Prices seem to spiral down.. Amazon has Canon HF M300 for a total of $352 now and the price seem to change fairly quickly..
I've used the HFM300 for two days now and for $368 it's a pretty good camera with a lot of features. I'm sure the HFS200 probably takes better video since the lens and CMOS sensor are larger, plus the larger LCD, but at twice the price ($749 Amazon) it's a hard sell.
My HFM300 also has the image stabilization rattle when powered off. Has anyone tried using the differed IS modes: Standard & Dynamic? I've tried both, and not sure which one I prefer and sometimes the Dynamic seems to be too much over compensating. Regardless of which IS mode you use, you can still press the Power IS button on the side of the LCD. I wonder how the Power IS works and if there is any harm is using it all the time?
For low-light, I've noticed a lot of noise in the image. But there is a way to adjust that in the AGC menu, almost like adjusting the ISO. I changed the AGC Limit to 15dB and it took away most of the noise, but images at night are darker. If I lower it to 10dB all the noise is gone.
My only complaints with the HFM300 is that the LCD touch-screen is pressure sensitive (known as resistive), which means you have to use your nail. I would have preferred a capacitive sensitive display (like what smartphones use) so it would be more accurate and only require a finger-tip touch.
The other thing is with the video modes of 60i, 30p, and 24p. I tried them all and played back on my PC. The 60i looks sharper, but movement doesn't look at good. The 30p isn't as sharp, but looks smoother. The 24p (with or without the cinema mode) looks studdery, so I'm not sure why anyone would use it, unless exported to a HDTV with native 24p playback, but why not use 30p? Also, only the two highest data modes of 24 and 17Mbps record at 1920x1080, while the 12Mbps and lower only record at 1440x1080.
I have a 5-day return window on this HFM300, so I need to decide by Monday if I want to keep it or not. Does anyone know of any other camcorder in the under-$400 range that does a better job or that you like more?