jar37 wrote:I'm not sure what all the negative reaction is about, I watched 3 different test videos on Youtube and thought they looked fine if not impressive. The video was clear if a little jumpy and the zoom was impressive. I guess I just don't think video from a pocket sized camcorder is something you should be expecting to play on your 42" HD LCD, especially at $45. I bought 2 from the last go-around and plan on giving them to my mom and mother-in-law for taking videos of our forthcoming newborn. I don't expect them to film the next Oscar contendor on them.
I'm expecting mine today, late afternoon EST. As others have posted, I will reserve judgment until I try it out.
The problem may be one of quality control - i.e. some of the cameras are defective (and obviously the better YouTube videos came from better units).
Regarding shaky video, sometimes that reflects the photographer's shaky hands or unsteady monopod and not the camera. And the issue with the white balance constantly readjusting would seem to be due to too much fast panning (it IS a $40 camera).
However, many of the complaints have been about other, more serious issues. This is advertised as 720p - if it's truly interpolated, sub-DVD resolution, that's not as advertised. But the outdoor video I linked to on the first page doesn't look bad at full-screen 720p on my 30" monitor, and it was shot through a window.
Another issue is the buzzing sound, which seems to vary from camera to camera. If it's more than minimal, I would say that would render the unit defective.
There were other issues posted - mini-HDMI jack when the description says HDMI, noisy images, cameras shutting off in mid-use.
Arguably, if you don't like a camera that has one of the abovementioned defects, you are demonstrating buyer's remorse (as long as the problem isn't too awful). But if a camera has several of these problems, it IS defective - it would be unreasonable to argue otherwise.
I hope that the majority of buyers weren't expecting the quality of a full-sized, $200-plus camcorder. But there are decent 720p pocket camcorders available at around $60 (e.g. 2nd gen Flip, Vado), and I think we were expecting at least their quality, given that this is Woot and it was a launch product.
If these are "only good for kids," that's not good. I got mine to slip in a pocket and take to my sons' ballgames, or holidays/parties with friends and families - i.e. situations where decent video is better than none.
Since Woot sells only one item per day here, I think we also expect that they try out their products in advance. But I've read enough posts here to know that you should take them in the aggregate. I have a camcorder with the dreaded Polaroid name that was sold here at Woot (I discovered Woot when I googled the model). There are some awful reviews for it on Amazon and Woot - and some good ones. I'm very happy with the quality it has provided for the money. I've gotten some stellar comments on some of the videos. On friend even asked if I had taken them with a professional camera (to be fair, I don't think she had even seen a homemade HD video before).
Often poor video is the result of poor photography. Many amateurs fail to follow the two most basic rules: keep the camera steady, and keep the light behind you.
Okay - enough rambling. Hopefully, I'll be able to add my review to the mix in a few hours.