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capturing youth basketball games, hand held, and will play nice with the new iMacs coming out in December. The intention is to capture the games and make them available online for other parents.

Price range... probably maxed out at $700.

I know DSLRs can make pretty good movies but I think a video camera will be a better choice to capture a basketball game in its entirety.

To be honest I don't think there is much difference between a good camera or a strictly video camera and for $700 you are getting a pretty good DSLR.
DSLRs have great looking video. But, and I don't know this for a fact, I think they would not handle this application well. When a production company uses a DSLR they are doing takes and the camera gets to rest in-between. I think the game might be too long. Autofocus is another issue. Pro movie makers buy the special cinematography lenses that facilitate manual focus pulling.
Chris, I don't have any personal experience with these and the most recent Consumer Reports tests were in the December 2010 issue. For a HD recorder in your price range they recommended the JVC GZ-HM550.
Thanks John. I don't have any personal experience either. I found a Canon that was on Apples compatibility list. The price is right and people seem to like it. I will check this one out next, or at least it's most recent iteration.
Chris- Sorry I hadn't seen the thread earlier.

I have absolutely no experience with consumer video cameras (I've never even owned one), but I would strongly recommend a video camera for what you're doing.

Yes, a DSLR is more versatile in that it's a still camera as well.

But a camcorder will offer auto focusing, a much better and longer zoom range, no limits as to the record time, and much, much better ergonomics for handholding and monitor screen.

If you were just looking to dabble in photography and video, I'd probably recommend the DSLR. But if your primary focus (!) right now is those basketball games, a camcorder is a much better choice.

I don't even know if you can buy a consumer camcorder that records on tape or disc or HD any more, but I would only be looking for one that records to SS chips...i.e., SDHC or such.
I just can't get over having video in a DSLR. That's like putting pees in my tuna fish. It just doesn't work for me.
DSLR video must not be bad; in the movie Blackswan they used a Canon DSLR for many scenes.
No, the image quality is outstanding. But focusing is difficult at best, and the ergonomics of handholding is really bad.

There are many third party companies that make an array of devices to overcome these issues, but none of them are practical nor priced for consumers.

Shooting sports is pretty much the most demanding task you can ask of a videographer. It's fast moving and unpredictable. Handicapping yourself with a camera that's difficult to focus and hold just doesn't make sense.
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