VHS is dead, long live the DVD. If you loved the convenience of your old VHS camcorder, then you'll find these new DVD-based ones equally appealing. All the camcorders below record straight to a half-sized DVD, burning footage in real-time. Once you're done recording, pop the disc out and place in it your home DVD player and you can watch the footage back in glorious colour.
We'll level with you -- this technology is new, and picture quality struggles to match what you can achieve with MiniDV camcorders in the same price range. The real advantage of these DVD camcorders is the convenience of rapid playback in a common domestic format. For casual use, quality is more than good enough. In good lighting conditions you'd be hard pressed to tell the difference between DVD and MiniDV on most home television sets.
Fans of Mad Max will obviously opt for the Hitachi DZ-MV580E, with its mechanical-industrial look and sturdy grip -- perfect for a makeshift-jeep ride through the post-apocalyptic desert. Aspirational buyers will find that the Sony Handycams look great against the leather upholstry of their Mercedes SLK, and are reliable workhorses. If you're not feature-hungry, the Panasonic VDRM70B offers a no-frills alternative.