Will someone please explain to me the quality difference (if any) between solid state cameras and tape? I am about to invest in a new camera and am wondering if solid state is the only way to go (since it seems to be the standard for the future)? Or if it would still be wise to invest in tape. I am looking for a prosumer level camera.
[ahuelse]"Will someone please explain to me the quality difference (if any) between solid state cameras and tape?"
There is no quality difference if you're just going by a side by side picture comparison. However, tapes and tape transport/recording systems are considered "wearable items" like the brakes on your car and eventually will require adjustment or repair when your video tapes start recording picture glitches, dropouts, etc.
You may want to consider the Sony Z7 due out in February or early March that records to both tape and compact flash media. It's a 1/3" CMOS 3 chip HDV camera with interchangeable lenses and shoots 1080p, along with other various frame sizes. This new Sony would also be described as a prosumer camera, which is what you're looking for.
...but at the same time, you have to factor in the cost of digital storage, whether it's on tape or a chip. A mini-DV tape holds an hour of data for about $4. For $25 you've got a half-day of data in your bag. If the cost of a card for the Panasonic P2 is any indication --and even if the new Sony cuts that price by three-quarters-- an hour of data on a card costs 50 times more!
Plus, you can't duck into a CVS and pick up a spare 32-gig card in Paducah, Kentucky...yet.