Excerpt: You get what you pay for. The camcorder is reliable and steady but video quality is far from HD. My smart phone has a better picture and zoom, so I use it whenever I need a quality picture. There really is NO optical zoom and the digital zoom degrades the picture. Color reproduction is decent, better with white balance. No manual overrides. Sound quality is decent. Enclosed software is workable but has a few problems, like crappy conversion to avi or mpg (several videos ruined before I made backup copies). Still, for the price, it's worthwhile as a learning experience, as a first investment and to find out what my next step will be. I'm most disappointed by company support; the forum managers might answer your question but forget about getting any follow up, and the other people who read the forum were as dumb as me--so no answers.