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James, I agree with composite about doing your home work as much as possible before jumping into the ‘shark tank’. If you do your homework and decide for Option 2-Do it all yourself, then I have a couple more specifics tht might help others and myself with our suggestions for a camcorder. Are you locked in to buying a new cam or would you consider a used one? Do you have lighting equipment or access to some? You mentioned the reviews of some camcorders having problems in low light. If you are shooting indoors, I would suggest that additional lighting is a necessity. Withenough lighting you can shoot with just about any camcorder and get great results. Relatively inexpensive work lights that can fill the bill are available at Q Depot/Mart types of stores.