your computer has a firewire port. There is no way the DV or HDV video stored on the digital tape will get into the computer unless the connection is via firewire. USB will not work. USB-to-fire cable/adapter/converter things will not work. If you are running Windows (any flavor) there are lots of folks who have issues adding expansion cards. I do my video editing on Apple Macintosh computers and firewire is included/built-in on most models (not MacBookAir or certain versions of MacBook).
If you go this route, miniDV tape is affordable. Check tapestockonline.com and buy in quantities. I get 8-packs at Fry's Electronics for $28. Each (Sony Premium) 60 minute tape holds up to 63 minutes of HDV format video. I never reuse tapes so the tape is the archive. Lock the tape after capture.
Importing: Power the camcorder down. Connect the camcorder to the computer with the firewire cable. Turn on the camcorder and put into Play or PC mode. Launch the HDV capable video editor. Import or Capture the video. It is a real-time capture. 60 minutes of recorded video will take 60 minutes to import.
60 minutes of imported Standard def video will consume about 14 gig of computer hard disc space.
60 minutes of imported High def video will consume about 44 gig of computer hard disc space.
This is the same whether the video is imported from miniDV tape of AVCHD compressed flash memory or hard disc drive. While I agree that flash memory may be a little faster on the import, the archive expense and additional handling ends up eating up the time and $ you thought you were going to save because of the "newer technology".
The story is a little different when pro-grade, non-AVCHD, low compression methods are used - but these are not available to consumer grade camcorders.