Conclusion: If I had to rate this right now, I'd give it a strong 4. Neglecting to include an external mic is easily a 1 cow deduction. For the money, you can be shooting HDV NOW. The format will get better and better cameras will come along, but this camera will carry you through the transition quite nicely. The pictures have to be seen to be fully appreciated. If you light your job properly, they are simply astounding. 4 cows.