You will not be able to get a very good digital camcorder for $300. The only ones in that price range are not all that great. You may want to look at Sony digital 8 camcorders, but a decent mini-dv is probably out of that price range.
I owned a Sony digital 8 in the past and it was a good camcorder. I think it was much better than the low end mini-dv models.
If anyone can please give me some advice on which camcorder to purcahse for a 22 yr old who just graduated a masters program in rtf. she would use it for documentary type filming, but I only want to spend under $300. do I get a digi cam? or ???