I've been using a camcorder for a long time now (not this one, oldest model and different brand) and been watching for a HD cam for a while. This is a good start for understanding HD format and get acquainted with new generation of camcorders (pocket size ones). This model has to be considered as a basic one - do not expect miracles though it is 720p format - everyone who have been making photos know - pixels do not count as much as optics. And one more - if having a shaky grip - avoid filming - due to lack of image stabilization system the filmed material will be sea-sick shaking.
AS per manual - charging the battery is 7,5 hours in normal and 2,5 hours in rapid conditions, but there's a trick - if you attach it to laptop and turn your computer down by stand-by mode - the USB plugs still can charge your camera up.
However I should recommend this camera mainly for its price, size and convenient storage capabilities. A great pre-HD camera to wish for.