I have had the Canon ZR300 for a couple of years now and the fact that it is still available should tell you that it is a quality product. This camcorder has a 22x optical zoom, 440x digital zoom, a flip out color screen and optical viewfinder. It is a digital camcorder and uses Mini-DV tapes which hold either 60 or 90 minutes depending on the quality setting used. It will also take still pictures but only at a low resolution. The body is nice and small and fits in your hand well. When I go on vacations I typically take it in a mid sized camera bag on my belt.
Video quality is surprisingly good for a cheaper camcorder. I've taken it on trips to Hawaii and Disney and the footage came out excellent. Also since it is a digital camcorder you can hook it to your computer to download video to make movies. It has some image stabilization functions and also has a widescreen mode so your movies can be formatted the same as new TVs.
Battery life is fine on the standard battery. I've brought extra batteries every day and not had to use them on most occasions (unless I'm filming several very long things). They do sell a larger extended life battery which is nice. Also since it is a fairly standard Canon battery off-brand ones are available very cheap.
This is an excellent buy that I would recommend to anyone.