I'm sure the question "which camera?" comes up quite a lot

So, with an apology in advance, I am asking it again.

I have very little technical knowledge about video cameras. I'm pretty good at filming because I have directed in the past, over ten years ago, for some TV companies. However then of course there was a full crew and so almost no technical knowledge was needed from me. I just needed a good idea as to story, shots required, framing, overall style required etc.

I'm doing a postgraduate course at University now and for the dissertation and some other aspects of the course I will be doing a lot of filming. This of course will all be done by myself without a nice crew.

I'm looking forward to this very much as I have been doing some already with the University's cameras and additional equipment. I think, in fact I prefer doing it all myself.

I do have quite a lot of other filming I want to do outside the course (the bug has bitten) and when I come to do my dissertation it will be much easier to have my own camera than use the University's because I have to keep returning the University camera back every 24 hours.

So I want to buy a camera and the question is, which one?

I've been googling a lot and reading various things and talking to people with more knowledge about this than me (not difficult!).

A friend who did a video dissertation project last year suggested:

Sony DCR-VX2100E

This can be bought for 1369.95 incl vat from here.

I don't wish to spend more than 1500.

The video cameras I have been using at the university are not HDV, they are simply standard DV, as I think it is called. I think the Sony DCR-VX2100E is a standard DV camera as well. I'm wondering if I should explore the possibility of an HDV camera?

Browsing the web, I see that this one the Sony HVR-HD1000U is HDV and perhaps rather cool. I notice it elsewhere called Sony HVR-HD1000E but I don't know the difference an E makes over a U

Another camera that I've noticed is the:

Sony HDR-HC1

This is very much liked by Digital Video magazine in their guide at the back.

One very important point is that the camera video output must work with Final Cut Pro 5.1.4 which is the video editing software I use. It is a few years old now but getting 6 would be very expensive and for me pointless as it does not add anything of particular use to me.

In the "Caputure" dialogue of FCP 5 HDV is there but I'm wondering it that would be the same as the HDV being used by Sony?

So now to summarise the questions:
  1. Should I go standard DV or HDV?
  2. With the HDV work with FCP 5?
  3. Which camera?
Thank you for any assistance given.