Having bought a Sony digital camera 2 years ago, and been very impressed with it, we were looking for a compact digital camcorder with a hard drive that would serve as a family machine, and also work in the classroom. This machine is proving to be an excellent buy for the following reasons:
Amazon have it very competitively priced.
At only 14oz (400grams approx) it is amazingly light and compact
The 40 Gb Hard Drive allows over 20 hours of recording at standard quality (less at high quality).
The battery gives you 2 hours of recording capability between charges.
You do not have to mess around with DVDs in the camera - the hard drive is an ideal medium for recording, and it has Sony's Pro mem stick capability which gives it great functionality with other Sony products and/or card readers in your PC.
Full USB connectivity to your PC/Laptop - and SCART connectivity to the TV
This 55 model is a better buy, and worth the few extra pounds, than the 35 for a number of reasons: 10Gb more hard drive space; a docking station which allows recharge, DVD burn, via USB to your PC, and quick link to your TV for viewing; and a remote control for the cam - excellent and useful accessories; and finally, 1 Megapixel compared with 0.8 Mp on the 35.
The screen is clear, and the touch menu system is easy to use. It has a robust carrying strap, and just feels well-made - having said that a carry case is always a good investment for such a piece of kit!
I am no technical expert, but this is a great-priced and intuitive digicam, with lots of great features. Highly recommended.