Top positive review
13 people found this helpful
on 1 May 2013
This really is a cracking little device, particularly for the £120 I paid in March to an Amazon supplier. I'd set a budget limit of about £230 and this was the cheapest product on my shortlist. I only wanted a basic machine to record the new grandchild and to film dogs and horses at competitions and elsewhere. It works fine on the "auto" settings, but has plenty of manual settings via menus. I thought at first the "pistol" rather than traditional layout might be less effective, but in fact I think you can probably hand-hold it steadier provided you have the right technique. I won't use still cameras without traditional viewfinders and when I first used this holding it at eye level I found it unsteady and also difficult to see the screen (outside) because of reflections. But, if you hold it at stomach level with the right elbow pressed into your side, then steady the screen with the left hand (adjusting the tilt for optimum view) it is both steady and easy to view.
The menu joystick is good and it is easy to start recording video, but to my mind the zoom and still photo switches are a bit awkward. I wonder if it would be better with a more conventional rocker zoom in the front, operated by fingers. But this would probably tempt one to use zoom too much.
Nice "burst mode" features for stills, and will do half speed slow motion by recording at 60 fps. The download software is good, although I havn't tried to assemble a movie yet. Easy to connect to a TV, although I couldn't get the Viera link to my Panasonic TV working, perhaps because I bought a generic lead instead of the £30 Panasonic one. I tend to record at 720p to keep the file size and processing time down, but this is good enough for viewing on a 22 inch computer monitor. The image is quite obviously "digital".
Other reviewers comment on battery life, I havn't found this a problem for my sort of casual use (although the battery is very small and it would have made little difference to the overall dimensions to have it doubled in size). But I did buy a third party battery to have a spare, and also a mains charger which is a bit more convenient than using the USB port.
The other big plus is waterproofness. I will probably never use it underwater, but it means you never have to worry about rain if you need to catch an unmissable outdoor event in the rain. The two types of image stabiliser seem very effective, but you do need to have a tripod to avoid the videos looking rather amateurish. If you always compare different products by looking at the "numbers" you might dismiss this because of its relatively small zoom range. Personally, I consider it to be more than adequate. Some of the zooms now available must be very difficult to use other than in good light and on an expensive tripod. (I took some nice film of a deer at 150 metres the other day, far from full frame but more than good enough to identify the breed and sex as it grazed).
It's nicely made and finished, and feels like a much more expensive product.