* Prices may differ from that shown
I purchased this camera before a snowboarding holiday to Austria. I carried out a bit of research, but it was a bit of a rushed decision as I was leaving the next day. I had a choice between this model, or a slightly more expensive model that captured in HD. The HD model was more expensive, had only a 4GB hard drive and used Sony's proprietry memory stick duo cards - this is why I didn't buy it.
The camera looks good and feels sturdy. I have dropped it a couple of times and despite part of the casing sliding out, the camera still operates perfectly. There were a couple of main selling points - firstly the 80GB hard drive. Sony claim this will record 61 hours on standard definition settings - I used it on high quality and I haven't run out of space. The second main selling point is the 60x optical zoom (2000x digital). I don't know a massive amount about cameras, but I know 60x *optical* zoom is good, especially for a small camera.
Basic operations are relatively simple - i.e. start/stop record, zoom, etc. They are all intuitive. The touch screen interface is also easy to use, although the menus within here can be a little confusing. The video quality is very good - it worked well when we were filming either drinking or snowboarding. It can be let down a little bit in low light, but it's not terrible.
I didn't realise initially, but it's possible to add lenses to this camera. They are more of a conversion, but they screw into the plastic cover just before the lense. I purchased a wide angle and a fish eye lense - both of which add a new angle to shooting videos.
Firstly it's not HD, so although the video quality is good - it's not that good. I briefly mentioned the touch screen menus, this is where you change the format of the recording. I've done this several times and if I went back to it right now, I don't think I could find it first time. Saying this, the basic operations are very easy. *This is an addition, something I meant to include in the first instance. The still picture quality is really, really not great. So although the video is very good, I'd choose a phone over this for taking still pictures!*
The benfits definitely outweigh the negatives, of which there are only a couple. It's a nice camera that was very reasonably priced, shoots good video and does exactly as you would expect it to do. The 80GB hard drive is a big bonus as you don't have to fork out large amounts on Sonys own memory stick format and you also don't run the risk of running out of memory as your friend is about to ski into a tree..