Screw tape! Seriously — it’s flimsy, it degrades, and this winding/rewinding business? Please. Camcorders are thankfully starting to come to their senses and turning away from this archaic medium, leading to lightweight hard-disk cameras like JVC’s Everio GZ-MG505.
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Instead of capturing footage (there’s a term that’ll perplex people 100 years from now) on MiniDV tapes, the camera records images to a 30-GB hard disk, meaning you can shoot over 10 hours of DVD-quality video before you’ll have to offload. Still, hard disks do occasionally fail, so we’d recommend transferring your masterworks to DVD a little more often than that, and you can do it pretty easily with the optional CU-VD10 Share Station burner — just connect the cam via USB port and burn away, no PC required.
Weighing in at just over a pound, the flagship Everio is a 3-CCD camcorder, meaning it has separate image sensors for the three primary colors to give you better images than those from cheaper cams with just one sensor for all three.