Canon's new Vixia Mini falls somewhere in between those two segments, looking like part Webcam and part minicamcorder. In front is an f2.8 16.8mm fish-eye lens giving you a 160-degree angle of view for movies (170 degrees for photos), which is typical of what you'd find on action cams. For those times when you want a more normal view, a Close-Up mode narrows the approximate focal length to … Read more
With Drift Innovations' Drift HD Ghost, you can add one more action cam to the increasingly crowded market. But at least this one's a little more than another "me too" model.
Not the wide blocky design of camcorders like the GoPro, the Drift HD Ghost has a slimmer and longer body, like the iON Air or Sony Action Cam. Though the shape makes it less ideal for chest mounting, it is better for POV mounting on the side of goggles, masks, and helmets. The shape also gives it room for a built-in Gorilla Glass-protected 2-inch LCD for … Read more
The number of waterproof rugged cameras has exploded over the past few years. The segment was basically owned by Pentax and Olympus, but now all of the major compact camera manufacturers have a rugged model, if not two or three.
The upside to that is there is something for just about everyone at various price points, starting at just more than $100. The more money you spend, the tougher the camera, though, so make sure you get something that meets your needs.
And if you're more interested in shooting video than photos, check out the two minicamcorders that follow the camera list. … Read more
People must really want to record a lot of first-person videos while being active because there seems to be a new "action camera" every day.
Without the need for an additional housing, the XA1 is waterproof to 16.4 feet, shockproof to 6.5 feet, dustproof, and freezeproof. It records MP4 video in HD at 1080p30 and 720p60 resolutions (WVGA is available, too) and 5-megapixel photos. … Read more
Announced for Japan in May, the GW77V is headed for the U.S. in June, bringing with it all of its powerful Handycam features (this is no Bloggie Sport!) and ridiculously high price of $700.
Waterproof down to 16 feet as well as dustproof and shockproof from up to about 5 feet, the camcorder features a Sony 1/3.91-inch-type Exmor R backside-illuminated CMOS sensor and Bionz image processor that … Read more
For a category people keep declaring dead because of smartphones, there is no shortage of shoot-and-share mini camcorders in stores.
In fact, the death of category leader, Flip Video, seemed to leave a giant creator in the market that was quickly filled by everyone from Kodak and Sony to Panasonic and Samsung to JVC and Toshiba. But with all those big names involved and plenty of lesser-known manufacturers in the mix, too, it's not easy to weed out the ones worth picking up for those quick-clip moments.
To that end, here's a list of major things to consider … Read more
People--including the editors around here--tend to forget that waterproof and rugged cameras and camcorders aren't just for pools, lakes, and beaches. Kodak, perhaps for more awareness of this, has partnered again with snowboard company Burton for a special-edition PlaySport rugged minicamcorder bundle.
There's really not much to this as it's just a PlaySport Zx5 with a new coat of paint, so to speak. All the same durability claims apply, too: waterproof to 9.8 feet, dust resistant, and shockproof up to 5 feet. (It is not freezeproof unfortunately, so you'll have to keep it at least 32 degrees Fahrenheit for it to work.)
Its shooting features and everything else are the same, but it is a bundle, so along with the minicamcorder you get an HDMI cable, remote control, 4GB SDHC memory card, a gripping tripod, and carrying case.
The bundle is in stock at Kodak.com for $199.99.
There are a lot of minicamcorders on the market, but not all of them can withstand a 5-foot drop or a dunk in a pool. And actually, last year you really couldn't find any that could survive those things. This year, though, you can pick from models from Kodak, Panasonic, Toshiba, JVC, GE, and Samsung.
The leaders here are Kodak's PlaySport Zx5 and Panasonic's HM-TA20. The Panasonic is more expensive than and isn't as full featured as the PlaySport, but it's still less than $200 and does just enough. It also seems better designed for … Read more
Panasonic's first attempt at a minicamcoder, the TA1, was a mess. The video quality was OK, but it offered no advantages over competing models; had mediocre editing and sharing software; and felt cheap considering its near $170 price. That's not the case with the Panasonic HM-TA20.
A waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof update to the TA1, the TA20 fixes much of what was wrong with the first-gen model. Mainly it's just a better design with more-useful features and easier operation due in part to a large touch screen. The embedded software is still a bit lacking compared with … Read more