Summary: This camcorder rocks.
As a new Dad, I was obligated to purchase a new camcorder in order to capture all the amazing moments of our new daughter. Since our daughter was living life in high-definition, it seemed only natural to select a High-Def camcorder. The feature-set on this camera are amazing:
-SDHC recording media
-AVCHD audio/video compression codec
First of all, the picture quality is great. I've only done a few tests so far, but I have not been disappointed. Even indoors in low-light conditions, the picture is very watchable and does not have any of the "America's Funniest Home Videos" washed out grainy video look. For fast action, there is a tendency for the camera to adjust either the auto-focus or perhaps the compression, but you almost have to look for the artifacts in order to notice them.
The size of the camcorder is very manageable. Most compare it to about the size of a 12oz soda can. It fits very easily into the hand and can be carried around in the pocket of some loose khaki pants. It's small size allows you to discreetly pull the camera out without looking like you're setting up for a National Geographic documentary.
One very cool feature is that the camcorder can take a photo snapshot WHILE recording video. So if there's an especially photogenic moment while recording video, you can hit the snapshot button, and the camera will take a higher quality digital picture without interrupting the video recording.
I especially like the SDHC recording media as you can pop the memory card out of the camcorder, put it into a Playstation 3 and watch the video immediately. It's very cool to get a quick look at raw footage you just took without having to hassle with tapes, cables, etc.
For video editing, I connected the camcorder to a Macbook Pro and imported the video directly into iMovie. The software recognized the camera without any additional software or drivers. Since the content is high def/high bit rate, importing the clips can take a while... a long while. But I don't believe this is specific to the camcorder... there's just a lot of data to process. As computers get faster, this import time should go away. However, the camcorder does support recording in several different bit rates, so if you are creating something purely for a low-def web video, you can afford to drop the bit rate to a lower setting.
This camcorder offers some exceptional features at a very reasonable cost. You do pay a little extra to be an early adopter in the HD realm, but considering how much camcorder prices have dropped in general, it's a worthwhile expense. As YouTube and other online video sites start to support more HD content, camcorders like this will only gain in popularity and drop in price.
(Sample video below)