Summary: I purchased this camcorder used, with nothing but a battery on its back. I had a 10 year old Canon ZR60 which went dead in the middle of recording and I needed to get video off some miniDV tapes and finish my project as inexpensively as possible. I purchased a battery charger separately, and for under $100 I was much better off. This camcorder is similar to my old zr60, so there is no learning curve.
Summary: I bought this item used and paid very little. It hadn't been used much. I could use it right out of the box without even having to open the manual. It is very user friendly. I like the mini DV format compared to the memory cards and DVD's. Its much cheaper and can hold a lot and can be written to multiple times. I also had some old mini DV tapes lying around which I wanted to play. That's why I decided to buy this and it has worked great.
Summary: I bought this to take videos and stills of my children. So far I've been very pleased with it. The videos are of adequate quality for us and the stills are surprisingly clear. In order to take stills, you must purchase a memory card, or use one from a sony digital still camera, if you have one. I think this was a great buy, but I did opt for the 2 year replacement plan, just in case.