Yes, our cameras seem very similar:
As a pro photographer I use a Nikon D3s which can produce excellent video under low light. But it lacks the 'live while shooting video' auto-focus and other features that a dedicated Camcorder offers. I was tempted to get a Nikon D7000, but read that its larger sensor and reduced depth of field made it less forgiving. Great for serious work where you know exactly what you want, but less so if you're just shooting in a random fashion. The Canon HF S20 was recommended as a camera that's easy to use and creates files that can withstand some degree of editing without having to pay 2-10x more for pro level video gear. My needs are mostly outdoor corporate events ("family day" stuff) where they need some video coverage to either project w/ a data projector, or to put into a YouTube type format for their Intranet. I think that the Canon HF S20 should do fine having read your post.
Glad I'm not hearing any warnings to stay away from this camera :-)
So far, I have only shot "slow moving" stuff with people (family gatherings) so don't know how well "fast moving" stuff does
I have a friend who coaches youth soccer, so later this year I may get the chance to shoot one of his games, to find out how things do when down rezzing from AVCHD to AVI to make a DVD
Thank you John for the feedback
The camera arrived and it's a tiny thing. So far it seems very good and I shot a couple of tests to see how well its files would transfer to the PC and edit with PPro CS5. Seems to integrate very well.
My only question now is what format to shoot in? I see the format options as being MXP, FXP, XP+, SP (default), and LP with a frame rates of 60i, PF24, PF30 and 24F.
Is there any reason to choose FXP instead of MXP?
Does it matter whether I choose 60i vs PF24 if the output will be from Encore?
My clients usually just display the video in meetings using a 1024x768 video projector or post it in small box on their Intranet. Would I be better to shoot at a lower resolution? Or will a initial higher resolution result in a better output at any resolution?
I think the link I provided describes the setting I am using right now... which I **think** is 60i (my night to cook dinner, and timer just buzzed)
I would shoot at HD instead of SD... my experience shows WONDERFUL quality when I tell PPro to export as DV AVI Widescreen and I then import that into Encore for DVD authoring
But... test and see what YOU like... and do that testing BEFORE you are in a time crunch due to a customer deadline !!!!!