Summary: Videotape is essentially dead on the consumer side. MiniDV is still the single best codec available for standard definition video, though, so it's still a good idea to have one of these cameras lying around for quick, high-quality SD shooting. The video quality is decent enough for single-sensor SD; it does tend to wash out and get grainy in low light, but the quality is still acceptable.
Summary: This camera has what it takes to get the job done. Naturally, it will be a good tool for capturing family outings and events. I decided to take it a step in another direction and that is for making videos and low budget films. It runs at 30 frames per second, which means, if you want that slowed down film look, you'll have to be careful with your panning and compositions. Also, it would help to use ample light and run tests.
Summary: Okay, so this is a good camera as far as capturing the footage but I too have been caught up in the Firewire dilemma. Between me and my family there are four computers. Two Hewlett Packard's, one Compaq and one Emachine. None of these computers have a Firewire port to connect the camera to and edit the video. All my computers have a price tag ranging from $500 to $600 the low end.