I'm going to New Zealand this August, and I wanted to buy a camcorder with long battery life, image stabaliser, and just generally easy to use on the road. I've narrowed it down to these 3, (being assured that Mini Dv is the way to go...now i'm even doubting that), but now I'm stuck:

The HC27 is the most popular buy, with the best all round reveiws- it was the one i was leaning towards, until i found out there are newer models

The HC37 has higher zoom spec, but I've been reading reviews that talk about having problems with the batteries, and how expensive they are (i am tempeted by the idea of buying a spare battery as I may not have ample opportunity for charging up)

The HC51, the newest, has the double the optical and digital zoom of the HC27, but are those things worth the extra money???

Apparetly the 37 and the 51 have better sound quality, but I need adviced from people who know what they're talking about, who aren't just tring to sell me the most expensive model for the comission!

Any help would be GREAT

Thanks x