I wish it were that straightforward! See my problems with the DVD approach below.
I took the plunge based on manufacturers marketing claims and sales level tech support - Mistake! Panasonic VDR M50.
The DVD-R disks are fairly straightforward. They can be played in my DVD video player and my PC, and I can use Fleximage DVD-to-AVI for conversion to a file format I can use for editing. The camera creates sequencial files for some reason and this software will only convert the first file. Very frustrating! I ended up playing the DVD-R on my DVD video player and using the video cable, transferred the video back to a DVD RAM disk on the camera. See DVD RAM problems below. The software that came with the camera has so far proven worthless.
I have struggled with the DVD RAM disks. They are fabulous to use in shooting and editing on the camera but I cannot for the life of me get the DVD format converted off the DVD RAM. They cannot be read by my DVD video player or my DVD drive on my PC. I can see and even transfer the files to the PC through USB but for some reason, the DVD-to-AVI software will not recognize the files that were recorded and I cannot use the file format from the DVD ROM for anything other than viewing the video. Again, the software that came with the camera has so far proven worthless.