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well i have no clue about them, and need one today. the last one i or my parents owned was about 100lbs and had the big vhs tapes. Im looking to spend around 500-600 bucks and may can splurge up to 800 if its worth it. Im thinking about the dvd ones, and buying the dual or double layer disc (what ever they are called) so i can get a good quality hour on one disc. this will be mostly used for offload outings some of which are at night. throw some options out for me and some opinions between the DVD, miniDV, Hard drive, dv8 or whatever the different types are..
 

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I bought the Sony DCR-DVD 305.

It will put over an hour on a disc, and the discs are reusable. I keep about six discs in my camera bag so there's enough there to cover ANYTHING I might want to shoot.

Down loading to my laptop is pretty easy and quick, so there's no problem there.

The Camera takes 1meg still pics, and has a 1gig card for that, so all I have to do is flip a switch and I can shoot still pics good enough for internet posting until the cows come home. I think the card will hold a thousand pics or so.

The camera has a mic that sticks on the top, and will record Dolby 5.1 sound that works with my home system. It's pretty cool to have surround sound on the playback and sometimes I use it.

The same Hotshoe on top of the camera will also power a floodlight. It's good enough to allow about ten feet or so of good light- so I can shoot campfire stuff or whatever.

There is also a "Nightshot" setting that uses an LED for light and will allow shooting in near dark conditions. It has a Blair witch project sort of a look to it. I havn't played with that very much.

the Zoom on this camera is exceptional. it does 12x optical, and like 800x digital. You can shoot good video of people that are 50 yards away. It's not easy to hold the camera still at full zoom, but it can be done.

There is also a stabilization thing going on that helps.

The standard battery lasts for about two discs (2 1/2 hours or so) and the lithium ion battery is supposed to be good for eight hours of shooting. I've never ran the big battery down so I don't know if it really will shoot all day, but the big battery is needed if I use the flood light.

After using this camera for over a year, I still like it.

It's small, easy to use, and it shoots quality video.
The camera and all the accessories was kinda pricey, but it should last for years and I feel it was worth the money.

I recomend it.
 
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