If you have a less than stellar budget, but still want the convenience of the latest hard disk recording in a camcorder, the JVC GZ-MG20 is just the ticket. Sporting an inbuilt 20Gb hard disk (unlike its bigger featured brethren that use removable MicroDrives), the MG20 gives up to 25 hours of recording time (4.5 hours in the top Ultra mode). Optical zoom is a very respectable 25x and the 2.5? monitor is crisp. You can shoot in 16:9 wide mode and the navigation system is quite intuitive in order to change any settings.
The body shape takes a bit of getting used to, and this camera is also very light which may give some stability problems. For stills, an SD slot is available as is PictBridge compatibility.