I did try to use the camera with the USB cord plugged into my laptop and it would not allow me to take pictures or record. I even tried different settings on the dial. I am really an amateur with this camera so don't use my response as final without doing further research. I can tell you that the zoom is really nice and clarity of the pictures fully zoomed in is great.
I have not tried that, but the camera has a USB cord that cam move videos and pictures to a computer/laptop. I would have to see if it is capable of doing that. I can try this weekeknd and let you know if you can wait(on a trip out of town).