The optical quality is excellent. A memory stick is included that allows you to use the camera as a digital still camera. I was surprised to learn (I have no previous experience with digital cameras) that it was easier to take good pictures with this than with my Nikon. No need to use a flash indoors, and the resolution is far beyond what is normally needed for standard size pictures. And it was easy to get the still pictures into the computer with the included SW and cable. The video quality is excellent. In bright sunshine the automatic exposure overexposed a little but that can easily be handled with manual exposure. Same thing when movin from outside inside. You really need to learn how to balance the colors and adjust exposure and focus manually, too, to get to best quality. If you don't bother, you still get good quality in most situations. I intend to buy a video capture card to be able to edit on the computer, but until then, I just shoot. Transitions are smooth, and tne anti-shaking mechanism works beautifully. I don't have experience with other digital video cameras, but this is far better and easier the any analog camera.
...Having used the camera a lot over the last few weeks, I am absolutely delighted with it. Having never owned a camcorder before I was expecting average results and slightly grainy video. Well I've been stunned by the TRV25. Video is crisp and smooth, although learning how to use the manual exposure certainly pays off, but isn't essential. Photos are, in my opinion, very good. You can' expect them to match a £700 digital stills camera, but for printing on 8x6 on a good printer you'll struggle to fault them. Everything is laid out well, although I could imagine things might get tricky for someone with smaller hands. But I've managed fine, I can take photos are record something instantly without having to fumble around finding the buttons. On the whole I can't see why someone would look away from a camera like this. It might not feature the professional functions of a camera twice it's price, but for anyhting less you can't go wrong.
...I have tested it under bright sunlight by selecting corresponding programms from the menu. The results were rather good. Its performance was very dissapointing when it comes to Auto functions. Firsly, most images were overexposed unless one was cintrolling manually the camera using the exposure buttom. If one of the big batteries (NP-QM71)is fitted to the camera, is hard to reach certain buttons (i.e. backlight, exposure. The only solution is to put the camera on the standby mode and do the necessary adjustments. Secondly, concerning the digital still pictures, the result is very dissapointing. I have used for a while the Canon Powershot 30, with 3MB resolution so the results from my camcorder are very poor indeed. The MPEG files are O.K. Thirdly, the digital Zoom (x120) is as the word says, digital, and it has nothing to do with the quality of a picture, a manual zoom can give you. So you do not expect to shoot films for the National Geographic! i.e. to bring a flying bird to a close up and that image to be clear etc... There is a picture noise that is very bad. A last point. I have shot during the night using the Night Shot button. Is it suppose to make the film like black and white? If this is the case, then it functions o.k. Without the assistance of this button or a flash, the movies are very dark. Overall the camera can be operated easily and has many capabilities. I would recommend the product but bare in mind that does not compare at all with high end modes( VX-2000, TRV 900).