I got to actually touch an HDR-HC1 today at Best Buy. To my surprise, this is a camera that's small enough to be used for vacations and such. It's a little bigger than a typical DV camera, but it's not terrible.
I'm looking at it of course because my old DV camera is having some issues. If I'm going to buy a camera, at this point it needs to be HD. The Sony is the first true consumer HD camera that normal people can afford, but I have so many reservations about the HDV tape format. It uses standard DV tapes, but squeezes HD down to a 25 mbit stream. That's some serious lossy compression. But on the other hand Avid and Final Cut Pro do edit HDV. I'm also troubled by the bottom-loading tape compartment, which Sony has done for years as if people don't use tripods.
Of course, what I really want is the Panasonic HVX200, but that thing costs five times as much. Granted, it does 1080/24p, and you can show that in digital cinema. The flip side is that I probably wouldn't want to take that thing on vacations either. Oh, you still can't get one.
So I'm not sure what to do. I need a camera for volleyball, and I'd like to take one to Vegas as well. But I don't want to spend the money, particularly on something I'm not sure I want.