My boyfriend and I wanted a camcorder to take on our holiday to New York, and I have to say that I never expected to enjoy shooting video as much as I have. Firstly, the quality of the footage is nothing short of outstanding, the auto focus is amazingly quick and it has a great auto scene selection feature that means you can basically forget about changing any settings - although the touchscreen display is so much fun to use, you find yourself wanting to rather than needed to!
We chose the M306 mainly because of the quality (after reading a review) and the size (will fit into a coat pocket but still has a decent optical zoom), but were really surpised by the number of other features, and how much fun it is to use. The touchscreen also has something called 3D view that lets you scroll through all your movies similar to scrolling through photos on an iphone. Really cool!
As a first time camcorder user (who never thought I'd put down my camera!) and an experienced photographer (my boyfriend shoots on a big SLR camera) we were really impressed and wouldn't hesitate to recommend this to anyone.
First off I think the cam corder is a good piece of kit. I've only had mine a short couple of weeks so haven't been able to exhaust its potential... yet. I bought it to make simple movies on, believing that the price of equipment doesn't determine the quality of the final film, (if in the right hangs). It's quite straight forward to get going with and generally easy enough to use. The battery on mine lasts about an hour and a half, but I think it can vary greatly depending on how you use it, e.g. setting it up and just leaving it filming non stop, I suspect, will keep the battery going a little longer than someone constantly playing around with the zoom and all the play back functions. For the market I suspect it's aimed at: home video/ holiday film makers, it does everything very competently. The HD quality is good; the features it advertises work well, (particularly the Image stabilizer). The fact it uses SDHC memory cards is convenient since they're common, robust, easy to use and data transferral is quick; (although this particular Canon model, regrettably, didn't have even a small memory card bundled in with it). The build quality is what you'd expect: small, light, well put together, a bit plasticky in places but not so much that you have an annoying constant creaking noise develop on film when you're handling it. The camera is fairly basic and functional, lacking features like a fully manual focus, which means in order to get 'arty' shots you have to try and manipulate the focal point through the touch screen function which can be a little fiddly to navigate at times; even with the icons set to large; if my modestly sized fingers were any bigger, I imagine it would be quite a struggle. There are a good range of accessories available to boost this little camera's performance, including longer life batteries, directional mics etc. On that note, the sound is pretty good. It's clear and fairly true to the source, especially when plugged into your TV/ Speakers. There's a function that blocks out a fair amount of background fuzz, but it tends to diminish the recording volume. The editing software is a little too simple for my liking and on my initial attempt at installing and using it, I found the whole process, involving a number of discs and menus, a little off putting; (although it may be just because I'm a little old fashioned and quick to scream "over complicated!!!" when it comes to things like that). But with plenty of film editing programs out there it's not too big a bug-bear. The Legria includes a simple 3mp stills camera which works nicely. After all's said and done only you the individual knows what quality and functions you expect from a camcorder and what you'll be using it for. There are other equivalent models from the likes of Sony and Panasonic out there which are fairy easy to have a look at on the high street for comparison. I you're THAT bothered about whether your prospective camera will work in super low light 100m under water then you should be off getting a proper demonstration somewhere. For everyone else, this is a mid range, fun piece of kit with some cool features and a long life of use ahead of it, and I would happily recommend it.