Can I ask for some advice on what kind of gear I should buy? I need to do three things: Short professional-looking product demos on my business web site. Roughly youtube quality but I want my products to look good. Shot indoors in a controlled environment. Outdoor talking head stuff, also to be used on my business web site. Still youtube quality, but not shot in a studio. Often with a noisy/windy background, so sound quality may be a problem because I want people to focus on what the talking head is saying. The occasional random home movie stuff when my girlfriend's cat is doing something cute. Sound quality not important, but low light might be a challenge. I talked briefly with a pro who said: "Don't bother with High Def." "Final Cut Express will do everything you need." "Get a cheap shotgun mic for the outdoor stuff-- shouldn't cost you more than $100." "In the studio, lighting is more important than the camera. Get a couple of softboxes." I think this means I should look for a camera that is Compatible with FCE without going through weird translation software (like, for instance, the JVC Everio seems to need) Able to connect an external mic (so that I can use a shotgun mic) I like the idea of a hard drive. Am I wrong? Bottom line: What camera? What mic? Softboxes? Budget is as little as I can get away with and still do a good job. I'd like to do it for under $1000 but you tell me. Thank you.