The Sony DCRDVD703E offers some truly useful features that help distinguish it from the other Sony models and its competitors. It handles as well as many MiniDV tape based camcorders.
The DCRDVD703E has a 2.7" widescreen LCD, allowing you to view video in a 16:9 aspect ratio--which is quickly becoming the standard for home entertainment. An optical viewfinder, with dioptric adjustment, is available if you need to work in adverse lighting conditions.
The Sony supports DVD-R/RW and +RW media. It uses a quality Carl Zeiss lens with a 12X optical zoom, although if you want a little more zoom, you may want to consider the Sony DCRDVD653E with its 20X optical zoom.
The Sony is one of the few cameras with support for decent stills (though still not nearly up to the standard of dedicated still cameras). The one megapixel image that the DVD702E creates won't give you an 8" x 10" photo print, but you should be able to get a reasonable 5" x 7" print without too much trouble.
Sound on the Sony DCRDVD703E is very good in the standard configuration, with full stereo audio support. If you add the optional microphone, you can get five channel Dolby Surround sound--this is one accessory that is actually worth getting. A hot shoe connection allows you to add accessories such as an external microphone or light.