>> i want something that i can use for sporting events, parties, inside w/normal lighting,
When shooting in low (ie normal inside) lighting the bigger the lens the better. It is just plain physics. I would check out any Tiny lens consumer camera before I purchased it. Realize that most stores have rather bright lighting.
>>outside in bright sunlight, scenery and vacation shooting. don't want tapes. mid range price $600-$800....
90% of consumer tapeless cameras are NOT High Def (HD). Many hard drive cameras (HDD) are not HD.
>>i see that it is a waste of money to get an HD camcorder if you don't have HD tv...
I disagree. I prefer a high quality ORIGINAL so that as my equipment (TV, DVD Recorders/Blu Ray) gets better in the future then my old originals will still look great. I believe everyone will have HD TV sooner or later. HD is mostly available on MiniDV (tape) so perhaps this is not an option for you anyway. Still, I transitioned to HD about one year ago (both TV and camera). My family likes our home videos so much better!
>> ...if i get an HD camcorder will i be able to burn cd's with a dvd burner?
I can't speak for PC's here, but my new iMovie has a great feature where I can strip the audio off of movies and create mp3 and CD files. If on the other hand you meant "will I be able to burn DVD's with a DVD burner?......I found on a PC it is possible but too difficult for me. I never did get Pinnacle to work well for me but perhaps you are much smarter than I was.
I finally broke down and switched to an iMac/iMovie/iDVD combination (all included with the new mac). Everything now seems practical, not just possible. I edit video for DVD's and create both DVD's and CD's with the results. Currently my home made DVD's (readable in any player) are not HD. I send standard definition to the family but watch the HD from my camera at home.
Note: As of today, there is no inexpensive easy way to backup HD video other than maybe miniDV tapes. If you shoot a fair amount and want to leave it on your PC it takes up a TON of space.
An alternative the the Mac/PC route is just to purchase a DVD player/recorder and just output straight from your originals through the analog ports to your DVD recorder. Not quite the finesse as editing in the computer BUT the technical hurdles seem smaller.
I hope I did not create more questions than I answered!
i have a sony analog video camera. i want to get something that i can transfer to my pc and edit in pinnacle studio 11. i want something that i can use for sporting events, parties, inside w/normal lighting, outside in bright sunlight, scenery and vacation shooting. don't want tapes. mid range price $600-$800. in reading information, i see that it is a waste of money to get an HD camcorder if you don't have HD tv. the new format will be digital, NOT HD. soooo, if i don't need HD, what is the best camcorder to get? i will be editing and burning to dvd's. not sure what else you would need to know. if i get an HD camcorder will i be able to burn cd's with a dvd burner? let me know if you want any more information.