I would most definitely recommend MiniDV. While it is true that it takes the full length of the recording to get it to your computer hard drive, that is the only disadvantage to a MiniDV tape. I personally also have Windows Vista and a Sony MiniDV camcorder (not sure on the model), and I recently made a DVD from one of the tapes. All the process involves is to hook the camcorder up to the computer via FireWire, open up MovieMaker, import the video, and Vista will send the data to Windows DVD Maker to burn it to DVD. Easy as pie. Only part that takes a lot of time is transferring the video. As for the Sony vs. Canon, whichever has better options to suit you would be the way to go. Both companies make great camcorders, so you'd be fine to buy from either one. However (probably already did this), make sure that you check around CNET and maybe circuitcity's website and some other retailers to see the user ratings and editor's rating in the case of CNET to ensure that there's nothing problematic with the camcorder. Hope this helps!