Top positive review
32 people found this helpful
Great camcorder for the price!
on December 7, 2009
I bought this camcorder primarily to videotape my daughter's gymnastics meets. I have recorded two so far and the video quality for those is excellent. The lighting in both cases was bright flourescent lighting like you would find in a high school gymnasium. I made a brief test video in my kitchen at night with just one light on and it wasn't so great. I don't know if this would be a great camcorder for birthday parties and that sort of thing. For that you would be better off getting a camera with 720 HD like the Panasonic DMC-FZ35 for less than half the price. It takes great video in a variety of lighting, but it cannot handle some of the very fast action of gymnastics without blurring. But that's another review!
- Very large (120gb) built-in hard drive.
- Available SD/SDHC memory card slot.
- Great video in bright indoor or outdoor light - the same video quality as the HDC-HS300 that costs over $1000.
- Very easy to use - my 8-year-old was taking pictures and videos and playing them back with no instructions.
- Video is very easy to import to iMovie '09 on my iMac - I just attach it using the included usb cable and a window comes up allowing me to choose the clips I want to import.
- The image stabilization works well - smooth footage without a tripod.
- Zoom is very smooth and adequate.
- Great price if you can get it for under 600 dollars.
- Display shows how much battery life (in minutes) and how much recording time is remaining.
- Lacks an electronic viewfinder and an external microphone jack - to get those you need the HDC-H300.
- Probably not great for low light indoors.
- The battery charger/AC adapter are a bit strange but you can live with it - you have to remove the battery to put in the AC/Adapter but the battery will not charge while you are using the adapter.
- Battery life is not very long (about 90 minutes) and extra batteries are pricey - this is the case for most HD camcorders.
- Like probably every HD camcorder, the included software is not so great (although I don't need it for my iMac) and you will have to invest in expensive software to edit the video using a Windows PC.
I researched extensively and for my needs this is by far the best camcorder for the price. It would also be great for videotaping any sports, including indoor sports like basketball.
Update: I've been using it for about two months now. When recording indoors (convention centers, gymnasiums, etc.) the video has good resolution, but often a strange color cast, especially at the start of recording. I don't know if other cameras would be better in this kind of light with subjects that are far away.