tape assumption is correct.

You have the Canon ZR960, Sony DCR-HC52, Panasonic PV-GS320 standard definition units from which to choose.

For fast action, when recording video, increase the shutter speed to get less blurry frame-grabs.

You will also want some sort of steadying device (tripod, shoulder mount - like a SpiderBrace, etc.). Do not shoot handheld.

Learn to use the White Balance. And use it.

Get an optional high capacity rechargeable battery from the camcorder manufacturer. None come with a good battery life in the box.

Your computer will need a firewire port to import the video from the tape. IEEE1394, DV, Firewire and i.LINK are all the same thing. USB won't work - USB-to-firewire cable/adapter/converter things won't work.