Consumer level HD camcorders have 4 problems. 1) Blurry, fuzzy, out of focus areas closely around people in videos taken by consumer level HD camcorders. 2) Any movement, even a wave or lifting an arm, while in front of a recording consumer level HD camcorder, results in screen ghosts and artifacts being left on the video track, following the movement. Makes for bad video, sports videos are unwatchable. 3) These Consumer level HD camcorders all have a habit of the transferred to computer files are something you need to convert, thus losing your HD quality, to work with your editing software. 4) Mandatory maximum record times - 1 hour, 30 minutes, 8 minutes, 3 minutes – four different times advertised as maximum record time for some consumer level HD camcorders. No event I have ever been to is that short. Either take multiple camcorders or pack up with out getting the end of the event on video.
With a MiniDV tape camcorder, record 60 or 90 minutes ( camcorder settings), 90 seconds or less to change a tape and record for 60 or 90 more and repeat till you run out of tapes.
You can get a Canon ZR960 for $250. It is a MiniDV tape camcorder, has a Mic jack. You need a firewire (IEEE1394) card ($25 to 30) for the computer and a firewire cable (less than 10) to be able to transfer video to your computer. To say this is not HD, think about this. It would cost in excess of $3500 to get a HD camcorder that could equal the video Quality of a $250 Canon MiniDV tape camcorder.