Stick with something 8 mm, High 8, or 8 digital. These will have a much better picture than a VHS-C camera. Ignore the digital zoom numbers, what you want to look for is a camera with a high Optical Zoom number. You should be able to get a camera in your price range with as much as 20x optical zoom. Many cameras list a very high digital zoom but digital zoom stinks. The picture gets extremely grainy and/or pixilated when you start using to much digital zoom. I have owned a full size VHS camera, an 8mm camera, and currently own a VHS-c camera. My next one will be another Sony and will be a High 8 or digital camera (when I can afford the extra money). Best Buy should have some Sony cameras in your price range. Hope this helps.