Pros: Good video and sound quality, fairly steady footage
Cons: very expensive, low resolution pics comparatively, battery life
I hate to always be the bearer of bad news as it seems as though I am lately with many of my electronics reviews; however, I hate to see people throwing their money away on fairly decent products when there are very good products out there for similar prices. This product falls into the category of fairly decent, at least for high-end digital camcorders. Of course, it is blessed with many nice and easily usable features; however it certainly lacks in other areas where it needs to be better.
First of all, as is my customary style, let me point out the quality aspects of this product from Sony. The video quality is very good with a resolution of 680K and I have noticed most videos to be clear, steady and visually stimulating. Furthermore, Sony has a picture stabilization system installed whereas the filmer can be a bit shaky; however, the picture will still generally come out to look at least more steady than the footage actually shot. Also, it is important to note that the sound quality is just short of flawless. From up to 35 feet the user can hear conversation easily. Even when filming long range scenes such as 100 feet away, the user will still hear some basic noise and may pick up parts of a conversation. This is all supported by a 12 bit/16 bit Digital Stereo System. The camera also has many interesting features, such as a 12X zoom capability and the ability to turn background noises on/off or to control their volume. Also, there is night vision capability with this unit which can be cool for first time users.
On the negative end of the spectrum, this camera has some things that it certainly needs to work on. The resolution for still pictures is not what I expected first of all and therefore the pics that I have shot recently have not come out as clearly as I would have liked and expected from a digital camera. Secondly, the standard battery life of this camera is not very good, as I have noticed the one I have used needing to be charged after only 1 hour of use. Furthermore, customer service on this product is hard to reach by phone as I have heard of wait times exceeding 20 minutes. Sony could simply fix this problem by hiring more attendants to field calls. I have also heard reports that those individuals who do field the calls have been very technical in nature and were unable to explain things effectively to the everyday user.
All in all, this is not a bad product; however, I have found that there are similar cameras available that work well and can be purchased for a similar or lower price such as the Canon Optura. Also, I have found a good deal of success with Nikon products in the past. I suggest that you try out one of these possibilities for your digital camera needs