I've been holding out for a new HD consumer level camcorder for more than a year. I have an SD Sony Handycam which records straight to DVD originally purchased to film my two young boys. I've noticed the video is seriously grainy now that we have a Sony Bravia 1080p 46" LCD TV. I'm also afraid of the longterm viability of the dvd storage.
I've narrowed it down to the Canon Vixia HF200 and the Sony HDRCX-100. All the reviews I've read (and I don't think I've missed one! ), point to the Canon. Here are my issues:
1-I currently have all Sony components (TV, camera, BluRay player) which I know will work seamlessly with the Sony camcorder--not so sure about use with the Canon.
2-I will need to use the camera indoors mostly--school plays, Christmas morning, etc. where the light seems to be bad all the time due to high ceilings and not a lot of sun! There are mixed reviews on the two cameras low light performance--not sure what to believe.
3-image stability is key to me. I do absolutely prefer the most crisp, true to life color as possible within the under $600 price range.
4-portability is also key, that's the main reason I'm looking at these smaller cameras--I want to be able to carry it in my purse easily for those unknown moments. I'm not willing to trade image quality down to a pocket "HD" camera however.
5-I've read nothing but bad things about the Canon photo software. I have a 6 month old Lenovo IdeaPad--their top of the line for graphics, etc. so I think I'm ok pc wise. However, I don't have any photo software since my old Sony Photo package won't work on this new Vista 64 platform. Crappy software from Canon scares me. I will not do any editing, I just want to get it on to my pc for backup alone.
6-I've never taken more than 30 min of video at a time so I know that long battery life isn't much of an issue for me.
7-I also don't see myself adding mics, flashes, etc. as I've never been so inclined so having those capabilities missing from the CX100 isn't a big deal to me.
8-optical vs. electrical zoom--Canon is 15x optical zoom while Sony is 10x electrical zoom
So I guess it gets down to better low light performance, pc, etc. compatibility and pure image quality overall.
I'd love to hear opinions, thanks!