Kodak's Zi8 has been one of the best mini camcorders available since it launched in 2009. It isn't perfect, but it has a lot of features the competition doesn't have, such as a switch for shooting in macro and an external mic jack. The PlayTouch (secretly called the Zi10, and seriously, Kodak, try googling product names before you go to production with them) is the update to the Zi8, and while it keeps many of the core features of its predecessor, it's a significant upgrade in design. This includes the use of a 3-inch capacitive touch … Read more
One of the biggest detractors for Flip-style minicamcorders is their fixed lenses. These candy-bar cams feature only digital zooms, which destroy video quality. The Sanyo Dual Camera VPC-PD2 fixes that by shoehorning a 3x zoom lens--36-108mm for photos and 37-111mm for video (35mm equivalent)--into a body measuring 2.5 inches wide by 4.4 inches high by 0.9 inch deep. Basically, it's an ultracompact point-and-shoot camera with the lens repositioned so the device can be held vertically for shooting video. And like all of Sanyo's Dual Cameras, it takes stills just as easily as it shoots … Read more
If the waterproofing and full HD video capture of Kodak's Playsport interests you, but you can't live without an optical zoom, check out Sanyo's newest Dual Camera Xacti, the VPC-CA102YL. (Oh Sanyo, you come up with such clever, memorable names.) Waterproof to depths of 10 feet, its pistol-grip design accommodates a 5x zoom lens that the candy-bar-style minicamcorders simply can't.
Sanyo says it records at "full HD," but depending on your definition of the term, that may not be true. It does capture video at a resolution of 1,920x1,080 pixels, but it'… Read more
Samsung's new HMX-E10 minicamcorder captures 1,080p resolution video at 30 frames per second in H.264 format. The camcorder has a 2.7-inch touch screen that splits in half when you hold it vertically; the top half is for framing your video and the bottom half has the controls. With the camcorder, Samsung includes the requisite flip-out USB connector, integrated sharing software, and a built-in Mini-HDMI port.
So far, the camera's specs sound pretty good, especially with its $199.99 price. But Samsung sweetens its package by allowing the f2.2 lens to swivel 270 degrees, similar … Read more
In the course of testing standard-definition camcorders, more often than not, I stumble upon a user review where the person complains that their cell phone takes better video than--insert model name here. Sadly, that appraisal is probably not far from the truth.
For example, the recently reviewed Sony Handycam DCR-SX41 and Samsung SMX-F34 flash-based camcorders are no great shakes in the video department. I have used smaller, cheaper devices that take as good or better video than these camcorders. The only things they really offer are megazoom lenses, compact, lightweight bodies, and better controls and shooting options--all at sub-$300 … Read more
The Canon FS22, FS21, and FS20 Dual Flash Memory camcorders are standard-definition models featuring 2.7-inch LCDs and 37x optical zooms. Along with recording video to SD/SDHC memory cards, these models have 32GB, 16GB, and 8GB of internal storage, respectively. The FS20 is available through Best Buy only.
The Canon FS22/21/20 Dual Flash Memory camcorders have not been reviewed, but we are in the process of getting the product for hands-on testing. However, we have reviewed the Canon FS200, which is nearly identical, though it has no fixed internal storage and uses a 680,000-pixel CCD image … Read more
Samsung announced several new digital imaging products today, including a minicamcorder aimed at challenging the Cisco's Flip line.
Samsung invokes HD to sell SD camcorders Samsung hits the budget camcorder trifecta: faux HD HDMI output, a ridiculously long zoom lens and an unncessarily expensive SSD drive. (Posted in Crave by Lori Grunin) July 14, 2009 6:00 AM PDT
Can Samsung's minicamcorder flip the Flip? With 1920x1080 video, a high-resolution sensor and a sleek design, will Samsung be displacing Flip at the top of the minicamcorder heap? (Posted in Crave by Lori Grunin) July 14, 2009 6:00 … Read more
Samsung's taking its sleek smartphone stylings and applying them to its debut entry into minicamcorder territory. Looking a bit like the Memoir, but with the lens section angled slightly upward for (presumably) more comfortable operation, the HMX-U10 combines an eye-catching design with some--but not all--of the features necessary to succeed in the competitive direct-to-Web camcorder market.
It certainly takes the lead by offering 1920x1080 30fps video; the Flip UltraHD, Creative Vado and Kodak Zi6 all do only 1280x720 720p. And while the CMOS sensor is relatively large compared to the Flip and Kodak--1/2.3 inch vs. 1/4.… Read more
When I say the Canon FS200 is a success, it should be interpreted as "the video's not perfect, but the results are pretty good all things considered and the rest of it is a great package."
After all, there are cell phones and cheap pocket cameras with higher resolutions than your average SD camcorder. Also, video quality is very much in the eye of the viewer, so even defects in low-quality movies can be overlooked depending on who's watching what.
That being said, about the only major issue with the specs and design of the FS200 … Read more
There are plenty of devices for capturing video these days, including cell phones, laptops, and digital cameras. But, for the time being at least, you'll get the best results from a dedicated camcorder. Of course, those aren't all created equal either.
The biggest decision you'll have to make before starting your search is whether to go standard definition or high definition. Standard-def camcorders are a cost-effective way to get good video for Web-sharing sites and for viewing on standard-definition TVs, and it's less demanding for playback and editing on computers.
However, you can get a good HD camcorder at a price only $100-$200 more than some SD camcorders. Obviously you may not have that extra cash, but if you're looking toward integrating your movies into a future high-def home theater experience, you'll want to think long and hard before buying a standard-definition camcorder.
Not sure where you fall? Visit our camcorder buying guide so you know what features you'll need to avoid making a disappointing purchase. If you already know what you want from a camcorder, here are some tips for further refining your choices to get the best possible deal. … Read more