The Canon HF100: Who Puts This Stuff on the Bottom?
Here at Lunawebs we use a pair of solid-state HD camcorders to record all of our footage. They are great cameras with lots of manual control and a very nice image. They record directly to SD cards using AVCHD, which is a compressed form of HD, but looks very good (especially at the highest bitrate). Sure, you have to have a beefy computer to decode the image, but since cameras tend to outlive computers, it is an easy call in progressive purchasing.
One thing that absolutely baffles me is how such a well-designed camera can have some things on its belly that just make no sense. All camera companies seem to be of the mindset that you are going to be attaching your new baby to a tripod. They all have tripod screw mounts. Makes perfect sense. So why put anything on the bottom of the camera that is going to force serious users (i.e. those using tripods) to remove the camera to get to them. Gaffes like this used to be bottom-loading, where your tape had to go in the camera upside down. That was always a deal-breaker for me.
The HF100 uses no tape, so I'm safe, right? Nope. The battery release is found on the bottom! It's not a total disaster since I often use Beachtek's DXA-2s XLR adapter, which elevates the camera from the tripod stage, allowing me to get to the release. Not too much damage there. But get this: there is no guide hole next to the tripod mount, which every tripod or bottom mounted accessory (like the Beachtek) will use. What!? Who makes these uninformed descisons?