Pick up a used video capable Canon or Nikon DSLR.
I was checking out the Canons line of HD camcorders last night myself and seems to have a variety of different models which made it a difficult choice to choose from. The Vixia HF and higher model are pretty awesome. Can't yet decide yet. Will keep this in mind when I go to frys and check them out in person.You need to do a bit research yourself. If you don't like the video capabilities of your P&S camera, I seriously doubt buying a DSLR would be a good solution. While they can take phenomenal video, there are issues with sound and focusing, and if video is your goal lugging around a SLR brick is a bit questionable.
Check out Canons Vixia line of HD camcorders, should be able to find something in your price range, with a nice zoom range, for super clear videos. Something like the HF M31.
That is actually nice or maybe cause the guy lives in such a nice place that it brings out the camera's ability to zoom to such length. Cool unit though. I'll keep that one in mind, it's fairly cheap in price to consider.yeah, depends what you want to do and how much you want to spend... For fun? a cheapo cam would be fine.
I hear the powershot is pretty nice
Believe me, last thing I want to do is haul around all external parts and add on lol. Working with the Sony PMW-EX3 is already heavy enough, yet minus all the external add on. Your right on the dot. After looking at the Vixia HF M line of models, I will definitely look into them in person and see how it does in comparison to the rest. Still got a few weeks to test some out before Christmas. Thanks for all the knowledge.Just a couple of points from a Canon 5DmkII shooter that may assist in your decision making. DSLR based systems have the ability to give you a depth of field that rivals very high-end cinema cameras. This can be a blessing and a curse. When dealing with a narrow depth of field, focus becomes *critical*. It is very difficult to manually focus a DSLR based system and retain stability unless you use something like a follow-focus. Also, your ability to tell if your subject is in focus will be difficult using the built-in LCD. You can remedy this by using an external monitor. DSLR based systems also record horrible sound. You can solve this issue by using an external recorder, and a decent mic or two. You are also going to need some sort of rig/rails/cage to mount all of this extra gear on. Oh, and don't forget to hire an assistant cameraman to pull focus for you. :eek5:
DSLRs have come a long way, and some folks (Philip Bloom and Vincent Laforet for example) are doing AMAZING things with them. The season finale of house was shot with Canon 5DmkIIs, ditto for some segments of the opening of Saturday Night Live. I don't wish to discourage you from purchasing a DSLR with video capabilities but I think you will be much happier with a dedicated camcorder. I second Wasserpest's recommendation of the Vixia line of camcorders.