Summary: I bout this camera and received it around 4 days ago. I like how small and light it is. The picture quality and sound are both amazing. The only downside to this is the battery life. I did buy the batteries and charger separately and I don't think they are made by Sony so that may be the problem. I aslo did not charge the battery before using it (even though it showed that it was fully charged when I turned the camcorder on.
Summary: I love this camera... except for one minor detail. (Or possible defect?) When I zoom all the way in on something that is black (whether it be an object or shadow) and it is in somewhat low lighting, there is pixel dropout. This is not motionless dropout where it's a few of the same pixels, it's more more like little white "twinkling stars" or "sparkles" that drop out momentarily. I first noticed this last night when I zoomed in to photograph the moon.
Excerpt: Limited experience with this item so far. Bought it to film high school football from press box. It has great features, and should meet all requirements. Extensive experience with 6 year old Hard Drive model (HDR-SR12) and couldn't have been happier with it, so we look forward to this upgrade. This new model cost over $300 less. This was a great buy. Only downside for HDR-PJ650 is that the LCD is slightly smaller than the older HDR-SR12.
Pros: Easy File Transfer, Easy to Use, Good Image Stabilization, Great Picture Quality, Recording Formats, Zoom range/performance
Excerpt: My camcorder use is to capture my own live music performance. I went through $ -$ range Canon and Panasonic because Sony that has external mike input is more expensive. I however ended up with returning them and had to shell out for this Sony since both Canon and Panasonic sound quality were terrible. Something was very wrong with their ADC.Sony, as I expected from the bland, gave me my satisfaction.
Pros: Easy to Use, Good Image Stabilization, Good in Low Light, Great Picture Quality, Great Sound, Great Zoom
Excerpt: This is a follow-up to my 3/5/14 comments. I have used the camera extensively and the noise problem I mentioned is no problem. I used it in Australia and New Zealand for the past few weeks and its a great camcorder. The low light recordings have been very good. I used it in Maori houses at night with a lot of movement and it did the job well. In the finished product I can not hear the mech. noise I was concerned about. Color is great and the stabilization works well.
Pros: Easy to Use, Good Image Stabilization, Good in Low Light, Great Picture Quality, Large Clear LCD
Excerpt: love the sound and image quality it shoots 60i and 60p so close i really could not tell for sure which was which. 24p hops and flickers a bit. well laid out design heavier that i expected balance carriage i guess. only gripe is the still picture mode works lousy WHILE recording. when just doing stills nice click noise flashes pic for a second and you can do about 1 per second. while recording no sense of it it took and if so what where and when.
Pros: Good Image Stabilization, Great Picture Quality, Great Sound, Large Clear LCD
Summary: Really enjoy the camera with the bundle. The camera is a step up from the common every day camera and the stabilization is wonderful. I am an independent film maker and would recommend this to documentary and slower style filming.
Summary: the extra batteries.. one of those that came with the bundle died one month later quith a few (5) charges, the brand is Wasabi The camera has a big problem with one thing, when you record something larger than the 2 gb clip, the camera cut each clip, but there is a 3 second audio missing at the end of each clip, if you record someone at a concert, singing or speaking, you would be in a problem with this weird error.