Pros Compact size, super zoom, works with MAC
Cons No flash for still pictures
Summary Easy to use Standard definition camcorder with super 50x Zoom. Image stabilization works better than Sony. I have read reviews that this camera does not work with Mac - this is not true. I connected the camera to the my Leopard based Macbook, opened iMovie and imported the videos without any problems. I love the compact size of the camcorder, easy to use joystick, 60Gb hard drive, and good battery life. So far, this camera is great.
Pros The camcorder itself worked well. I liked most of the features and it had an extremely large memory.
Cons The editing software is a joke. Not user-friendly. The camcorder records in some funky proprietary format that is not compatible with software editing programs other than the clunky one it comes with.
Summary I purchased this camcorder as a Christmas gift for my wife and myself. I used it for a month recording the fun of our 18 mo. old. When it came time to unload the video and start creating DVDs I learned that the camera records in some proprietary format, which only seems to work with the software packaged with the camcorder. The software included is clunky and unfriendly to use. It basically only functions as a way to dump your video onto your PC and do some very basic editing. I had hoped to be able to use one of the free editing software like Windows Movie Maker or Wax. Needless to say, those programs could not import the video. In the end, I returned the camcorder to Costco and plan to purchase a different make/model.
Pros Just to clarify, this does work with Mac, but you need to be running 10.5 and the newest iMovie ('08). Check out http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1014
Cons Plain looking case
Pros Compact design. Long life battery, (optional) easy to use. Works with MAC Leopard and Lion
Cons More bad than good. Can't say it all in 250 characters.
Summary The video quality looks great on the camera screen, but once transferred to my Mac or PC, the quality is less than I can get with my phone video. If you zoom half way of the camera's capacity the image is so grainy its useless. I've shot a lot of video with this camera but the image quality is so low I'm embarassed to post them.
There is no flash option so this camera will not work in low light situations. Also lacks a viewfinder so in low light you are blinded by the LCD and then can't see anything else. The manual is written in Engrish. That is, the words are English, but it was written by someone who is not a native English speaker and his grasp of grammar and syntax makes understanding the manual difficult.
This camera is a waste of money. I've tried contacting Panasonic but I just don't have hours to sit around waiting for a support tech. I wish I'd taken it back when first bought, (2008) Don't waste your time or money.
Pros proper camcorder functions, expandable memory, large internal memory, battery life seems to get better over time, stereo mic, takes pictures
Cons included software is too slow, pictures only go up to 0.3 MP, no picture light, no video light, format isn't video editor friendly, battery sucks at first
Summary This is a very very nice camcorder, and everything I use on it is optical. I also liked that the low quality video was still very nice. Something I didn't like was when I imported the video into something like windows movie maker, there were lines on the top of the video that looked like a crumpled film in a bad projector, this is fixed with a proper video converter, but still. The battery life sucked very bad at first, but, as I got into using it more and more, the battery seemed to be lasting longer, and owning the camera for two years, that makes it sound much better. I also liked that the camera takes pictures, but the pictures are only VGA quality, pretty good for a SD (standard deffinition) camcorder, not very good for a $500 camcorder. I did NOT see any result of digital compression, it actually looked better than any footage I got off my friend's miniDV camcorder. I definitely recommend this camcorder for anyone who wants to upgrade to digital video, this camcorder will not disappoint you. It is good for capturing those precious memories that you want to share.