Pros Zoom, clarity, price, ease of use, really everything about this camera.
Cons Sound-get external small shotgun mic like a Stennheiser for $100+. If your a simple shooter existing sound should work. Also, set your still pix for 2 second delay. Then position of the still button will not cause you to shake/lose extreme focus.
Summary I cannot believe how easy it was to get awesome AVCHD or 1080p quality videos so fast. You also have the option of shooting 3D if you want to buy that lens. Now that the price of 16gb, 32gb and 64gb cards (get the SanDisk Extreme SDHC UHS-I cards /30mb/200x, Class 10)are really coming down in price, the ongoing costs is very affordable. The bundled software, HD Writer AE 3.0, is marginal but it does work and organizes by date of shooting. Best to research other video editing products. I choose CyberLink PowerDirector 10.0 for Win 7/Win XP/Win Vista. Only $99 but it has all the features and ease of use as the very expensive packages. There, you have it, this is my experience with the camera. I cannot shoot enough video or stills with this product. Thank you Panasonic, you got it right - at least for my needs.
Pros Zoom set on x40 is still crystal clear, No problems with softwear and downloaded to PC in less than a minute. Has a mic input and a 28 mm wide angle lens.
Cons Battery last for about 1 and a half hrs, would need a spare battery. Also you would need to buy a Blu ray burner and disks as I found that in Hi Def you could only fit about 30min video on a 4.7g disk.
Pros good image quality, excellent IS, 40X intelligent zoom, accessory shoe and input for external mic, uses SDHC cards, lightweight
Cons no manual focus, included software is basic at best
Summary Great camera for making videos on nature (birds, animals), travel videos, etc. Excellent IS even with 40X zooming. Software is primitive and sometimes unstable; I use Cyberlink PowerDirector instead. In general, I would recommend it.