I've just started a TV production class. I'd like to get a camcorder that offers good manual controls, under $800. I have a Digital8 DCR-TRV280, but it was designed to be used by babies. Seriously. There's even an "easy" button, which turns a nice blue when you press it, makes the text on the screen huge, and enables automatic everything. Anyways, I'm thinking that I should get a miniDV camcorder because of price, and ease of editing (on a Mac). From very brief searches, the PV-GS180 looks good, but not quite optimal. I really like the body on my old DCR-TRV330, it has nice controls, good looks, and it doesn't look cheap. Unfortunately, that DCR-TRV330 has passed away. So, anyways, what's a good camera to learn the basics of advanced filming? Something where I can adjust white balance, focus, f-stops, etc.

Thanks for any replys!