I am so totally impressed with this camcorder. First of all, I ordered it on Thursday and it arrived on Saturday with free supersaver delivery. We weren't going to try it out until Christmas, but just couldn't wait. So, we set it on charge and it was on full battery within only a few minutes. I hear that the battery life isn't great - but haven't used it for long enough yet to say either way. Once I turned it on, it was magic. It was so clear, the zooming kept it clear (even from across the room I could see the smallest hairs on my dad's face). The microphone doesn't pick up any annoying background noise in a direction you aren't pointing, which was great because we had the tv turned on and it didn't ruin the sound at all. When we put the video on the laptop to see if it was as clear as it looked - it totally was. Loving the HD on it - and how easy it is to use! Highly recommend this camcorder - so simple, so effective, just brilliant!