Well I've had a play with the Lumix and gave it the ultimate test... Pub crawl, night, drunken operator.
This isn't a "user video" in the sense that the content is unimportant but the quality is what's under scrutiny.
The compression artifacts, which you can't really judge on youtube anyway, are there. I would say they're acceptable for this sort of video but too much for anything commercial. Ny next test will be in daylight to see how they handle something easier. In the original footage there's very little movement jitter or artifacts, so the AVCHD Lite seems to deal with that quite well. The youtube compression makes the pans and camera movement seem a lot worse than is evident on the raw footage.
Those streaks caused by overexposed highlights are a pain. Luckily you can see them in the viewfinder when you're recording so they could be avoided, theoretically. In practice it's a bit hard to avoid point light sources in a city street at night!
The sound is okay-ish. A curate's egg, good in places. There is a lot of handling noise if you change grip or get your fingers close to the microphone and it's far from directional, picking up everything. It's also vulnerable to wind noise, despite have a "wind filter".
When it comes to non-professional gear my videomaking toys are the Lumix a Canon XH A1s and an HF11. The Lumix is the "best" for this sort of stuff because it fits in my pocket and, at the moment, I've got it with me all the time. The other gear may do better pictures but, on a night out, or day-to-day you wouldn't want to hump them around "just in case of a shot". So, the biggest plus is the fact that it's small and portable. Pilots say that the most useless thing in flying is the runway behind the aircraft. Videomakers know the most useless gear is the stuff left back at home.
Finally the fact that it is a compact camera is a plus. People tend to get self-conscious when you start waving a camcorder about but this small camera goes unnoticed. Consequently it's not so annoying to those around you.
All-in-all I think I'm gonna have a lot of fun with this...