Excerpt: I'm a film student who has experience with Consumer, Prosumer, and Professional Cameras. I bought this camera about 9 months ago to replace my broken Canon HG10 which had seen a bit too much heavy use. I bought the HF200 as a sort of interim camera to get projects and work done until I could afford my next camera.
Summary: Great little camcorder that performs well in most conditions. Battery life is Ok but you will need more than 1 for an all day event. The biggest disappointment is that it will not recognize a class 10 sdhc card as shipped. The firmware has to be updated and that can't be done by the consumer, only by a service center.
Summary: I bought this camcorder for general purposes and so far, it has blown me away with its picture quality. The camera does exceptionally well in daylight conditions; however, in low light conditions, the camera performs okay. This camera has shutter speed as well as aperture options which would come in handy when dealing with low light levels.
Summary: I love this camera, already have the HF20 version which has a 32gb internal flash drive. I wanted another one and the HF200 is the same camera without the internal flash memory. The camera shoots excellent HD video, great zoom and very small and lightweight. I figured I could use the SD HD Class 10 cards I was using in my Canon T1i. NO DICE, explained below. I had 2 Class 10 SD cards that don't work.
Summary: This is a great little camera with just a couple flaws. The main one being that although you have manual control over shuuter and apeture, you do not have control over both at the same time. This one little thing makes it a consumer style camera insted of a prosumer camera. They do advertise that you have control over these features just have to read the fine print. if however you do not need that feature to be used at same time, this camera is excellent for many uses.
Pros: This was my first camcorder. After skimming the manual and navigating the functions for an hour or so, I was ready to shoot. Makes outstanding videos. Super compact and light. Sound is good as long as it's not windy.
Cons: Hard to get the memory card out. (I use a guitar pick) Record button too easy to push accidently. (I used 3- 1/16" thick, stick on rubber squares around the button to reduce the chance of unintended recording) Editing is not as easy as it should be.