I’ve already written about trying to choose a camcorder, selecting the Canon HG-10, and problems with shipping.

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.


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