use digital tape - not film. This digital tape stores the 0's and 1's just like hard disc drive or flash memory.

The DV/HDV format used by miniDV tape based camcorders continue so be the professional's choice. If they use a hard drive or flash memory, the file formats are DV/HDV - not the highly compressed MPEG2 or AVCHD formats used by consumer camcorders.

AVCHD can be edited with a new, powerful computer using an application that can deal with that video file type... Sony Vegas and Adobe Premiere usually float to the top.

How are you planning to archive the video? MiniDV tape, when not re-used, is the archive.

What happens if the camcorder breaks and you have not transferred it from the hard drive to the computer? With miniDV tape or flash memory, the media is generally OK - get the tape or memory card out and use another camcorder. With HDD, contact a data recovery service and be sure you have a good limit on your credit card.

Did you know that all hard drive based camcorders have problems recording in high vibration environments? This can be from loud music (amplified or not), loud engines and other vibration sources. Did you know that all hard disc drive camcorders can stop recording in high altitude? This can be anything above 9,800 feet - the air pressure is too low. We don't know your video capture environment - but these are handy limitations to understand. Neither miniDV tape nor flash memory camcorders have these issues...

Skip hard drive... Flash memory and hard drive camcorders share the same file types, so their quality will be the same - not as good as miniDV tape, though... If you must do non-tape, then the Canon HF series should be investigated - otherwise, the HV series is preferred.