Originally Posted by rjeffb
I just returned it to Amazon after two weeks of real-world, vacation, in-a-helicopter, on-a-mountain, under-the-ocean experience. If you're interested you can look up my review on Amazon for exactly what is wrong (and right, which is a lot) with this unit, most of which you will not know just examining it in a store. I am not going to post my findings here because of the rather frosty feedback that I see some members posting in response to anything said that is critical of Sony and their camera (like the comeback that the lens is covered by glass...true but completely irrelevant to the comment, which correctly observed that due to the lack of an automatic or even manual lens cover, the optical pathway through which light enters the camera will get scratched). That's not objectivity, that's apologism.
If you want to know how this camera really works in actual use, check out my review there. Hint: I would at least wait until Sony releases a software update!
I'm pretty sure which review is yours. I've only had it for 1 day, but these are my findings relative to your points:
* The design of not being able to shoot a video in still mode is not uncommon to other Sonys. I have the VG20 and it does the same thing. I don't see the big deal here to be honest. One simple press of the 'mode' button brings you to either photo or video. Takes about a second.
* Haven't seen any warnings other than when it was my own mistake. I initially put the micro SD card in upside down and I got a warning. "OE" (operator error). I haven't seen any warnings when I did what I should have.
* I agree the touchscreen is a bit 'touchy' and doesn't always respond. I'm finding that if I hit the area slightly above where I think it should be, it almost always responds. I should note I haven't seen this behavior in the nested menus, but rather with small icons like the + & - for exposure. As far as playback goes, I simply pop out the memory card and throw it in to my PS3 for playback. Pretty easy. It's the same approach I use on my VG20 and any SD card memory cam I've ever used. If you record to the internal menu, then obviously that's a different thing.
* I don't get overly critical with photos taken with a camcorder or videos taken with a still camera. A camera like the 77 is a video camera first that can take photos when necessary. Photo taking is not its primary mission nor was it designed that way. Similarly, I don't expect the same quality videos as I get from a camcorder from most cameras designed primarily for still photos.
* 20 minute battery life? I'm getting more like 45. Not great, but pretty much as advertised and the compromise you make for such a small camera that can only accommodate small batteries. You may be keeping the camera on for extended periods while doing no shooting. I do agree a spare is needed however. They're cheap and available, so no biggie there.
* I haven't had it fail to turn on yet when opening the LCD. I've had a few times where it took about 3 seconds or so, but it always turned on...so far.
Since you seem to do so much underwater video, you might be better off with a larger camcorder and a waterproof housing. Personally I think Sony did a fabulous job with this camera. The biggest change I'd love to see is a viewfinder...but of course that would make the cam bigger. We make choices.