sdc100 wrote:2) It doesn't do still photos, which is a common and easy feature to implement.
I have a higher-end Panasonic camcorder and the still photo it takes is worse than those from 8-year-old cameras or many cheap phones' 3MP cameras.
The last thing you want is for customers to return camcorders (just) because they found out they takes really bad photos, so it's quite sensible to exclude this feature from low-end models. Those who insists on still photo capability will be directed to higher-end models, which have higher profit and hopefully passable still photo quality too.
Camcorders tend to have much smaller image sensors (1/5.8" for budget ones like this JVC, 1/4" is common too among sub-$500 camcorders), than digital cameras (1/2.3" is the norm). The sensor and lens need not be high quality since people don't notice individual frame quality in a video. Camcorders also tend to have big lens (for the zoom) and big high quality lens aren't exactly cheap.
sdc100 wrote:4) Keep in mind that this uses the AVCHD format (a new standard for HD digital camcorders) for HD videos. This format is not easily imported in many older video editing programs, especially free ones. This fact makes Point #3 all the more annoying.
AVCHD is basically Blu-Ray (file and directory) format modified for lower bitrate videos from camcorders (and now digital cameras). It has standardized baseline encoding/format, menu navigation system, subtitles, audio tracks like DVD/BluRay, things that .MP4 .MOV .AVI lacks. AVCHD burned onto cheap DVD disc can be played on many Blu-Ray players, even for players that do not formally state AVCHD disc compatibility (like my Insignia). This allows the simple authorizing software bundled with camcorders to make cheap HD discs fast with nice scene selection menus for viewing and archiving that's guaranteed to play in a AVCHD-capable Blu-Ray player. The other option for my Panasonic is burn to Blu-Ray discs ($$$) or convert to low-definition DVD-Video at 3.5 hour of conversion per hour of video converted on my Core i3 laptop.
But yeah, the file and directory format is messy like DVD/Blu-Ray, compared to simple .MP4/.AVI/.MOV files.
sdc100 wrote:5) The sound is monaural, not stereo. Since this is HD, why skimp on the sound???
I've never noticed any stereo separation in the footage my family has taken over 25 years. The internal mics are rarely over 1~2" apart (getting tighter with smaller camera/camcorders) and like most people we never use external microphone even if there's a mic jack.