What camcorder can record decent movie on SD card?

My laptop doesn’t have FireWire connection!, only USB, most of the cameras use FireWire, I am not able to download movies to Laptop, I read something about dual hubs, but they are not compatible with Vista. Stuck. I was planning to record movies during my vacation in Europe, transfer them to my laptop, and latter edit for my school project. Maybe someone has any suggestion, Desperate, gena

Price range?
Canon HF20 or Sony HDR-CX12 (uses Memory Stick) are two great cameras and highly recommended.


What DiiZzY suggested are good choices - if you want high-definition (HD) recording capability. But more likely, you (or whomever wants to watch the videos that you make) have only standard-definition-capable video playback equipment (such as a regular DVD player). If the latter is the case, then you have a few choices from either Canon (FS series) or Sony (DCR-SX## series). Panasonic and JVC also offer standard-definition memory-card camcorders - but while both brands offer a few advantages, they have significantly poorer low-light performance than the Canons and Sonys. (The high-definition Sonys can also be set to record in standard definition, but I cannot vouch for the resulting image quality since I have not used the standard-definition recording modes on any high-definition camcorder.) Most of the standard-definition flash-memory camcorders record in MPEG-2 with bit rates comparable to those of regular DVDs (9 Mbps in HQ, 6 Mbps in SP or 3 Mbps in LP). And while DVDs break down long videos into multiple files no bigger than 1GB in size, flash memory camcorders typically record 2GB blocks of video to circumvent the limitations of the FAT and FAT32 file systems used in flash memory devices.

If your end result is going to be a standard-definition video, then I would not recommend the Canon AVCHD camcorders as they cannot record in standard definition (the only available recording modes for EU-market Canon AVCHD models are 1080i50 and 1080p25, or for the US-market Canon AVCHD models, 1080i60, 1080p24 and 1080p30 - the Canons are natively interlaced, and achieve “progressive” videos through the use of software pulldown alogarithms). In addition, recent Canons require the use of their own bundled (and sometimes buggy) software just to transfer the videos to the computer because they format their memory cards with a proprietary, nonstandard file system and the camcorders themselves are not detected as mass-storage drives. Because of these drawbacks, the only way for many people to use the Canon AVCHD camcorders for playback on standard-definition-only capable equipment would be to connect the camcorder directly to the standard-definition equipment with a composite video cable and perform the video playback on the camcorder itself – hardly the utmost in convenience, IMHO. And AVCHD requires a lot of very hard work just to even downconvert to standard definition: In my one experience with a homemade AVCHD video, I could not successfully downconvert 1080i AVCHD to 480i standard definition without having the standard-definition copy suffer from the jaggies (artifacts) (though I have not yet tried properly deinterlacing the 1080i60 original first to an intermediate progressive format such as 720p60 before the downconversion to 480i).