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New Camera Xm2

Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 1:38pm

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ashman

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Hey,
Ive decided im getting the canon xm2 or known as the GL2, any body have this camera? Ive looked at loadsa reviews and things look good, anyone here got the same camera, what do you think of it, any cons about this? I heard the sound was crap, but im filming that seperate,I never use the on board mic anyway.
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 1:44pm

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er-no

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Fantastic camera.
Keep the tape head nice and clean, use the same format of tape for the duration you have it and by the couple of accessorys available.
The best minidv 3ccd camera I've ever used, far outseeding the Xl1s and XL1 in terms of overall friendly usability. The lens on the Xm2 is pretty great too, oh, and it's very good in low-light situations.


Infact, you could buy mine off me, selling it all together (and I have everything for the Xm2 - in brand new condition).

smile I'm selling up soon enough cos I need the money to pay for some old bills.
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 1:44pm

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Joshua Davies

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We got one when it first came out and it broke very quickly (after about 20 hours of use over 1 year) and it will cost more than its worth to repair it!

I know of several people on FXhome with exactly the same problem with the XM2/GL2 and have had reports of a uni which has many XM2s, half of which are broken in the same way.

Search on the web about the weak tape mechanism on the GL2 (XM2 is the PAL version). There are loads of people with the same problem (hundreds and hundreds!).

Would be a great camera, but because of the tape deck I really wouldn't bother.
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 1:53pm

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ashman

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i heard about the tape deck, but i thought that was sorted in the later versions. newer produced ones.
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 1:56pm

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Joshua Davies

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That not what I've read, but I could be wrong.
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 2:05pm

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er-no

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I've had absolutely no problems using mine. I never rewind on the tape deck - as I have a MiniDV deck at home built for that purpose, hence my XM2 tape-deck hasn't actually seen that much use apart from recording - if your serious about recording films.

You shouldn't preview back the footage on the day of recording, you should have a clamshell of back up recorder for that use. You'd be asking for problems constantly rewinding and playing back footage from any prosumer camera. Even yesterday I was working on a music video shoot where the PD150 packed up because someone rewound the tape by accident. Caused the tape to be a write-off and the head needed cleaning. Luckily the clamshell had recorded all the shoot up until that time.

As I've said, if you take great care of a camera, it'll take great care of you. Cleaning it after every use, using the same tape kind/format/manufacturer. I'm probably fortunate, I have the latest and last generation of Xm2 I've probably managed to avoid the earlier editions faults?

Whereas the other 3CCD cameras I have used, ranging in about seven different models, have all had individual and rather annoying problems. From viewfinders not fully working or flickering, to tape decks locking up and then eating tapes.

The Xm2 has always been the best for me, and I've ran it through the ringer, and once you get the Wide Angle Lens and XLR Microphone adaptor, you've got one seriously great piece of kit. I just wish Canon would plan and produce an HD equilivant. I'd buy it within an instant (money permitting of course).
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 2:11pm

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Simon K Jones

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Rating: +1

er-no wrote:

You shouldn't preview back the footage on the day of recording, you should have a clamshell of back up recorder for that use. You'd be asking for problems constantly rewinding and playing back footage from any prosumer camera.
That's pretty shoddy design. Going prosumer shouldn't mean that your hardware suddenly becomes incredibly frail.

My good ol' Sony Hi8 handycam has been through the wars in just about every way possible, from super hot, super-humid environments to sandpits, quarries....you name it. And the tape deck has experienced masses of use, and still works fine all these years later. That was a fairly normal hi8 camera, bought in early 1999.

If I spend hugely more money on a prosumer camera, I expect the tape deck to function correctly and not require kid gloves to operate. If you're not suppose to rewind, then don't put a rewind button and capabiliity on the deck. If you do put a rewind button, then make sure it works.

Otherwise it's just poor workmanship and idiotic design.

Having said that, for the short time the XM2 camera actually functioned properly, it was the best camera I'd ever used.
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 2:15pm

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Joshua Davies

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MiniDV tape decks cost well over $1000 new (unless you get than manky JVC one which is still loads of money). You can't really buy that kind of thing second hand either as you should never mix and match tape makes if possible.

