I was looking for a small flash drive camera with a good zoom. I need the zoom becuase I take my camera in the woods when I go hunting and often take long range video of cool wildlife I see when sitting in my stand. I needed the flash because I wanted to be able to share video easier. My last camera was a Sony with those miniDV tapes...I loved my old camera and zoom, but to share video I had to "capture" from the tape...very laborious and unfun. So far I'm really happy. I wish there was an optical viewfinder but I might as well forget those, as it is clear nobody is every going to put them on consumer video cameras anymore, pluse it saves cost and space to not have it. There are some flimsy little plastic parts, like the little door that covers the place to connect the charger. The built in lens covers also worry me they are very light-weight plastic and the mechanism that opens and closes them must be fragile..but only time will tell. What I am most happy with is the ability to share video. At first I was frustrated becuase I was hoping I could simply "drag and drop" videos off the camera like I do for .jpeg files on a still camera. Well you can...but they are huge files even for a very short video. And if I double click on the mpeg2 files from with my computer, it opens in media player...it plays the video but no sound (problem with codecs for media player) so it seemed the ability to share easily wasn't going to be so easy. That is what I thought until I opened the included software that comes with the camera (built right into the camera so you don't need to install it on your computer!). There is a built-in feature to upload to youtube or facebook and it worked like a charm. Once I uploaded the video to youtube, I was able to e-mail the link to everyone, worked great!! The built in USB cable is a terrific feature, I don't have to remember to bring a cable with me, if I have the camera and find a computer..I can upload just like that!! So far so good. Only time will tell on the plastic parts. Oh and picture quality is great for my purposes. I don't own a fancy TV...don't care about HD. I'm more worried about sharing with everyone and the ability to have a good picture and tell what is going on. To be honest as soon as I opened the camera I set the video quality to the lowest possible so it would make the smallest video files for sharing. So I don't even know how good the video gets, but it looks great at low quality for my purposes. I'm sure the highest settings will easily be comparable to my miniDV. I figure I want people to see the antlers on the buck out in the field...I don't need them to see the deer's eyelashes!
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