I would go for the HDD. A you said you do not have a lot of time to just find ways to transfer your mini-dv to your computer.
If I'm not mistaken can't you just connect the HDD camcorder to your computer and just play it off of there?
Is it faster/easier to download video from HDD camcorder than a Mini-DV camcorder?
I am considering a HDD Camcorder over Mini-DV camcorder mainly because I never have the time to download the mini-DV tapes to my PC. I have two toddlers. So a lot of videos, and too little time or span of attention to sit for extended periods of time to download mini-DVs.
** My question to current HDD or Flash Memory Camcorder owners/experts is this: **
Question 1 - When I connect the HDD/Flash camcorder to the PC, will I see the video as a file (say *.mpg) on an external drive (the camcorder HDD) that I can copy using say Windows Explorer? Is it a fast copy to the PC using a USB connection?
Question 2 - (to better use the present camcorder): Is there a fast way to download to PC a whole Mini-DV tape using firewire than by letting the whole tape play - 60 minutes?