Put simply, the camera should be able to do everything it says it can do. This includes rewinding tapes!
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 2:19pm

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ashman

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ah! i really need an xlr mic adapter the one i got made makes horrible noises, and it looks shoddy, any ideas? do canon make them. I know this question may seem obvious answer, but im in the uk, i went to loadsa shops, they looked at me as if i was mad. But they were local shops.
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 2:20pm

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er-no

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Well, mine has worked fine. There might be a few hundred that have gone wrong in the tape-deck structure, but I'm sure their are tens of thousands that have been working perfectly for years, including mine and the other XM2 I work with.

Still overall the best 3CCD camera available on the market for it's price. If you want to go a wee bit further with money, get yourself a Panasonic.
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 2:22pm

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er-no

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ashman69erdude wrote:

ah! i really need an xlr mic adapter the one i got made makes horrible noises, and it looks shoddy, any ideas? do canon make them. I know this question may seem obvious answer, but im in the uk, i went to loadsa shops, they looked at me as if i was mad. But they were local shops.
I imported mine from some guy in Japan.
As I said, if you're interested, I'm selling the whole kit as one. smile

A mate used his XM2 for filming skateboarding etc, and he had an accident with it - completely destroyed the top 'handle' part of the camera. He quickly claimed it to be someone elses fault and Canon replaced the camera for him (I think they actually fixed the one he had) and got it back to him within two weeks.

Good ol' insurance.

Last edited Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 2:25pm; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 2:22pm

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ashman

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mm so the xm 2 has a bad tape deck, my cousin has one and he has not had any probs. Tarn how long ago did you purchase the xm2? What about the warrenty? Did this problem occur within 2 years of having the camera?
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 2:25pm

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ashman

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ive already put an order in and its being shipped soon, sorry dude. Is there a web site for the xlr convertor?
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 2:29pm

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er-no

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ashman69erdude wrote:

ive already put an order in and its being shipped soon, sorry dude. Is there a web site for the xlr convertor?
Cancel the order then. razz
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 2:46pm

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ashman

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I would but, because im skint i got it with an online finance deal, buy now pay later. But i really wanted the camera, and im now moving on with this war project, there was no way i was going to shoot it with a £500 camera, Not that its a bad thing, it just i want this one to be perfect. I'm hoping the tape deck won't pack in but if it's got a 3 yr warranty i should be fine. Tho im now concerned and going to be really paranoid about it. er-no do you get any interference with the xlr convertor, like a tiny hum?
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 7:22pm

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Evman

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I've had no real problems with my GL2, and I've had it for over a year now. I rewind and watch my tape all the time to check and make sure i got what I need. I'm suprised at all the problems some have had with theirs, as I don't treat mine with utmost respect, and it is working fine. Since I bought it a year ago, and it was still sealed, maybe i got a newer model that fixed some issues?
Posted: Wed, 12th Oct 2005, 10:50pm

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Zephlon

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Hey I would be interested in bying your xl2. I'v been looking for one all over, and i found few good ones at a great price, but if yours is better, well we got a deal.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 12:31am

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ben3308

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Uh....nobody's selling their GL2/XM2. It's such a GENIOUSLY great camera I doubt many would want to part with theirs. Ashman, get the GL2. It is seriously THE BEST 3CCD miniDV camera out there, save the XL2. BUY IT, you'll get amazing results.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 9:22am

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jotoki

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bens statement needs a qualifier. The XM2 is the best 3ccd minidv camera out there....in that price range. There are several better units that are more expensive but it's a great cam for the price. I may well be selling mine in the not too distant future as I'm thinking of upgrading and would have to offset the cost of a better unit somehow.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 9:27am

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Bryce007

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Ben Said: et the GL2. It is seriously THE BEST 3CCD miniDV camera out there, save the XL2.

Almost. The vx2100 is quite abit better, and similarly priced..
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 9:28am

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Joshua Davies

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I've found many more XM2/GL2 owners with tape deck problems. I also contacted a friend at a technology review magazine. He says they are considering doing an article because of the huge number of people who have contacted them with problems with this Canon camera.

I would seriously consider a better made camera - Canon have never made the most solid cameras and the XM2/GL2 appears to be the most fragile of the lot.

We loved our XM2 for the 20 hours it worked. Great features but its too fragile. Had we been the only people with the problem we would have still recommended this camera. Problem is there are thousands of people with broken XM2s!

