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The problem with cameras that use DVD recorders is that they ruin the quality of the video. I have no clue about still images, but your video will have blurring and splotching straight out of your Camcorder.
The next problem is that mpeg is hard to edit. Trust me on this. I made a minor mistake on a wedding video once, and I had already moved the raw files off the PC onto my long-term storage. I just figured I’d pop open the mpeg and add the one line I forgot. Bad idea. Editing mpeg clips takes forever using Sony Vegas. I can only imagine that off home consumer editors it would take longer.
Bang for the buck, I would reccomend Getting a Sony Digital 8, which runs off standard 8mm or hi-8 cassetes that you can find at any retail store. Yes, you will have to dump video to your computer in realtime, but because it’s an uncompressed digital format, you’ll get far superior quality to the video that you get from your DVD burning camera. Sony is pretty good about selling batteries to older cameras, and if worst comes to worst, you can find consumer camcorder batteries on ebay that are rebuilt and good as new for dirt cheap.
Now, if money isn’t a concern AND you don’t want to sit around and dump video to your computer in real time, I would suggest getting yourself a Canon GL-2 and a Firestorm digital recorder. The firestorm is sort of like a hard drive that your uncompressed video records on. When you’re done, you plug it into your PC, and no waiting to get your video editing going. On the combination, expect to spend $3000. But the GL-2 uses Canon’s standard pro batteries and MiniDV tapes, so as it is, even if you don’t get the firestorm, finding tapes and batteries will be easy.
If you want good looking video, DVD-cameras are not the way to go. Maybe in a few years, if they figure out how to indegrate blu-ray into home consumer cameras it would be interestig, but as it is today, it’s no good if you’re going to do any editing at all