I think I just became a fan of tapeless camcorders

I’ve always been on the side of the fence that says, “Stick with MiniDV because you get the highest quality video.” But I’ve been playing with a Panasonic HDC-SC1 camcorder, which records in HD and saves it as AVCHD, and I’m pretty impressed. I haven’t really put it through its paces — I haven’t really had the time lately – but it’s much better than I expected.

But what’s making me think this tonight is that my little Canon Elura has decided that it doesn’t want to accept a tape. I was attempting to play back some video on it in iMovie’s Import window, and without any provocation, it told me to eject the cassette. Now, it won’t close, tape or no tape.

This happened a couple of years ago, too, just days before my warranty was to expire. I had to send it in to Canon and have them fix it. With the delicate parts in a miniature device like this, I wasn’t able to diagnose, much less fix, the problem. Some itty bitty thing was replaced, and the camera was shipped back to me.

And now I wonder: Is this a sign that it’s time to ditch tape and move toward tapeless? (It’s not helping that I’m going to be a father in early 2008, and I know I’m going to want to shoot video of the tyke.) Or does someone know of a way to fix my problem without incurring a factory repair? Time to hit Google.

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