Panasonic have for a long time made quality cameras.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 10:01am

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ashman

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so whats a recommended camera? if the xm2 has serious faults why do cannon still supply them, wouldn't they lose money from all the warrentys being claimed. If a company supplys faulty goods and know about it, they should have their trading liscence revoked, in a word it means canon is a really shoddy company and shouldn't even be manufacturing this technology if they can't build it right. But im now confused as to even touch any of cannons stuff again, is this camera really that bad, if it is im never going to buy anything ever made by cannon, there really isn't an excuse for selling rubbish and charging for it, its worse than being robbed.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 10:08am

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Joshua Davies

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I'll doubt I'll ever buy another Canon camera (especially as they are going down the HDV route!). They want £600 to fix ours (although I'm trying to use a bit of FXhome power to get it done cheaper). Fa][en on chat was quoted a similar amount to fix his I think.

You would be surprised how many companies have sold products which are dodgy. A large car company sold cars which exploded on impact in some cases back in the 60s (?) and worked out it was cheaper to pay out for the people who died than replace the product line! A very popular brand of Laptops and mp3 players has also had many problems which have not been fixed until later revisions.

If you make a load of cameras, and one of the most expensive ones you make which sells in tiny numbers (compared to the consumer ones) has a failure rate of 5-10% after 1 year (out of warrenty) then why bother replacing it?
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 10:34am

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jotoki

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this tape drive issue didnt only affect XM2/GL2. it also affected others in their range. Consumer models included. I read something about it on a forum somewhere (not here) quite some time ago. I was working in a camera shop at the time and never had a canon come back with this problem. I also have an XM2 myself and clearly so does ben with no problems. You always tend to find those with problems shout the loudest and while I do know this issue exists, from my experience I dont think it's as widespread as some believe. In fact we rarely had any canon equipment back for any reason.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 12:52pm

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ben3308

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I tihnk schwar just dropped his camera and is blaming Canon for it.....yep, that's what happened.... biggrin

But seriously, I haven't heard anything first hand about tape deck problems. Are you people using tape head cleaners everytime you add a new tape? Because for good measure, that's what you should do. You also shouldn't playback your video on you camera LCD, it wears down the deck, which is, (duh!), bad for the camera. I'm beginning to think this is less manufacturer goof and more consumer carelessness..... smile jk schwar, you know we cool.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 1:07pm

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Joshua Davies

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Hehe.

Honestly, if it was a problem we caused we would just buy another camera or have it fixed instantly. On the other hand, if it was just a minor unreported problem we would just think we are unlucky and still get it fixed. We understand that with every product there will be a few unlucky people who have problems. We are a business which deals with video for a living after all.

We get lots of feedback from users of cameras like this and also read many publications about cameras in general. There IS a known problem with the tape deck on the XM2 being fragile and I'm aware of many cases (including our own) where it just didn't cut it where every other camera we've ever used would have been fine. The help which Canon have given us in trying to resolve this has been poor compared to every other technology company we deal with.

It is for these reasons (and because we require a higher level of camera) we will be using Panasonic cameras in the future.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 1:15pm

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Simon K Jones

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ben3308 wrote:

But seriously, I haven't heard anything first hand about tape deck problems. Are you people using tape head cleaners everytime you add a new tape? Because for good measure, that's what you should do.
We barely used it long enough for that. In fact, I think we used two tapes (of the same type) in total before the camera malfunctioned. And, no, we didn't rewind excessively during the filming period at all.

Looking after your camera is important, of course, but they should have a certain tolerance to begin with. As I stated earlier, if my 6-year old Sony handycam still functions perfectly despite MASSIVE tape deck use in all kinds of awful conditions, then the XM2 should have lasted more than 20 hours!

You also shouldn't playback your video on you camera LCD, it wears down the deck,
Again, a null argument. If you shouldn't playback video on the camera, then it shouldn't provide that functionality in the first place. End of story.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 1:27pm

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ben3308

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Tarn wrote:

Again, a null argument. If you shouldn't playback video on the camera, then it shouldn't provide that functionality in the first place. End of story.
It's a function added for ease of use to the novice user, still doesn't change the fact that it's bad for your camera. I mean, come on. Since when did people stop selling products just because they were bad or harmful?
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 1:41pm

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Simon K Jones

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ben3308 wrote:

