Now that the camera has arrived, I’ve had a little time to play around with it. Here are some of my first thoughts:
First, this may be obvious but, this camera is small. It’s not even the smallest camera out there but but I like the size. Most of the controls feel good, especially the zoom rocker control, which was mentioned as a highlight in reviews. When recording and playing back HD video with the 2.7in LCD, the picture is really awesome. For the most part the camera seems pretty easy to use. I did notice, immediately, that the scroll wheel that is used to do a lot of the menu navigation is a little weak. I read about this in some reviews. Everyone seems to agree that this is a cool attempt by Canon and a step in the right direction but it needs work. Basically, the scroll wheel feels like a cheap plastic toy that could break easily. I certainly hope it is stronger than it appears.
Unfortunately, I had some problems watching the video off of the camera. First, the HDMI cable I purchased is the wrong size (see below). So my only TV hookup was “low def”. The pictures looked good but not spectacular. But I hope a new HDMI cable solves that. So it was off to the PC for me. I easily and quickly uploaded the files via USB to my PC’s hard drive. However, when I tried to playback the video using the included software, Corel Intervideo WinDVD SE, the picture was was a little choppy and was not synchronized with the audio! I know HD video playback is hard on the processor but I have a dual core 3.2 GHz processor with 3GB of memory. Plus my video adapter is an NVIDEA GeForce 7600 GS, which I thought was supposed to be pretty good. I even used a 1 GB ready boost thumb drive and I turned off the Vista Aero features to try and help but no luck. I am really surprised at this performance problem. I expected it for editing but not playback. This was a really big disappointment. Could the problem be that I need to upgrade the software? I also tried editing with the included Ulead DVD Movie Factory SE but that didn’t work very well either. First, the PC couldn’t keep up very well. Second, I am not impressed with my first look at the software. Again, maybe I need to upgrade. The free software is probably not the best one on the market.
I also wanted to complain about some accessories I purchased at Best Buy. I should know by now to trust my instincts and not listen to the people there. First, I already mentioned the incorrect HDMI cable. They told me that was the correct one, even though I said I thought the connector looked too big. Second, they said that the camera bag I purchased would hold the camera and the accessories. I was interested in a slightly larger bag but they told me not to bother. Strike two. Why do I listen to them?
I expect that I’ll be very happy once I get my HDMI cable and can view my home movies on my 46″ High Def TV. Then I’ll need to figure out how to edit these videos.