Summary: Very light camcorder. It was a concern for me about editing avchd: The included software (HD writer) is not very powerful, but it's ok to save your video in HD format. I use video studio pro x2 to edit in AVCHD without any problem with my laptop(window vista, 3GB memory) The quality of the picture is not very good in low light situation.
Summary: I have been waiting for a long time for a camcorder that has no moving parts for recording (spinning DVDs, Hi-8 tape, miniDV, Hard drives, etc). With the arrival of the HDC-SD5, my wait is over. The HDC-SD5 writes all the information on SDHC flash memory cards, which are basically high capacity SD cards. My first impression of this camcorder was WOW! This is small, how can something this small record in High Definition too?
Summary: Be careful---depending on who is selling the product, you may or may not get the "included Panasonic 40GB hard drive". The vendor who I received the product from said that Amazon listed the camera with that title even though they never intended to ship the hard drive alongside it---fortunately they were kind enough to give me a partial refund. Look around--the hard drive is on back order at most sites as of now anyways.
Summary: I had been waiting for my SD5 to ship from Amazon, but I saw the camera at Circuit City in stock and $50 less so I decided to just get it there. The camera feels great in your hands. It is small and light, but even in my large hands it feels stable. I like that the battery is now inside of the camera and not attached to the back. This lets the center of gravity sit right there on your hand. The LCD screen looks good, though a little pixelated in darker rooms.
Summary: I was thrilled with how small this camera is. It fits in your hand as if it were a half full 12 oz. can of soda. It's very light, but the fortunately the image stabilization makes it shoot like it was a heavier camera. I ran into an issue with iMovie '07 (part of Apple's iLife '08) that caused the screen to stretch wider, making people look fat. This will likely be resolved soon by Apple, and for now I've taken to using the 1440 X 1080 resolution which imports just fine.
Summary: This is the first camcorder I have bought in a while. My last one was a Canon MiniDV that did progressive frame shooting. I've been researching for months on and off and following the progress of HD camcorders. I personally love this camera, there are only a few, mute things about this camera that I miss. Pros: - It's small and very light weight; almost too light. I *almost* found myself wishing it were a little heavier to make it easier to hold the camera steady.