Originally Posted by maverick22
Where did you hear about bad battery life for the HCV700K? I've heard about the TM900K. Seen some issues about fan noise, not worth the extra $ also. I'm lost on what to buy
I'm staying warm in my motorhome this morning. We are parked on the Oregon coast. It's raining too hard to go outside. My cameras would get wet. So, I have time to write.
I think many people that post frequently on this forum enjoy the technical part of video more than actually shooting and transforming the video data into fascinating stories. Part of their hobby is finding unusual situations were a specific camera does not do as well as another camera. The other camera will have it's own unusual situations. Links to YouTube or Vimeo here are typically demonstrations of technical features, not good stories. We also tend to learn more about the one or two cameras we buy and can't learn much about the ones we don't. The one exception is a guy that seems to buy everything that comes out with a new or unique feature.
You will never find a perfect camera on this forum!
In your first post you said you want to take video of your "first born" and you suggest photography is an accessory to your life, not life itself. I sense you will not, especially with a new kid, take the time to master all the settings, adjustments and features available. You say you want easy to use, easy to back up and easy to watch on the equipment you have.
Based on my experience has a father of three, grandparent of five, photographer for 50 years, videographer for a year and your list of wants, I think you can buy any current Canon, Sony or Panasonic that says "HD", "AVCHD" or "1080p" on the box and uses universal "SD Cards" for memory. Any price point will work, but as you spend more money you will get improvements in stabilization, low light and automatic operation, including focus. You can't go wrong.
If your goal really is to get good video of the kid, you need something you can pick up, point at the kid, push the button before his/her mood changes and turn it off after 10 or 20 seconds. Don't fret about fan noise, battery life or minor image quality differences.
(To get fan noise you have to run it long enough to heat up, be in a silent room and let the automatic gain control boost so high that it will record a pin drop. If the battery doesn't last long enough, get two. Any image you record will be processed by your PS3 or BD Player and then the TV before your eyeballs see it. Any high definition video of your kid, from any camera will be amazing by the time it gets through all the processors. )
Consider looking at a camcorder that matches your TV brand. I have a $300 Sony 1080p camcorder that captures amazing video automatically. It is instantly recognized by my Sony TV, when connected with a single wire, and can be fully operated with the TV remote. My much more expensive Panasonic camcorder (that also takes amazing HD video automatically) does not mate with the Sony TV as seamlessly.
To some of your specific questions:
" I was leaning towards the TM900, but noticed one reviewer states its Auto function is not too great. Is this true?" He was wrong. Buy one.
"what type of media are you storing the camcorder files on?" I use the software that came with my Sony and Panasonic camcorders to transfer and catalog my video files. Then I backup to two different external HDDs in an "A/B" rotating backup strategy along with everything else that may be on my computer. The good ones get copied again to a media player attached to my TV. Some get posted to YouTube or Vimeo. Some get made into DVDs. Some get made into AVCHD DVDs for play on a Blu-Ray player.
"We want something in which the files are easy to backup" The AVCHD standard, developed by Sony and Pansonic, not Canon make all of that easy on any reasonably new computer. It also make playback available and easy on so many devices, that it makes for an entire subject.
In summary, if you were my kid and going to take video of my new grandkid, I would tell you to buy a TM900. If you want to spend less money, I would tell you to buy a Sony HX9V, even if it does not look like a camcorder. Those are the only two I own and I can't find anything wrong with them. I would reverse that recommendation if you are looking for something to leave on the counter for handy, quick shoots of the charming baby.
On the other hand, if you are using the new kid as an excuse to buy a new toy, anything will work. If you are only concerned with good video (and not a new toy), your wife's NEX 3 that shoots HD video in 720p video will work very well.
Good luck! You probably have no clue how, or how much, your life is about to change!