It's a function added for ease of use to the novice user, still doesn't change the fact that it's bad for your camera. I mean, come on. Since when did people stop selling products just because they were bad or harmful?
That's a completely different argument, and irrelevant to this discussion. Selling products that are 'bad'/harmful to the user (I presume you mean cigarettes etc? Your statement was pretty vague) is one thing...but selling a product that actively destroys itself via common use? That's something else entirely.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 1:49pm

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ashman

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ok ive looked this problem up, apprently it's more common in the GL2 model not the XM2. why this is has not been discussed, and therefore put my mind a little at rest, im aware of the risks now, the camera has a 3 yr warrenty so im gonna go for it. If it does break im going to use that warrenty to upgrade, as its in the contract i don't have to have the same model. If i save enough and it breaks in 3 yrs i get an XL2 just hope that canon haven't screwed that one up as well.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 2:01pm

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jotoki

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it is a known problem ben. It's affected several cameras in canons range, there are common components used in the tape transport mechanisms of different canon models. Yes fast forward and rewind of tapes is not ideal for camcorders but it's something they nevertheless endure as an everyday thing. They should be able to take it. That said so far my XM2 has been good to me and while panasonic may be better scewed together (although my parents panasonics tape mechanism failed ironically enough) they dont have anything comparable to the XM2 in the price range. Even the Sony VX2100 is a few hundred more expensive. Its a pretty comon thing for people to have a single problem with a brand and then tar all their products with the same brush and as I said, if all the people that are happy with their canon equipment shouted as loud as those that aren't I know who would get drowned out. This is true of any brand. It's a shame about their customer service in this case though, especially as it's components from one particular supplier that are failing so I'm lead to understand. They should really have put this one to bed even if it's not that widepsread.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 3:04pm

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Evman

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Seems from just the people here on fxhome, the XM2 is the one with more problems... confused
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 3:43pm

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Bryce007

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The Vx2100 is only about 250 more on average, And I've Never had a single problem with mine. It feels and operates like a very solid cam...
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 5:09pm

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er-no

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Tarn wrote:


Again, a null argument. If you shouldn't playback video on the camera, then it shouldn't provide that functionality in the first place. End of story.
It's not to do with whether or not it should be included and as I've said and now Ben has said it's not at all a null argument. You can playback video on cameras, most cameras, but its advised against excessive use because the tapehead gets run down. AS IS THE SAME with all old VHS players and High8 machines. I guess my point is if you look after your equipment. It looks after you.

In most products gadgets and functions are included that are plain crap, or don't work properly. Of course, every now and again you do get a piece of hardware that just doesn't make it out of the factory very well, that's the same with any camera, from Linhof to Canon.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 5:16pm

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Simon K Jones

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er-no wrote:

It's not to do with whether or not it should be included and as I've said and now Ben has said it's not at all a null argument. You can playback video on cameras, most cameras, but its advised against excessive use because the tapehead gets run down. AS IS THE SAME with all old VHS players and High8 machines. I guess my point is if you look after your equipment. It looks after you.
Would you describe using the camera for approximately 20 hours (over a weekend) without doing any major tape deck action (as I recall, all we did was record onto tape - I presume it's ok to do that with your precious tape decks, yes?) excessive?

In comparison, my Handycam (sorry to keep bringing it up!) has endured hundreds of hours of tape deck use, including excessive rewinding, and is still fine. A couple-hundred-quid handycam should not last longer than a £1000+ semi-pro camera, no matter which way you look at it.

Sure, you want to keep tape deck use to a minimum. You want to keep any kind of mechanical movement to a minimum. But in the event of using the tape deck, I expect it to work for a matter of years, not a matter of hours. If the tape deck had malfunctioned after a few years of regular use, then I wouldn't have a problem with it.
Posted: Thu, 13th Oct 2005, 5:20pm

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er-no

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Well. As I said in my post prior to this one Tarn, sometimes defunct XM2's get through and I honestly think you guys got a rather shoddy Xm2 that weekend that indeed had a terrible tape deck. I know of two other people personally with XM2's. One of them is a skater and must have rewound hundreds of hours on his camera. And the other one is a member of fxhome, and I know he edits from his XM2 using it as the deck.

As I said. Unlucky for some, but the XM2 is the best video camera I've ever used.

P.S I really hope I don't get kicked in the nuts and my tape deck stops working. wink