Summary: Decent enough hand held camera with excellent picture quality thanks to the powerful MiniDV format and has a handy built in volume control, but it remains a very dated camera. The heads up display on the view screen is not overly user friendly and the camera is very difficult to upload to a PC for editing. Best suited for those looking for a video camera to take simple video for home television viewing.
Summary: Bought this camera for my son about 1 1/2 years ago. Worked well for a year. Right before our vacation we experienced a problem where the camera would not connect with the computer. Canon's tech support determined it was a hardware problem with the camera. They charged me $200 for the repair. When I got the camera back, the rewind wouldn't work. I returned it to them and they fixed that free of charge.
Summary: Have this brand new Canon ZR85 for about 3 weeks. All satisfaction so far except 1 serious mechanical feature. Explain below: This camcorder is for making movie, that means "move" (not still). The tape is for 1 hour, that means need to mount on something that move rather than to hold steady by hand and move arround to capture movie for that whole hour. I mount the camcorder on a swivel head from Bogen-Manfrotto, and the swivel head mount on my bicycle.
Pros: Gets it done if you know how to use the camera. I took the time to read the manual and I have no trouble performing most functions. Low-light will be poor on the low-end models, but this one has some features to help enhance low light, without the green "
Cons: advanced options a little tougher to perform, but can be figured out eventually
Pros: Easy to use. Uses non-proprietary flash memory (Secure Digital) for still pictures. Decent price for the high optical zoom (x20) and other bells & whistles.
Cons: Grainy picture in low light and indoor situations. Manual is not clearly written and it covers three models (ZR80/85/90). Doesn't come with mini Firewire (IE1394) cable. LCD playback quality is low. Icon on camcorder implies Nightshot capability present (