FresHDV points to a company that makes accessories for mounting a bottom-loading camcorder onto a tripod so you can change tapes without having to remove the camera entirely:
One of the curses of cheap cost-effective “consumer” camcorders is the bottom-loading tape transport. It forces you to unscrew your tripod plate from the camera to swap tapes, which is a complete deal-breaker in some situations. For instance, long-form event shooting often requires multiple tape changes which renders these low-cost camcorders a lot less viable.
Fortunately, there are a number of accessories that can ease the pain of a bottom-loading camcorder. This company offers a number of shims and plate adapters for a wide variety of consumer camcorders that make it possible to load a tape without removing the camera from your tripod. And they are pretty reasonably priced too. Check ‘em out.