Hey guys, I'm currently having a bit of an issue. After having used Sony HDV-Z1Es and HDV-Z7Es at college a lot recently, I've decided it's time to upgrade my crappy Samsung VP-D362 Camcorder (now worth approximately £49) to get something a bit more... professional. The only problem is I can't find anything for under £1000. I know quite a lot of people here know a fair amount about this sort of thing, so I was just wondering if anyone could help me out. Now, before anyone suggests to just use the equipment at college, I am looking into getting my own camera for multiple reasons. Firstly, as great as the college equipment is, it can only be used within college hours. This is very limiting, especially when I plan to film on location several miles away all day (I can't drive yet), or when it's the holidays, even. Secondly, I do a lot of film making in my own time and I'm tired of using a camera that's worse than the camera in most modern cell phones. It's just very lame, and the footage just looks grainy and rubbish. So that's why I'm looking for a new camera, and one that isn't strictly a consumer camera... if you know what I mean? Basically, what I'm looking for is a Sony HVR-A1E except £1000 cheaper... if such a thing exists. These are the main things I'm looking for: - records to MiniDV tapes; none of this hard drive or solid state nonsense - the proprietary formats cause no end of problems when editing. Plus I can transfer tapes fairly easily between cameras. - has Firewire in/out; I do a lot of stopmotion and would like to be able to use the camera as, effectively, a firewire 'webcam' in order to film the animations. And, also, I don't have a stand alone tape deck so I would need to use the camera to import footage into Final Cut. - manual focus and zoom. Ideally I'd like a ring to do this with (preferably two), as it just gives so much power. The problem with consumer camcorders is that they do it all for you, and any manual alteration is done with a horrible little toggle switch. Bleurgh. - Records in HD; doesn't have to be 1080p, but HD of any kind would be nice, just because it means I don't have to worry so much about upgrading my equipment too soon (my current camera is 4 years old, so I'm not exactly on the edge of new technologies)... I did do a search around here before for suggestions, and I noticed someone suggested the Canon XL-1S, but I'm not sure if it does all of the above? (when I was looking, the details were very overwhelming) I know I found one on eBay earlier for about £900. Has anyone got any suggestions? I'm very stuck... Thanks in advance!