This is our Sharp Digital Viewcam Camcorder. We have been reasonably happy with this camcorder.
Our Sharp is a hefty weight which makes it seem sturdy, but not as lightweight as some would prefer. The design is nice enough. I like the metal exterior. The picture quality has been great. The sound is crisp and clear.
The view screen in back of the camera does not flip out to the side like some cameras, but I have never missed that function. The dials are clearly labled for volume, record, tape/card, menu and manual, plus a host of other buttons. The power on/off and VCR/Camera knob at the side is easy for me to turn without looking, which is a nice feature when I'm in a hurry to shoot.
Our camcorder uses mini DV cassettes to store our video footage. We then need to transfer the footage from these cassettes onto other means of storage, such as VHS or DVDs. This can does allow us to edit our footage, which I find neccessary.
Along with taking some pretty decent video footage, this camera also takes still pictures. I find this to be a great feature so I do not have to lug two cameras around, especially on vacation.
Now, while you can store the still pictures on the memory card, unfortunately, you cannot store any of your videos on the memory card. This is a huge problem because there was no way for me to get the movies from my camera onto my computer. This was a huge disappointment.
When I went to Best Buy to see how much it would cost to buy the neccessary DV wires (fire wire?) and the DV recepticle for my computer (my computer did not have this already installed), the total was around $70. That is too much, so I decided against it. There is also some sort of converter that looks similar to a flat slim DVD player that would do the job, but again, extra $.
If you need a basic camcorder and you have the neccessary tools to transfer your video footage from the mini DV cassettes to your computer or to DVDs, then this camera would be an ok choice if you found it for a very low price. It is good quality. Other than that, you are much better off with a camcorder that will allow your videos to be stored on a memory card.