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For about $3.00 each, 60-minute MiniDV tapes aren't particularly expensive. But for almost the same price, you can get a 5-pack of rewritable 8 cm DVD's. That's 2-1/2 hours of recording time. And DVD's are sturdier than tape, which can jam and “crinkle.”
Those are two good reasons to consider one line of Sony digital camcorder. Because Sony DCR-DVD “Handycam” camcorders burn directly to DVD. And even the entry-level DCR-DVD105 has a pretty good list of features.
Features like image stabilization, “NightShot Plus” low-light capability, a 20x Carl Zeiss optical zoom lens and picture and fader effects. And the DCR-DVD105 is compatible with DVD-RW disks, so you can reuse them after you've downloaded your video.
Suggested prices for Sony DVD camcorders start at under $500.