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Anyways, at this point for you there are really no good/bad buys (no offense). Again, no offense, this is a soccer mom camera. My recommendation is to save your money and buy a refurbished HV20/30. Check it, some kid made a thread:
And as to the tape vs. SD card thing, it all depends on the way the camera compresses the video as it records it to the media. I didn't look at the specs closely, but I think it would be safe to assume that it would be compressed either way...just depends on how much, and I'm too lazy/tired to figure it out.