Originally Posted by blackbill
This IS somewhat true. With HDD you have to transfer your file to computer and get it on to disk or what have you, because you'll fill up your computer hard drive pretty fast if you don't. With tape, you can just take it out of the cam and put it on the shelf, and edit later, or just simply leave the video on the tape. The only problem with that is that now you have to use your cam as a playback device too (something that I don't like to do... more wear and tear on the cam, which is a bit silly when there are other ways to playback)
Having said that though... if I could find a good HDD cam that used a M2T stream, I would go HDD as well, for the ease and speed of it all.
But if you want a HDD then I would go with the Sony SR1. It was rated one of the top 6 cams of last year by Camcorderinfo.com, and it has the NightShot that you were looking for. There is still not FULL software support out for this cam yet, but Ulead products offer partial support, and Pinnacle as well as Sony will have FULL support out in the next couple of months. Until then Sony does give you supplied software to do the job (it does take some time though.)http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content...der-Review.htm
I, too, have worried about the excessive wear-and-tear of using my camcorder as a playback device. About a month ago, I was in the market for a camcorder for the first time in 7 years! Since I don't keep up with the latest camcorder technology, I just assumed that, by now, an HDD camera would be the way to go. But after scouring the forums (such as this one), I realized that, for me, it was still worthwhile (PQ, value, etc.) to once again "go tape."
So, to help alleviate some of my worries, I decided to do the following to "simulate" the HDD process (storing raw footage from camera to computer and NOT using the camcorder as a player):
1. Whenever I am finished with a tape, I plan on capturing everything (RAW) to computer (most likely a firewire HDD).
2. Store the tape in case the RAW computer footage is lost or destroyed (e.g., HDD failure).
3. Create DVDs for footage I want to "use" (view, share with the family, etc.).
The steps are very similar had I bought an HDD-based camera. The big disadvantage with the tape-based camera occurs in step 1 where the capturing process is done in realtime (much slower than transferring video from HDD camera to PC!). However, I do get a benefit in that I have a "free" backup solution in the form of the master tape! This is very cheap compared to computer HDD backups! Now, I don't feel so bad purchasing a firewire external HDD for say $140 for 250 GB (20+ hours of HDV footage). I bet you could find even cheaper firewire drives; I just found this using a quick Google search: http://www.lacie.com/products/product.htm?pid=10476