I just bought a Sony DCR-SX41 for $239. Tha's a pretty low price (usually more like $279 or so). It has 8 gig of memory built in, so you really don't need to get any more memory unless you plan to shoot hours and hours of video. The image quality is okay, and better than most in this low price range. It's easy to use and when I plug it into my Vista laptop, it shows up as a removable drive and I just copy the files over. Simple. It comes with software, but I don't use it.
I was looking at the Canon FS-200. That uses SD cards, of which I have several, and it was very nicely built. Lowest price I saw for that one was $279, but it generally sells for $299+ Very nice. But when I saw the Sony on sale, I grabbed one.
I wanted a small, cheap camcorder to through in my dSLR bag. My year old DSLR doesn't shoot video and I don't want to spend $$$ getting this year's model just for that.
I am considering buying an SD card storage Camcorder. My budget is maxed out at $400. Currently, my first choice is the Panasonic SDR-SD26, followed by the Sony DCR-SX40E. I'm leaning more towards the Panasonic as Sony forces you to use their memory sticks which seems to be more expensive. The price difference between these two are negligible, though I've heard the Sony one has better video quality.
My primary use would be for recording university events to be put on youtube or the general home video. I prefer SD card storage simply due to its mobility and ease of transfer, as I work with a Dell XPS laptop.
I would like to ask if anyone has any experience with any of these 2 cameras, or if there are other alternative SD card camcorders that I should check out.
I'm not so fussed about HD but is there any decent SD card HD camcorder around $400 max? Just wondering.