Just bought a cheapie compact digital (well, next to the Nikons I usually chuck around) to do some low effort filming with and decided to (literally) take it for a drive. Titles and speed are the only changes I’ve made to the footage apart from the fact it’s only PAL widescreen.
The camera did okay, but for the slight inability to focus a lot of the time (and forget manual focus, this is a strictly for-dummies camera) — no vertical flaring or other weirdness that has plagued many a digital still camera in the past.
For me, it was a toss up between jello-vision D90 land and getting a compact digital that would do HD (1080/50i) well enough to last in situations where hiring a real camera is total overkill. Biggest downside so far seems to be battery life. The internal mic is decent enough for a lot of uses because, beautifully, the whole thing is pretty much solid state and the zoom is internal/not-that-noisy. The few unfavorable (audio) reviews out there seem to come from the party video crowd — and they’re right, no, it will not deal well with Tiësto’s basslines.
Crap battery life aside, seems like a decent camera so far.