First off, my camera appears to be broken.
My camera will begin zooming in slowly without me touching the camera. This happened this weekend while videotaping a wedding on a tripod. Nobody was near the tripod so I know this is a real problem. I think it has a mechanical or electrical issue which issues a very short "zoom" message to the camera's tiny electronic brain. The problem is exacerbated by a "feature" that seems to instantiate a continuous slow zoom when you tap the zoom-in / zoom-out button. I will be contacting Canon. (By sheer luck, I had a second camera recording the ceremonly on another tripod.)Two inconveniences...
I have also found two unique problems that build upon one another.
1. The camera spends 10 seconds "reading the file structure" when you turn it on. (I suspect it is validating the absurd AVCHD disc structure rather than simply taking movies.) As such, I have tried a workaround where I do not turn off the camera at all. Seeing as the camera has no viewfinder, I assumed that it would close the lens and would not be able to record video when the screen was closed. [Note: this seems to be faster on a new 8gb class 6 SDHC card, but this is still slower that I would expect.]
2. Unfortunately, the camera allows you to record video even while the screen is closed. This caused me to recrod a 10 minute video of the inside of my pocket when the battery and memory card would have been much better used taking additional videos of Andre's Bachelor party.
Recommendation: The camera really needs to support instant-on, perhaps buffering to memory while validating the disk. In it's absence, they need to ensure that the camera stops recording video when the screen is closed.
3. An additional complaint of ergonomic design: The "record" button sticks out too far from the back fo the device, and it is too sensitive/easy to press. As a result, i have accidentally begun to record video on several occasions, and worse still, I have accidentally stopped the video unexpectedly. (Sorry Chuck, some of the speeches given at your wedding were cut off part way!) This is a problem that I never had with the HV10 Camcorder that this replaced.A closing gripe for good measure.
Some memory cards are too slow to support the highest quality mode. I get that, and I think it is appropriate to blink a message warning me that this card cannot support the requested mode. That said, why can't it bump down the the next highest quality and record precious moments instead of requiring me to bump it down to a supported mode through the menus.
My HF100 is almost instant on - your camcorder or SD must be defective.