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.
I think I have it narrowd down to the canon HG20 and the HV30. I have done some research on canons and have heard a lot of good things. Everything I have heard on these two cameras have been nothing but good. I also like the canon for the 24p seeting. I like the HG20 for the 60 gig hard drive. The thing holding me back on the HV30, is it uses film, I rather have a hard drive that can hold a lot of video. I want to use a camera for home video and amature movies. One of the things I have heard bad about the hard drives is the format that save in and it makes it hard to view and edit the videos on the computer. The article I read about that was a year old and I was wondering if they have solved that problem since then. Which camcorder should I get between those two? If you have one you think is better than please post. Thanks