This is only my second experience with a video camera. I absolutely LOVE this HandyCam. It is nice and portable, to fit in my purse, if needed. It is VERY easy to use, for a novice like myself. I do refer to the accompanied manual that comes with it, and that is, also, very easy to read. I am so glad that I bought it. Battery Life I bought an extended life battery, which sticks out the back some, but it never runs down, even if not used. Of course, I'm not a huge photo and video taker, but it's very convenient with this extended battery, and it was well worth the extra money. The extra battery was not too much money.