To do a comparions/review of DSLRs and HD/camcorders I've listed some of the advantages of each and hopefully will give a good understanding of why I believe DSLR video is the best quality option.
If however you are looking for ease of use and extended recording rather than absolute quality, low light use and creative options then a normal or HD camcorder could be your best option. For most other uses a DSLR would be a superior choice in my view.
Plus points for camcorders
- DSLR shooting is time limited to around 12 or 18 mins per clip. Camcorder limited to tape length, normally 90 mins. [very few videos require shots much longer than 18 mins]
- DSLR autofocus is limited and slow
- DSLR controls are more fiddly to use than camcorder although more recent DSLR are better
- Huge range & quality of interchangeable lenses available - camcorder has fixed lens
- DSLR is far better at low light shots due to the size of the sensor
- Manual control on DSLR allows complete creative control over shooting settings
- Image quality is comparable with top end film making gear costing 20x as much
- Easy manual control over zoom and focus
- Variety of quality/size options eg 24, 25,30,50,60 frames per second, 640, 720p/1080p
- Can shoot high quality stills on the same device - only one camera needed not camera & camcorder
- Less likely to miss a video moment when out with camera
Canon say "The EOS 550D combines exceptional still shooting with the ability to shoot Full HD (1080p) video. To satisfy your creativity the EOS 550D features full manual control and selectable frame rates. You can also shoot high speed 50/60fps movies at 720P for when the action is really fast. An HDMI connection allows High Definition playback of footage and images on any HDTV. Also with compatible TVs playback can be controlled using the TV’s remote control."