I have 51.5 GB left on my windows os pc. How big is the hard drive (used + available space?). While 51 gig is *enough*, you are approaching the hairy edge. I would suggest an external FireWire drive (minimum 250 gig) just for your video projects.
I wanted to get something with a disc but reading all the info makes me crazy. DO NOT do a DVD-based camcorder - I presume that by "disc" you mean hard drive based camcorder?
I opted for the above as I record for a few minutes at a time. This has little bearing on the media used to record video (miniDV tape; hard drive; DVD-based)
Camera would be used for mostly shooting video of my kids and vacations a few minutes or longer at a time. So a minidvd would not be a good choice right? The ONLY reason DVD-based camcorders might make sense is if the video will not be edited on a computer. Shooting for only "a few minutes or longer" has no bearing on whether a dvd-based camcorder is an appropriate choice.
If I have to finalize it I will lose alot of time if the disc is only 60 minutes? MiniDVDs do not hold 60 minutes - they hold ONLY 20 minutes for best quality. Please do not bother with the less quality, longer record, time. In order to fit all the video and audio information on the small disc, that information is compressed. When it is compressed it loses quality. The more you compress it, the worse the quality gets.
Lastly, if I upload video to my pc and burn a disc does the quality diminish No, the compression happened when you captured it onto the miniDVD to begin with. The computer is using only what you provide to it.
and if I delete the video from pc after burning will that still use up my memory? When you delete the file from your PC and empty the trash, that hard drive space on your PC becomes available space.