Sorry, that is not usually possible since the Video DVD standard compresses the content and I could show the loss of quality. If you accept that the loss is standard or you will make a nonstandard Video DVD than look at reviews on the camcorders you listed.
As to zoom, from HD to SD that's a little over 4x zoom (480 lines to 1080.) So a 10x should start to look blocky.
The HD camcorder is a good choice since the initial compression loss will match about what we may see on a good DVD. If you used miniDV then that's as good as it gets today.
In the audio area, pick external microphone inputs if you can or use another audio source during post production.
I have been doing a lot of searching for a camcorder that would suit my needs and was just wondering what all of you thought. I would like to keep the price under $1000. I have a newer windows xp computer and would like to be able to record and edit my video as well as transfer it to dvd without loosing quality. I have looked at a lot of the cameras such as the hg10, hv20, hv30 hdr-sr10, HDR-CX7, VDR-D300, etc. All of them seem like excellent cameras but they all seem to be lacking in the optical zoom category. I have noticed you cant really find a higher dollar camera with 20X+ optical zoom unless you are willing to spend several thousand dollars. Finding a 30X+ optical zoom camera for under $400 is extremely easy though. I would like to be able to zoom to at least 20X but unless this is optical then im afraid that i will lose my quality.
If the camera is high def. will i be able to possibly get to the 20X with a little digital zoom help with a 10X optical camera without poor picture quality?
I was initially thinking about a hard drive camcorder because of the ease of just record everything to hard drive but reading reviews about how transferring to dvd will hurt the quality made me change my mind. I am thinking that miniDV would be a much better option, so i started really leaning toward the hv20 or hv30 but reviews on the hv20 have lead me to believe that the audio quality is very poor? How bad is it?
I am not fixed on any one camera or brand. The ones above are just some of the higher rated cameras that i have looked into. What would you all recommend?