New baby in the house? Old camcorder on its last legs? Here's your chance to score some MiniDV goodness for a song: eCost has the Canon ZR830 camcorder for $134.99. It's a Canon-recertified model with a 90-day warranty, and you'll pay a few bucks for shipping, but at least there's no rebate.
An entry-level camcorder, the ZR830 combines a 1/6-inch CCD (bigger is better, and that's on the small side) with an unusually long optical zoom (35x!) and a widescreen LCD. It includes a handful of program modes for various shooting conditions (snow, sunset, fireworks, etc.) and can capture low-resolution still photos. Just make sure your PC has a FireWire port so you can import your video for editing. (Lots of users mistakenly assume you can do this via USB, but most MiniDV camcorders require FireWire.)
CNET's 6.6/10 rating for the ZR830 reflects the camera's poor low-light performance and lack of an accessory shoe and microphone input--all typical for models in this price range. But if you're shooting in well-lit environments and have only weekend-videography needs, you'll probably be quite pleased with the ZR830's performance.