I've been researching this for a couple of weeks now. My conclusions are based on needs vs. wants vs. affordability.
If you really, absolutely must have an HDD camera right NOW I would go with Sony's SR1. $1200 to $1400. It will take 1080i. AND is has a viewfinder. I like that. BAttery life is important also. Using the larger LCD screen really eats into the battery life.
The SR100 is also a nice choice. About $900 US. It has 5.1 surround sound capabilities etc, but no viewfinder. Also, not HiDef (1080i).
However, I agree with boya84, I don't think the HDD is yet a "proven technology". As you read many of the posts here, as well as elsewhere, and realize the problems of; long term storage, Hard Drive failure, compression, file transfer, battery life, and video editing; you will see that an HDD camera may not be quite right just yet.
I'm NOT saying it's bad. If you are not going to be taking that much video, will be transferring it very soon after taking it, and (hopefully)have or will shortly have the editing software for it, by all means, get the SR1.
However, I personally am waiting another year or so before deciding on an HDD camcorder. If I had to recommend a choice to anyone right now it would be MiniDV. I know, I know, tape is so old fashioned. Yet, it's plentiful, inexpensive and also stores just fine. Even it does degrade over time, I have 10 yr tapes that still look good. Not one of the 23 computers I have in my house has a Hard Drive over 7 yrs old.
Finally, if you DO decide to go HDD, I would recommend you get yourself a good 500GB portable backup drive and whatever connectors you need to transfer the drive if you're going to take a lot of video. There are small transfer connectors out there that don't require a computer.
Thanks to everyone who posted here. I learned some stuff myself and appreciate your taking the time to put in YOUR 2cents.
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