depends on what you like, i use mini dv because i can just pop it in the vtr at school and have my teacher help me, or you could use firewire for the hard drive or the mini dv, its really just personal preference
i use mini hdv cuz the hard drives dont work ver well with mac, also, harddrives arent good because they dont absorb impact as well as mini dv can, the cold doesnt help either, the only good hard drives right now are solid state
some off the hdd cams are pretty sick,, but the format takes a lot of space up on your hard drive. No moving parts, and all the r&d is put into those now. Very high quality lenses = sick shots too.
Mini DV is kind of a dead medium. or dieing anyways. So the shit is cheap, and stripped down. really all you need to film skiing right now unless youre going to get into the studio and spend tons of money.
I have this years panosonic mini dv, its got steady shot, but is pretty no frills. The shots are awesome, its a 3 chip and I use a wide angle ( non fish eye) for almost all my shots. for the price and the quality, it is zacly what I want/ need.
i baught a hard drive because i didnt want to have to deal with tapes and stuff...which i dont and its easy putting it on the computer and stuff but i posted a thread about it and totally got turned away from them. Supposedly they suck idk but not very good use of editing. i no windos movie maker doesnt like the mpeg format or a lot of other programs but i think i can buy some software to make a nice edit out of some footage. I have yet to know if they truely suck and if i do ill just have to make it work.