Cool Gadget, Great Sound
You are not going to take this camera with you up the mountain to video tape your snow skiing tricks, or to the football or basketball game to catch all the action. The only way this thing will take good video is if it is not moving around. That's why you NEED a tripod. In the field, a telescopic monopole works great to hold it steady (you can get a monopole at B&H), a regular camera tripod will work perfect, and just setting it up on a tabletop or shelf or whatever is just as good... as long as the camera is STILL. This is NOT the hero cam, so you're not going to be using it like that.
Of course, catching all the SOUND that goes with the video is where this thing shines! I recorded a WM garbage truck stopping at my driveway, and the school bus dropping off my daughter, both from a distance of 75-100 yards, and the low end when played back in the studio made it sound like the rumble of the truck/bus engine was right there in the room with me - so it has awesome low end in my opinion. Great stereo field and good pickup; can't turn the gain all the way to 10 in most situations, that's too high. Handling the camera while recording only adds shockingly loud sounds during playback. As others have said, the center button is touchy, although that problem only shows up when you're IN THE MENU. When not in the menu, you can practically fat-finger the record button and it has a more positive response starting-and-stopping recording, so I had no misfires when I intended to record. Aside from the not remembering the camera setting (off for audio only), all other settings are remembered after powerdown. It always powers up with the camera turned on.
I plan to use the thing to record singer-songwriter buddies when they are playing unplugged, and in general with ANY situation where the sound is too important to miss out capturing along with the video (jamm sessions). I also have a Zoom H4n, and this thing sounds just as good or better. Both have quite a bit of hiss from self-noise, but considering I've been recording since buying my first portable Craig cassette tape recorder in 1976, how can I complain? Being able to slap in a 64GB XCSD card and capture 720p/1080i HD (compressed) +96KHz audio (raw) in such a small package, with the capacity of 8-10 hours in my pocket... this is Science Fiction!!!!
It records .MOV's and does NOT playback other formats, such as .avi or .mp4 (I tried). So you can't really use it to playback videos from other sources without first converting to .MOV. The screen is really too small to use it as anything other than a portable RECORDING device anyway. The unit is surprisingly light; I already dropped it onto tile from about a foot off the ground, and it just bounced without damage.
It burned through the alkaline batteries which came with it probably before the unit had been powered on for an hour's worth of getting familiar with it. But you're not going to use alkaline batteries, you're going to use LITHIUM AA batteries... which last far longer. The unit has 2 settings for batteries: > alkaline or > Ni-MH, so there's not a choice for Lithium... not sure why it would even care?
Anyway, very cool gadget with great sound and definitely intended for recording nuts with emphasis on audio.