Super Sharp Shooters|6 Best HD Camcorders
Super Sharp Shooters; New sensor technology, touchscreen LCDs and Full HD recording hi-def moviemaking is at your fingertips now. Here are the 6 best HD camcorders you can find:-
Budget HD Camcorders
Creative Vado HD (www.creative.com):-
HD video for cheap is the credo of this ultra-compact, featherwaight camcorder, and like the Camileo above it includes software for direct uploads to YouTube. It may not be able to compete with its bigger, more powerful rivals on quality, but it’s 1280×720, 30 fps HD resolution is a credible effort at this price, and the 8GB flash memory allows for up to two hours of recording in it’s “HD+” mode. You woudn’t expect perfect pictures from such a pocketable recorder, and you won’t get them. There’s a lot of noise and a washedout look to the footage, while the lack of controls means it’s virtually impossible to made improvements. Still, its slim lines and clever fold-out USB connection make it suitable for quick shooting and easy sharing
Details:- Recording: 720p, 30fps, Screen: 2inch LCD, Storage: 8GB internal, Sensor: 1MP CMOS, Size: 55×100x16mm, 100g, Price: $129
Toshiba Camileo H20 (www.toshiba-multimedia.com):-
Obvious choices for the cash-strapped, casual moviemaker would be the Creative Vado HD, Flip Mino HD or Kodak Zi6. However, if shooting on something that looks like a phone doesn’t do it for you, Toshiba’s Camileo range offers a more grown-up feel for the same sort of money. This budget concious SD-card camcorder has the largest LCD at 3 inch, and a 5MP CMOS sensor for 1440×1080 resolution images. That’s not bad for its price. Unfortunately, the casing feel durable and multifunction controls are fussy for a camera that should be simple to use. The feature list is short, although there are exposure and white balance settings and a three-mode flash to help out with stills. Movies exceed expectations for the price and while there are problems with auto focusing and in low light, in bright conditions it impresses with fine detail and strong colours.
Details:- Recoding: 1080p, 30fps, Screen: 3 inch LCD, Storage: SD/HC card, Sensor: 5MP CMOS, Size: 56×65x117mm, 340g, Price: £ 169
Mid Range HD Camcorders
Sanyo VPC-HD2000 (www.sanyo.com):-
Not content with being the world’s first true, progressive-scan Full HD camcorder with 60fps recording, this Sanyo also has that Star Trek-style phaser handgrip going on. While this is hard to keep steady also means you can’t place it on a horizontal surface without a tripod. However, there’s plenty to applaud. It records direct to SD card and allows simultaneous capture of video and stills. Movies are top notch, with a remarkable amount of detail, even in low-light conditions. The docking station keeps the layout simple, but there’s still loads of connectivity, such as HDMI and USB. Build quality is good too: unlike some other other pistol-grip Sanyos, this doesn’t feel like it could be crushed by the weight of three marshmallows.
Details:- Recording: 1080p, 60fps, Screen: 2.7 inch LCD, Storage: SD/HC, Sensor: 5.3 MP CMOS, Size: 90×112.6×54.5mm, 311g, Price: £ 489
Samsung VP-HMX20 (www.samsung.com):-
The HMX20’s novelty moment is undoubtedly the swivelling handgrip, which allows you to hold the camera at unusual angles. It’s an intersting idea and will no doubt find a few fans, but it doesn’t make shooting a more expressive experience. Fortunately, the camcorder has other strong elements, notably a touchscreen LCD – offering face detection and focus tracking – 8GB of flash memory and versatile connections such as docking station with HDMI output. It’s the heaviest model here, and feels it, as poor weight distribution makes it unbalanced in the hand. In a results-driven business the HMX20 fares resonably. Movies suffer from picture noise but there are high levels of detail, and the low-light performance is acceptable. Sound is a little tinny – which could be improved by pluggingin a decent mic – but we’d rather not have to resort to that.
Details:- Recording: 1080i/25p, Screen 2.7 inch touchscreen LCD, Storage: 8GB internal plus SD/HC, Sensor 6.4 MP CMOS, Size: 66×67.2×139mm, 456g, Price: £ 463
High End HD Camcorders
Pansonic HDC-TM300 (www.panasonic.com):-
Tactile types will be drawn directly to the Panasonic’s manual zoom and focus ring around the lens, but new-schoolers are also catered for with an intuitive touchscreen that gives access to menus for more advanced features. The flash memory captures up to 13 hours of hi-def footage with a trio of 3MP CMOS sensors, while an SD card slot is ready and waiting for additional storage. There’s also a clever Pre-record mode that buffers a clever Pre-record mode that buffers a short loop of footage before you press record. So long as the camera is always pointing in the right direction, you should never miss a thing. This would all be meaningless if the pictures weren’t up to scratch, but apart from grainy low-light output, images and audio are among the best.
Details:- Recording: 1080i, 50fps, Screen 2.7 inch touchscreen LCD, Storage: 32 GB internal plus SD/HC, Sensor 3×3 MP CMOS, Size: 64×67x126mm, 385g, Price: $1,118
Canon Legria HF S10 (www.canon.com):-
Like a beverage-hungry boozer, the Legria HF S10 is all about the optics. And here that means a superb lens, a 10x optical zoom and an optical image stabliser that’s far better than a digital alternative. There’s also a 25p progressive shooting mode so you can shoot film-like footage, while a host of connections, including headphone and external microphone, USB, component-out and HDMI-out, will keep enthusiasts happy. The Leigra’s Panasonic rival, above, can rustle up higher-res stills, but the Canon captures truly exceptional video and its low-light performance is far more compelling. With such detail and texture, as well as rich, spot-on colours, this is a camcorder of the very highest order.
Details:- Recording: 1080i/25p, Screen: 2.7 inch, Storage: 32 GB internal plus SD/HC, Sensor: 8 MP CMOS, Size: 70×69x136mm, 450g, Price: £ 1,299