It may be surprising, but quite a few major Hollywood movies over the past few years (Collateral, Once Upon a Time in Mexico, Sin City), and any number of high-quality TV series, are recorded in video, not film.

But not any old video: in high definition video. This can give results remarkably similar to film, yet offer a great deal of flexibility in the production process, and save a lot of money in equipment and media costs.

And now high definition video is becoming available at prices affordable to you and I.

Professional-level HD videocameras still cost in the tens of thousands of dollars, but convenient high definition camcorders from several major brands have now appeared, with prices starting around $2,000 depending on the features and format you want.

As with all new technology, there are choices to be made. Your first choice is the same as with existing standard definition camcorders: do you want to record to tape, or to something else?