This is taken from my Ciao review - d15549
The camcorder is great for anyone who just wants to point and shoot. The Hard Disk Drive makes this so easy to playback footage and for editing. You can just plug it into the computer and view the shots that you took, without having to play through tapes. It also has a better picture quality because of this. The only risk is through dropping the camera, however, Sony have added a G sensor which knows when the Camera is falling, so the hard disk drive can protect itself to ensure that your videos are kept safe. This camera also has a lovely 2.7 inch touch screen, which makes going through menus a breeze. There are other features such as the external microphone, photo mode, and a great 120x digital zoom. I bought this when HD camcorders were first arriving onto the market. This was the only option for my budget, and I also didn't see the point in HD for home movies, unless I was going to film something a bit more professional. Overall, a great budget camera!
The DCR-SR90E is Sony's first camcorder with a built-in hard disc drive. Designed to allow you to shoot large amounts over a long period of time, browse stored images and transfer your data to a PC at high speed, its large-capacity 30 GB hard disc drive enables recording of about 7 hours and 20 minutes. The supplied software makes it is easy to copy data to a DVD or PC afterwards. The camera has a 1/3 inch 3.3 megapixel primary color CCD so you can enjoy high-resolution images and, because it comes pre-installed with Dolby Digital 5.1 Creator, you can record 5.1-channel Surround Sound directly to the hard disc. It also comes with anti-shock measures so the hard disc will be protected if the camcorder is accidentally dropped.