With a new baby on the way, I thought it would be a good idea to get a camcorder. There aren't any videos of me growing up, and I always wished there were some. I decided not to spend a lot of money for the latest and greatest camcorder because I am not yet familiar with camcorders and I don't really know what features I want.
Out of the different storage medias, I went for a Hard Drive camcorder. I plan to edit and archive all the videos on my computer, and a Hard Drive camcorder makes it really easy to transfer the videos. There is no need to playback the video while capturing as is necessary with other storage formats. It is just like having a digital camera: Take the video, connect the camera to the computer via a USB connection, and drag and drop the files over.
I was comparing various camcorders from JVC and Sony and ended up with the Sony DCR-SR62 after reading various Amazon reviews and playing with both of them at Best Buy. The Sony had simple-to-use touch screen which I really liked.
The camcorder comes with software for Windows, but my computer runs Ubuntu Linux, so it doesn't do me any good. Luckily, there really isn't any need to have software since the computer just sees the camcorder as a USB drive.
The camcorder stores the video in MPEG-2 format which are instantly viewable with Totem Movie Player which comes with Ubuntu. There are several video editors available for Linux, but so far I've only played around wtih Kino. Kino first converts the files to DV format, but after that it is pretty easy to cut up clips and then stitch them together.
I have filmed and edited one video so far of me and my wife talking our dog for a stroll around the neighborhood. It was a lot of fun.