Summary: I recently purchased one of these to replace one that was damaged from a lightning surge. I couldn't find another (newer) MiniDV camcorder that would also take still pictures on memory card, and do AV->DV conversion (you can play back home movies on VHS, output via composite cable to camcorder, and transfer it to a digital copy directly to computer through the firewire port). Nice optical zoom too.
Summary: This is my first digital camcorder and so far so good. I'm very happy with it. Easy mode is great for beginners like my husband and kids. I love the auto mode where I have control of special effects etc..... I highly recommend and the price is pretty good.
Summary: We got this because it is compatible with MAC and iMovies. We are very pleased with the quality of pictures and ease of use. Lots of features we haven't explored yet but it easily does the job. We handed it over to our 11 year old and she did a great job with it, even with unsteady hands.