The videotaping went well. And it really was a "taping." The Sony DCR-HC28 that I borrowed from the librarian at the junior high records to tape. The newer digital video cameras record to internal memory and/or SD cards, and can record for many hours. I had to change tapes after about an hour, and lost a few minutes of the program. A better spot for the camera would have been right on the center aisle, but the slide projector already had that spot. The room was packed, standing room only, or I would have thought about moving the camera after the slideshow was over.
The camera has two outputs: Firewire, and A/V (red/yellow/white, aka video plus left and right audio). I don't have easy access to a device that accepts either output. I could connect the A/V cable to the television, but I don't want to just watch it again, I want to get the tapes into a digital file on a computer so that I can edit it and burn it to a DVD. So one of my co-workers agreed to bring in her MacBook which, of course, has a Firewire connector built-in. I plugged the camera into the MacBook, started iMovie, connected iMovie to the camera, and off we go. I would have been awfully disappointed if I'd had to consult a user's guide for either the camera or the Mac. Say what you will about Apple--it's more expensive, it's a closed, proprietary system, etc.--but the out-of-the-box experience is great for most of the things that most people want to do with a computer. I had to give my co-worker back her computer for the weekend--I know how I'd be if someone took away my computer for a whole weekend--so the editing and burning will have to wait until next week.
Sony is having a sale today--right now--on the current generation video camera, the HDR-CX100. It's only $499, down from $599. I don't know how long the sale will last, but I will call the Friends president first thing tomorrow and see if she can release $500 now instead of $600 or $700 later.