The Sony DCR-HC65 (and 52 for that matter) do not have a mic jack.
The Canon ZR930 (and 900) do (but the 950 does not). The down side about these is while they have a mic jack, they do not have manual audio control. However, if there is ambient noise, you will be OK - I don't expect there to be LOUD noise... but it can be very quiet. When it is very quiet, the camcorder's auto mic gain will listen intently for audio and turn that gain up. You may end up with camcorder tape-drive noise. This can be edited out if desired.
Consider getting a tripod, too.
For external mics, to stay out of the way, a shotgun mic is probably best. The space likely won't be very big. One of the mics from Audio Technica - maybe the ATR55 may be acceptable - though you may opt for a stereo mic instead for more "realistic" audio. The Audio Technica Pro24 works.
The ZR camcorders do not have an accessory shoe, so you need to add one for holding the mic - This one works and is cheap
And of course, at some point that miniDV tape video needs to get in to you computer, so that will need a firewire port if it does not already have one - and you will need a firewire cable (USB transfer won't work).
I hope your friend is OK...
Hi, I'm looking for a relatively inexpensive camcorder ($250-$300). My project is a video documentary of a friend in the hospital. Shooting could be anywhere from 1-5hrs a day. I won't really have time to stop and download stuff, so I think the MiniDV would work best. I would love a good microphone (external is fine). I'm not too picky on much else, but I would love if I could be able to project the video on a large screen without being horrible looking. Any ideas?
I found the Canon ZR930 and Sony DCR-HC62. Anything better than those recommended? Thanks for any help!