discharged the battery at 3x the speed of normal use), so my expectations are ,,, to say the least,,, much lower than most on low light recordings.
As soon as I got the camera I started testing the lighting requirements for recording. I started out in regular HD on an overcast day indoors and found that in a 20x14 foot room with 3 60 watt bulbs and all but one of the blinds closed on 3 windows I could record with moderate graininess but with surprising quality compared to my ancient camcorder under the same conditions.
I moved into my garage which had a small north facing window for a 20x20 garage and one 60 watt bulb. The graininess increased but surprisingly, I could even see the objects in the dark portions of the garage that were otherwise covered in shadow.
I moved outside on an over cast day and the quality was unbelievable.
When night fell, I recorded my wife in our 14x14 foot kitchen lit by 2 75 watt bulbs and one 60 watt bulb and the quality was again very impressive. I'm talking see the weave of the fabric on her shirt from 11 feet away with a little zoom quality.
Note that all lighting was florescent light, which in my experience tends to wash out color and the wattage I indicated for each shot is the equivalence to incandescent lights, not the actual wattage on the bulbs which are significantly less.
Using the camera for me was very easy. It felt intuitive to me, the buttons to record and zoom were fairly similar to my ancient cam. What I really liked was the size and weight of it. Man try carrying my other Sony cam around on your shoulder for an hour! This one fits in the palm of your hand and the lens cover is built in. Thats a good thing cause I lost my other cams lens cover a month after I bought it and had to buy another and lost that too.
The software is a snap to install and use.
I'm not into plugging in mics and lamps into the cam. I did that a couple of times with the ancient camcorder I have and learned they were just a big pain in the posterior so that doesn't bother me at all either. I do wish the user guides were written a little better though but besides that I'm stoked!
I didn't like dealing with Ace Digital Photo though. I paid for 1 day expedite and they sent it 3 day select. It barely got here before I went out of town and they never contacted me about reimbursing my money for the a shipping option I never got.
Oh yeah, and it should have come with the HDMIC cable instead of the component.