If you are going to record in HD, you would want to display in HD. Do you have editing software that will support HD?? The Sony got a great review on Camcorderinfo.com but it does not have nearly as much manual control as the GS400. I'm not sure if the Sony has a mic input or not, as a lot of their camcorders lately only use Sony mics with the hotshoe. If you do not plan on displaying on HDTV and since the GS400 will run you about $600 less, it may be a better choice. This is only an opinion, as I have never used either one. Each one has their perks. What is most important to you?? (HD or less cost and more manual controls)
I'm upgrading from a Sony TRV 900.
I own a Sony TRV 900.
I need a somewhat lighter camcorder ( I do a lot of travel videography), one with an easier to view in daytime LCD screen, and with equal or better performance, especially in nighttime shooting. I also need to use an external mike since I also do alot of work in settings (especially classrooms) which require that.
My choice is narrowed down to the new SONY High Definition HC1 and the Panasonic GS400, which also has gotten rave reviews
I will not likely show my videos on a high definition TV screen for a number of years. I have reservations about moving to a smaller LCD screen since it will require me using my reading glasses. But I also have liked working with a Sony.
I would best be classified as a high-end amateur.
Any thoughts greatly appreciated.