JVC or Sony are the only way to go. I have a JVC video camera and it is so easy to use and a Sony digital camera and that is easy too.
One thing to look for is to make sure they have little cassettes. They are cheap ($10) and reliable. If you FIL is a real shopper, he could get bag/tape etc thrown in when he buys.
You should be able to get both brands cheaply over in Singapore.