The cheapest my friend could find, Canon HV30 is selling at about S$1,700+ in Singapore. At big stores like Best Denki or Harvey Norman, I think it's going for near S$2,000 or more.
Then Just last month, my friend bought a Canon HV30 from Pricejapan.com (a trustworthy middleman site which sources from Japan auction site kakaku.com) at S$1,1x0 (including freight) with 1-year Japan warranty. (You have to pay import GST(check your private message regarding this)]. Total, he paid less than S$1,200. However, it doesn't come with the extras such as bags, tripod, tapes etc. Also, the manual is in Japanese but you can easily download an English version from the internet. It does however come with USB cable for transfer of still images to computer, a video cable as well as a HDMI cable for connection to TV and battery.
Like other miniDV camcorder, you have to get your own firewire cable (about S$12 from Sim Lim Square) for transfer of video to computer.
My friend chose the HV30 miniDV camcorder over others (especially those using flash memory) because of :
1) Superb image quality due to a bigger and better image sensor (low light capability), good lens (picture sharpness and low light capability), high definition and lower data compression than AVCHD.
2) Video format easier for editing and burning to DVD (flash memory camcorder adopts the much more troublesome AVCHD format)
3) reasonable price from Pricejapan.
The downsides are of course :
1) transfer to computer needs to be in real time ........i.e. a 1 hr video takes 1 hr to transfer.
2) limited recording time (about 1 hr) per miniDV tape at full HD and so need to bring a few tapes for overseas tour.
Found also a 3 CCD Panasonic NV-GS330 going for $999 with 2 year warranty. Only prob is that i see mostly bad reviews and that Panasonic left out a lot of common parts in this one.
If i ignore DV tapes and open up my choices to flash based camcorders, would i get better specs for the buck as compared to using DV tapes. any to recommend as tmw going here and there to check out camera shops since Harvey Norman and Courts in my area mostly is Canon and Sony.
eg, Canon FS10 $999, Panasonic SDR-S7 $499, JVC GR-D820 $399 and so on.