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Review: Let me get this right from the start - this camera is excellent & if it were not for the crappy manual would have got 5/5, because of this if I were reviewing it the day after purchasing I'd have rated it 2/5! The person(s) who wrote the instruction manual should be taken down & shot. My advice therefore is to punch a hole in the top left of it, thread some string through & hang it next to your toilet. You can then make use of it when you run out of toilet paper! The picture & sound quality you get from this camera is staggering and because of this I very quickly learnt that there is no point in using this camera like a standard digital camera. In fact pressing the 'photo shot' button is awkward and can put your aim off. The good thing about this camera that is learnt through use is that you can record from any fromat to any format. Think about it this way - every single frame recorded to the digital tape is picture quality, therefore if thinking of taking a picture just record a scene to the digital tape & when you get home hook it up to the TV and go through (frame by frame) and then take a photo shot to the SD memory card! Hell you can then take the images and put them on your PC, video, whatever. You can even do mpegs in this manner by downloading free compression software which is why I did not purchase the NV-GS5B! The on-board menu system can be very confusing at first but ignoring the manual and just playing with it will get you used to it. The camera offers a Colour night view system but in my mind was a pointless exercise because the image is so crap it is unuseable - the camera image is built up and enhnaced by onboard software but this makes the image very slow and the resultant image a total blur - you can only use it in this mode if the camera is on a stand and the scene pretty much stable otherwise forget it. I guess the same is for any other camera out there that offers this kind of feature.
You also get a digital zoom (500x) but this simply focuses the image onto a smaller and smaller portion of the CCD and therefore makes the resultant image more & more grainy the further you zoom in. Also, the further you zoom in the more stable you have to hold the camera so I usually have this feature turned off. It does however have its uses and I'd rather have it than not. You get a small remote control which is absolutely brilliant (in fact you get two, another small plugin thing which I have yet to make use of). I use the remote when hooking the camera up to my TV so that I can then use the camera just like my VCR - a digital VCR that has the ability to take pictures! You can also use the remote to record you & your mates if the camera is pointed at a set scene & extends you all the normal functions of the camera. The major disadvange I have found with using any 'video' camera is wanting to use it. What do I mean? Does any given camera have 'use me & take me with you because I am convienient' written all over it? Well, the NV-GS4B is so small & light it can fit in your pocket and (when you get used to it) is easy to use and simple to convert between any medium - in other words VERY convienient! So, yes I do use it alot because this camera wants to be used. I think you get the jist of what I am trying to say! Conculsion: Basically, is this camera worth nigh on £600 and would I buy it again? Yes to both - £600 gets you one hell of a camera & now that I can use it in anger I am well pleased with it. Like I said 10/10 if it were not let down by the manual. Would I recommend anyone straining at the leash with £600 buring a hole in their pocket to rush out and buy one (like I did)? Absolutely - go for it - you won't be disappointed!