The HD video is awesome, when you're outside.
Inside, otoh, is blurry -- there just isn't enough light gathering ability to get HD video inside without a lot of light. I'll post back once I get some band videos uploaded. They come out in MJPEG MOV format, so the Windows Movie Maker can't deal with them until you run it through a MOV->WMV (or AVI) converter.
You can zoom during video recording, but it will re-focus after the zoom is complete, and you will hear the motors in the video. But you can do it. If you're shooting a video with a constant focus (stage, fireworks, etc), it's best to keep it on "Focus once at the start," otherwise it will tend to drift the picture into/out of focus every 5 seconds. OTOH, during a soccer match, it had no problem tracking people all over the field; it doesn't like maintaining a focus point.
At dusk, you'll lose autofocus without warning (you need to manually go to single-focus mode) -- it will just keep focusing min->max->min again.
Be aware that it limits you to 30 minute clips; if you don't pick the end point, it will automatically stop at 30 minutes and pause for ~30 seconds. If you stop it, you can restart the recording in ~10 seconds (silly codec licensing).
Also -- Beware the AF light. I was shooting fireworks from inside the Batman Tower (Nashville), and I wasn't paying attention, so I got the orange AF light in a lot of the videos.
There is no image stabilization in video mode (or any of the other modes, except "image stabilization" -- fake digital stuff), so a tripod or a 2 hand-weighted bag is necessary to reduce nasea. I got a "flash adapter" (handle that will fire a slave flash) on clearance and that helps a lot. It also holds 4 AA rechargeables, so I always have spares (eneloop or Kodak "pre-charged" FTW).
I also am not sure the color is up to snuff. With my Panasonic Lumix LZ5, I shot normal pictures, and post-corrected them with a grey card (http://www.pictureflow.com), with slight differences in color. The Kodak has a lot of difference in color and tends to overexpose the grey card (doh!); to get quality prints, you have to color-correct even pictures taken outside in the daytime. The shots are OK, but once you use a grey card, it's amazing what the subtle difference in color can do for a picture.
The shutter lag is noticeable, and the "rapid shooting" doesn't work "right" -- I could usually get an action sequence OK with the lumix, but I can't get one with the Kodak-- and the effect is magnified if you're using slow SD cards (no Microcenter cards in this camera... after changing to a Kingson 6 MP SDHC card, I've had much less problems).
There is a world of difference in the zoomability and low-light ability between the 6x Panasonic Lumix and this camera. I wasn't expecting such a difference between 6x and 5x, but it is noticeable. Unless you're using starry night mode, the Kodak has a lot of high-iso noise. I haven't experimented much with nightscapes or astronomy yet. The "delay 2 seconds before shutter" is great for using gorilla-pods at high zoom (so the shaking goes away before the snap).
I haven't tried the on-board photo processing. The only thing I know is that it doesn't do video (I guess I need Premiere elements after all...).
All in all, I like it. I really like it for 720P video. The camera is *ok* (from a person who is trying to save for a DSLR). The Auto-Stitch Panoramas is *neat*, but you can do better if you shoot 12MP (panos are limited to 3 4 MP sections), and use AutoStitch on the resulting images (you have to line it up manually if not in pano mode). The Pano mode doesn't even maintain constant white-balance/exposure between shots (if you're shooting a lit bridge that trails off in the distance, don't use the pano mode on the camera -- you'll see the banding between the pictures once you start adjusting it in Picasa.).
I'd buy one again (I bought at the $120 mark non-respiffied), but mine hasn't died yet ;)
1. Less video interaction is more. Correct defects (like camera tilt) in post-processing. Don't zoom in/out constantly, as the noise/defocusing is very noticeable.
2. Use the minimum zoom you can get away with -- it improves light gathering ability and stability of the shot.
3. Always keep a spare SD/SDHC card around. This camera is *picky* about them.
4. NiMH 2200+ / Lithium AA / Oxyride AA's.
Alkaline is good for ~20 pics (!!).
NiMH 2500 is good for ~2.5 hrs video.
Lithium is good for ~4 hrs. (I keep a spare lithium in the flash holder "just in case" the NiMH's have gone down)
5. Use a name brand, fast SDHC card.
6. Tripods / Gorillapods are your friend, esp with this camera. Even at 1x zoom.
7. If indoors, use the flash often, unless you can use a grey card later. This camera has no idea what to do with fluorescent lights.
8. Panos are cool, but what do you do with them later? (I got on a pano kick, in San Francisco, but still don't know what to do with them).
9. If you use a grey card, make sure it has a splotch of white on it (white out or better yet, the whibal sticker) -- otherwise this camera *will* over-expose it and you won't be able to get the color to work right.