tom klein <tom_klein@...>
just some notes that might be helpful to you, and to the others on the list:
1) get a macintosh. firewire, for digital connections between a camcorder and a computer, is provided on even the lowly imac, and supported by the system software. also, apple is giving away "imovie", a basic video editing application, which should be sufficient for most people's needs. even though the cost of adding firewire to a windows-based machine has come down significantly in the last 2 years, it's still not so simple, as the last couple of messages have shown. (and beware of some big-name pc vendors, who sell computers with a "digital camera port", which is really nothing more than an extra cable >from the serial mouse port on the back up to the front of the machine. not only is it rs-232 instead of firewire, but it also interferes with the mouse!)
2) there are places that rent a/v equipment, such as cameras and computers. here in toronto i could recommend a few, and i expect that most larger cities would have them; look in the yellow pages under "audiovisual equipment".
3) keep digital information digital - i.e. don't just copy it to vhs for editing, or you will lose quality. (digital copies are exactly the same as the original, even after repeated generations of copying, whereas analogue, even on the best professional equipment, loses a few percent with each generation of copy.)
....... tom klein, toronto
ps. the above is not a commercial endorsement for apple, but a professional opinion, based on my experiences with computers and with video.