you have to spend and what your priorities are. A great image? A
more powerful edit system?
If you can afford it, higher end is always better. And these days,
there isn't much price diff between higher end and low end.
This is a Public Topic geared towards first-time filmmakers. Professional members of The D-Word will come by and answer your questions about documentary filmmaking.
Steve- buy my book and the little digital video book by michael rubin. That should help you understand what to think about before you go spend thousands in US or Canadian dollars.
here's a link if you want to check it out.