Okay, just got back from a family vacation, and I've used this camera (HFS10) for a LOT of footage.
I had an HF10 before for a year, so I can also comment on comparison of the two.
My main viewing is on a 110" screen through an Anthem D2v and Sony VW60, using a PCHA110 as the streaming device. All my recording has been at 24mb/s and mostly at 60i (see below).
Feedback - The GOOD:
- Colors and detail are amazing. Only slightly better than the HF10, but now that I've seen a lot of footage, it's clear. It's almost like it has better contrast or something, as the picture is more realistic (and the HF10 is really good to begin with).
- The on-board editing of video comes in handy when you record too long by mistake, or your daughter says something untoward at the end of an otherwise good shot. Just split the shot, and delete the bad part!
- Face recognition for video focus is good. It's fairly quick to find primary and secondary faces, and focus on them. It also seems fine when there are no faces, and just does normal focusing priority.
- Low-light performance is okay, not quite as good as the HF10, but good enough for me. I recorded inside some very dark Disney rides to test it out, and it worked fairly well.
- The on-board light is actually very good for close shots of people and such.
- Size and weight are great, although slightly bigger/heavier than the HF10. Nearly perfect for carrying around in your hand for constant on-the-ready shooting.
- Camera stills are also good, but I always had a still camera to do that work.
Feedback - The BAD:
- 24p and 30p aren't really what they say. Everything is recorded as 60i, with added frames and interlacing added by the camera if needed. So you need a good program to turn these into true 24p/30p source files. As a result, 60i makes the most sense for nearly all recording.
- Manual focus/etc. seems okay, but caused more problems than help. I hit the button a couple of times unintentionally (due to the location) and couldn't figure out why it wasn't focusing! Be careful of the button, and perhaps disable it by default. Almost never useful for the average person. (Although I should have used it for some nighttime shooting of a show, to keep the focus stable.)
- The internal memory (HFS10) got corrupted! I used my 16GB card initially, but it got full so I switched to the internal memory for the last couple of days. When I got home and plugged it into my computer, it was a RAW partition. Then the computer and camera wouldn't recognize it! I freaked out all night trying to fix it, then I seached download.com for the top-rated disk fixer. Fortunately, it worked like a charm and I recovered all of the 9GB I had recorded on the internal memory.
A great camera, and worth the upgrade from an HF10 if you don't do a lot of low-light shooting (and money isn't a big deal).
HOWEVER - Heed my warning about the internal memory! I'd recommend at least doing a full initialize of it before using it, and I'd avoid using it completely. With the SD card, you can pop it into your computer directly, but with the internal memory, you need to plug the camera into the computer, adding a layer of potential issues. FWIW, after I did a clean initialize (had to do it twice), it seems fine, but I'll never use the internal memory again by itself, and will always use the "copy to SD card" if I have to use the internal memory for some other reason.
Love the camera!
EDIT: Note that I went through security 4 times (twice both directions, camera in my carry-on), so perhaps that had something to do with the internal failure? Although I did record some footage on the last leg of the flight, so it was working at least a little while after the last security check... Anyway, I think it's just a bad idea to use the internal memory if you care about your videos!
TiVo is on it's way out -
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