"Solid, simple, inexpensive camera with one caveat"3.5 starson by ssolomo
Pros: Easy to use, good quality, relatively low cost
Cons: Awful PC software, no direct link off camera
Summary: I purchased this camera in anticipation of our first child being born. I liked the HDD as opposed to tapes and DVDs as I thought it would be much easier to transfer, edit and store video on our PC (and later view or burn to DVD) than a tape and has a much higher capacity than an SD card. Also, the recording medium doesn't require you to carry around spare tapes or discs and worry about running out all the time.
Impressions after using it for a few days: video quality is good, even viewed on our Panasonic 50" plasma 720p. Zoom and image stabilization are great. On camera menus are simple and easy to navigate and understand (once you translate a few of the terms from the well written owners manual).
Now for the negative - the VideoCam Suite software is hideous. Not only are you required to use it to transfer video off the camera (and cannot use any other software to watch the video), but to convert the video to .mp2 or something else more common, the software batches things together without asking you. Plus, it is extraordinarily slow to start up, shut down, and process requests (on a medium-high end desktop with plenty of memory, processing power and drive space).
I'm going to search for another piece of software which, hopefully, will alleviate the single great downfall of this camera. Even if I have to spend $80 on software, this camera in total beats the pants off anything withing $300 in my opinion. But until I find that software, my rating will remain a 7.