Not sure about the Handycam release schedule you mention. Sorry. You get an approximation by visiting the CNET reviews and see when they reviewed it.
You transfer it to the PC via Firewire or USB. However, most complaints on this forum show that they try USB and it doesn't work. Then they go to the more sure connection (Firewire) and it works. Also, quality is sometimes degraded when using USB. Preferred method: Firewire.
When you transfer the video, it's just like the computer recording the incoming video from the camcorder. Unlike HDD where the videos are already files just waiting to be copied to the computer's hard drive.
MiniDV works pretty good when you're doing a lot of editing/converting/rendering, etc.
If the HC62 does what you want it to do, then it's a go. Also, if you want, take a look at Panasonic's offering (GS320).
I'm planning on purchasing a MiniDV camcorder in the near future. I'm looking into the sony dcrHC-62. Originally I was looking into the HC-28 but it seems really stripped as far as features go. One of the problems I'm having is trying to figure out what are the newer models of the Handycam as opposed to the older models. I'd like to purchase something newer rather than a model that's been out for a while. Is there any sort of list that tells me when each handycam was released? I've looked online a lot but I can't find this info anywhere.
Some questions I have on the miniDV format is how exactly does it transfer to the PC? I know it can be transferred via firewire but what about usb? Is there some sort of conversion software in the camera itself that allows the video on a tape to be configured for a PC? MiniDV is the best as far as editing and re-editing and that sort of thing right? I'm not talking major motion pictures or anything but just little things. I want good quality but I am an extreme beginner so I don't need to spend a lot of money (300 or less preferably) which is why I was looking at the HC-62. Also I like the idea of having a still photo feature as well. ( I have a decent digital cam but if I happen to be holding the camcorder and see something I want a snapshot of right away I don't want to have to dig out the digital cam).
Is the HC-62 the right way to go?
Any thoughts/suggestions would be great.