Top positive review
114 people found this helpful
Great little camcorder
on 24 November 2010
I bought this for the car - after a couple of years of using a pair of Oregon Scientific's ActionCams - it was time to change.
The full resolution recording at 1920x1080 works as advertised with no dropped frames 4Gb Class 6 SDHC and 64Gb SDXC Class 16, the Class 2 SDHC cards from the ActionCams were useless, the video was breaking up all the time, eventually the camera just gave up.
The optics are very good at this price point and there is precious little aberration on macro closeups and wide angle distance shots.
The touch screen interface works remarkably well considering the size of the screen, zoom being a controlled by a rocker on the top of the camera or by two on-screen buttons.
I can't understand the guy with the 60" LG telly who couldn't tell the difference between the analogue and HDMI - its like having cataracts removed!
I chose the Sony over the equivalent Panasonic due the Sony's increased CCD sensitivity and lower noise. In addition the Sony works down to almost darkness without any additional lighting unlike the Panny - not a lot of point having a crappy little LED shining onto the road ahead (or behind).
The manual has a few Chinglish bits in it, probably left for a laugh, nothing serious, but you do feel that the person writing some parts hasn't read others. e.g. if you close the LCD the camera stops recording, for in-car use that would be a no-no, however, the manual later says you can disable the auto on/off setting when you open/close the LCD... But it is concise enough to read it completely without your heart sinking at a huge thick wadge of multi-lingual crud that other manufacturers make you wade through.
The image stabilisation is electronic, not optical, it works relatively well, but for the sharpest shots, turn it off. The auto white balance is a bit hit and miss, but there is a manual override if the colours look crazy. At full data rate the camera uses about 10.9Gb/hr - so get the minimum of a 16Gb card to get any decent time filming.
My main gripes are that the power on/off is under the LCD flap; the tripod mount is too close to the memory card slot; and the strap isn't removable.
The manual shutter over the lens is a bit of a pain, but I'm sure I'll get used to it - why the camera couldn't come on when the shutter was opened ?
The camera was delivered two days ahead of schedule, so I've had two days of use out of it so far, battery life was 2 hours, after charging I got 2 1/2 hours, now I'm getting around 3 hours. Plenty enough for the standard battery.