Top critical review
2 people found this helpful
Great camera overall but mic performance is subpar
on September 4, 2010
Excelent entry level camcorder. The Time Lapse feature is cool. Can change video resolution to save space (these two features where the main reason I choose this model). The free software works well for amateurs and semi-pro (better than I expected). Optical zoom is excelent and digital zoom is not bad. Easy to use and intuitive. In fact, I started using the camera without reading the manual.
1) The mic catchs a lot of noise or unwanted sounds, for example, the movement of my hand in the strap, the movement of my fingers over the camera surface, the pressing of the photo or zoom buttons, the lens zooming, my breathing and people talking behind me.
2) Photo quality is low compared with my cheap casio EXILIM.
3) No shortcuts, almost everything have to be done in the menus. For example, the time-lapse mode and artistic effects require several clicks in the touch-screen.
4) Smart-Auto sometimes fails to identify correctly the lighting conditions or have a lag of several seconds, especially if you you change of enviroment while recording. Moreover, in time-lapse mode, the smart feature is useless because it stay fixed once you start the recording. For example, to record a transition from night to day, I started a recording at night and the next morning the indicator was still in 'Night Mode'.
5) Cannot change FPS. It's fixed in 60.
6) The battery only charges while the camera is off. Maybe this is not failure but a feature to avoid damage of the battery.
It is recommended a high capacity and high speed memory card. In my case, I use an class 10 16GB card and I carry an extra 8 GB card just in case. In the future, I will have a combination of 32-16 GB because HD videos takes a lot of space.
By the way, the camera splits the videos in 2GB files but you can join then in the computer using the included software (assuming your file system is NTFS). Beware, after I updated the software it started to show an error when transfering files to the computer. Not a big deal because I can copy them manually but I suggest not to update unless you create a system restore point.
Sound quality is very low. The mic should be in the front of the camera, not in the top of it. Moreover, there is a permanent hissing even in a completly silent enviroment.