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Its a good camera for those people just starting out in the filming world. The features are there for both newbies and familiars. Easycam option which limits the features to be used, but that is easily turned off. Its just a plug and go, press and record camera. The trouble is the USB supplied with it transfers the rate really slowly to PC so i would advise getting a wirewire card and cable which allows for a VAST increase in frame rate, thus better videos on PC. I'd also advise getting some decent software such as Pinnacle Sudio 9, or even (if your like me and don't want to pay) the package included in Windows XP. Movie Maker perhaps? The software supplied by Sony is, quite frankly, diabolical. The battery life is quite poor too, but Sony do a wide range of different batteries for the Handycam series. It works beautifully if connected up to the television AV, so if you want videos on VCR then its perfect. The LCD screen is quite nifty and goes over 180 degrees in rotation. The good thing about it, is that the image flips so that its the right way up for viewing.
For those with big hands it fits perfectly. I myself am "shovel handed" according to my girlfriend, but she manages to use it quite well so it works for any really. I got mine last year for £240 but I have seen cheaper recently. Its about £180 now.
As for retailers I purchased mine at the Sony Retail store, but Comet, Argos, Amazon, Curries also supply it.