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Basic DVD questions

I'm reading around the subject prior to buying a camera. But one thing I'm having difficulty understanding is the nature of the DVD-based camcorder.

Specifically, I've read that those cameras typically record their footage in a way that cannot be subsequently edited. That said, I have a friend whose DVD camera has a mode switch; one mode does create a viewable-but-not-editable disc, whereas the other allows the footage to be imported into a PC for later editing. So:

Q1. What format(s) do these DVD cameras typically record into?

Q2. Does that have implications for subsequent editing?

and then more generally:

Q3. Is it technically (as opposed to legally) possible to "rip" (not sure if that's a misuse of a technical term) footage form a regular DVD, so that it can then be edited with something like Ulead?

thanks in advance.

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