I recently purchased a small HDD based camcorder, the JVC Everio. It features a hard disk of 30 GB, which should suffice for 7 to 30 hours of recording time. The choice between a regular and a high-definition camcorder was difficult, but the fact that
- I won't purchase a high-def TV within the next 3-5 years
- and that the low-range high-def camcorders only offer recording on micro-SD cards
confirmed the choice for the Everio.

The cam is neat, small and light, so very easy to carry around. Only drawbacks are the video quality (but that's general for this range of camcorders, I suppose), and the battery life.

The camcorder produces .mod files, which are actually disguised MPEG2 files. Plugging the cam in the USB port automatically mounts the Everio's hard disk in Linux, and the MPEG2 files can be transformed to Divx/XVid with the following command :

transcode -i MyFilm.MOD -o MyFilm.avi -y xvid