What Camcorder ?

Thinking of moving into the realms of moving footage and buying a digital camcorder. The more I look at them, the more difficult it becomes to make a decision on which one to get.

Was looking at this one

Buy Sony HDR-CX280E HD 1080p Camcorder, 8.9MP, 27x Optical Zoom, OIS, 2.7” LCD Screen, Black online at John Lewis

All I want it to do is take stills, zoom, and be blur free.

What sort of zoom should I be looking for ?

How long does the battery last ?

How much footage can I store on the memory card ? or would a hard disk be better ?

What is the recording format ? what sort of software should I get for editing ?

Plan on buying it after Xmas in the sales ready for Hols.

Any pointers appreciated. Thanks.
I've been told that the amount, i.e., time you can get on "digital" media varies by what you are shooting. My info may have been superceded by now, but the MPEG format didn't record every frame, but rather the differences between frames That's why I bought one with a tape in it a few years ago. Like I say, this info is probably out of date now.

What I do know is, you'll get about 90 minutes on a 120GB hard drive in MPEG4.

Gave up on camcorders myself cos I hardly ever used the ones I had.

Good luck with the search. I bet the range is brain-melting.
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