The Hitachi VMH955LA Hi8 Hi-Fi Stereo Camcorder is an easy way to capture the moments that could be lost. If you have children it is especially great to capture them as they are growing up. There are many uses for a fine camera like this one. The Hitachi VMH955LA uses the little 8mm tapes, which I have been using for years now. Why the 8mm? You have your VHS camcorders, VHS-C camcorder, 8mm camcorders and the newest it the Digital camcorders. VHS ones are to big and bulky, then came along the VHS-C which is a lot smaller and can be played in a special VHS tape that will make playing it in your VCR. Then came along 8mm, which brought you smaller and better camcorders with almost digital quality. An 8mm tape it suppose to last a lot longer on the color quality then the VHS brand, plus the picture quality and sound is a lot better than VHS. The newest and best so far for in a camcorder is the new digital camcorders. The bad part is they cost two to four times that of an 8mm camera. Two 8mm tapes will cost you around $5.99 to $9.99 and you will get two hours of recording out of each tape. The Features The Hitachi VMH955LA has a 22x Optical Zoom that will bring your subject in really close. On top of that there is a 400x Digital Zoom that can make the subject jump right on top of you! This camera has both a viewfinder and a color LCD screen. I always use the LCD screen for my picture taking because it is the best way for me. You may wonder why they put both and LCD and a viewfinder on the camera. I use the viewfinder when I use it outside on a sunny day and there is snow on the ground. The snow with the sun makes it so bright that the LCD is not viewable at all. This camera has a 2.5" Color LCD Display with Active Screen. You can also playback your video through the LCD screen to see how it turned out. Lighting is not a problem either, it has a 0.3-LUX Illum
ination, which means on most indoor shots you will not need any extra light. Every once in awhile you do not have enough lighting, then I simply turn on another light in the room and it will usually do the trick. It comes with a remote control, not much here, but it is nice when you have the camcorder sitting by the TV plugged in to view your movies. With the remote you can play, stop, fast forward and reverse the movie. This camcorder can be as simple as point and shoot for focusing or you can manually adjust the focus if you wish. The picture quality The quality of the recordings under almost any light conditions is great. The colors on my Hitachi 60 inch TV are crisp, clear and live like when I preview my 8mm movies. The Hi-Fi sound The Hi-Fi sound is good, but the only way to utilize a true Hi-Fi sound, you would have to connect two different microphones and place them apart. It does sound a lot better than the movies recorded on a mono soundtrack. Overall This is a nice and sleek looking camcorder, it handles well and is fairly easy to operate. I do love the LCD viewer and the ability to playback my recordings at any time. You can find this camcorder for less than $500 if you shop around! I highly recommend the Hitachi VMH955LA Hi8 Hi-Fi Stereo Camcorder.