Summary: Although I doubt anyone else could get as great of a deal that I got, this camcorder is FABULOUS! The picture quality is great, I am able to do all that I need to do to catch great videos of my son.
Summary: I researched all the available DVD Camcorders before deciding on this one. At the time, it was on sale for $599, and decided it was the best for the money. I am very happy with my decision. I can't give it 5 stars because it does not perform great in low lighting. But from what I read, the only DVD camcorder that does is the top of the line Sony, which costs $300 more. If you can get the Hitachi on sale, it is a very good buy.
Summary: I'd originally gotten a Sony DV Camcorder but found that it had to have ONLY Sony parts such as batteries, tapes and other accessories at a high price and would not connect directly to my computer. Examined all the other camcorders and settled on this Hitachi. It is terrific. It does everything I wanted very easily. Using the "low light" setting, I was able to get an excellent video with normal room light and the lit Christmas tree.
Summary: I purchased this camcorder to replace an old Sony. After 1 DVD-R recording, I have decided to return it. The low-light performance was the killer. I used it to tape our child's first Christmas in normal, indoor lighting and it is very dark, almost unwatchable. The set-up was quite easy, but what good is easy set up if it takes poor videos? I am opting for the Sony 403 model.