Top 10 Camcorders
The number of new camcorders in the market is ever growing making it increasingly difficult to make the right purchase decision. High definition is now the norm, so are features like 3D recording and anti-handshake technologies. To help narrow down your search, we’ve picked ten of the latest camcorders from a few price points that offer class leading performance and features. Feel free to use this as a starting point in your search for the camcorder that caters best to your budget and needs.
July 2012 Update :
The high end Panasonic HDC-TM900 captures exceptionally sharp videos in rich colors with the renowned Leica lens. It is a 3D compatible camcorder and features 1920 x 1080/60p recording, a 32GB internal flash memory, an SD memory card slot, and a top quality image sensor system. You get detailed, vibrant images, and the ability to shoot fun and unique movies in 3D (3D converter lens sold separately). Panasonic’s proprietary ’3MOS’ is a 3 sensor CMOS that adds up to 9.15MP. These sensors work together with another Panasonic technology, Crystal Engine PRO. This engine is a fast processor which writes those gigantic HD files to the HDD or SD card quickly and efficiently.
List Price: $1099.00
The Panasonic HDC-TM90 features the option to record in 3D with the VW-CLT1 3D conversion lens (sold separately). When it comes to making good old 2D movies the TM90 doesn’t fall short. With 1080p recording and a multitude of quality features it yields stunningly detailed, vibrant and life-like videos. The CMOS sensor and Panasonic’s Crystal Engine PRO processor work together to produce great HD images quickly and with the incredible details. Also comes with a 28mm wide-angle lens to get everyone in the scene.
The Sony HDR-CX700V is a classic example of outside-the-box innovation. Sony has spared no expense in developing a camcorder that virtually can do everything. If you have been looking for a professional camcorder that combines 1920 x 1080 full HD 60p recording with 12MP Still Image capture, a built-in GPS receiver, wide-angle lens technology with 24p real frame rate, 1080/60 progressive image quality, and 96GB of internal flash memory for video storage, then you have found a professional camcorder that can do these things and more. The HDR-CX700V produces high definition progressive video with detailed images that look fantastic on your HDTV. The 96GB of flash memory equates to over 40 hours of recording time available. The CX700V package includes the Dolby Digital 5.1 channel Surround Sound mic to record sounds from every direction.
The Canon flagship camcorder HF G10 records up to 12 hours of HD video to a 32GB internal flash drive or to two SDXC-compatible memory card slots. With Relay Recording, the camcorder automatically switches video recording from the internal drive to the SD memory cards when the memory becomes full so there’s no need then to worry about running out of recording time. The G10 features a 10x HD Video Lens which offers a 35mm equivalent of 30.4mm to 304mm zoom. Image quality in incredibly sharp and smooth thanks to a sophisticated 8-blade iris. The G10 uses the Instant AF focusing system which is exclusive for the top Canon camcorders. It can perform autofocus operations very quickly regardless of the current lighting conditions.
Capturing and replaying those fantastic video memories have never been easier with the Sony HDR-PJ10 Handycam. The PJ10 is a very appealing product that is not just a recorder, it also provides a built in, high contrast projector. What you have here is a mobile theater that you can set up to watch all of your favorite video recordings on a 60 inch diagonal flat surface. This Handycam is coupled with a full-stereo speaker system and has the ability to record all of your videos in full 1080/60p. Sony engineers felt it was time for a full HD recorder and projection system all in one package. The PJ10 does offer full 1080/60p full HD recording, but it doesn’t offer it in 24p like the PJ30.
With its back-illuminated “Exmor R” CMOS sensor, the Sony HDR-CX560V HD Handycam delivers superior low-light video. Full HD 60p/24p recording capabilities offers incredibly detailed playback of your videos. The wide angle Sony G Lens captures more of the action with sharp images and brilliant, accurate colors. Also equipped with 64GB embedded Flash memory, you can record and store up to 26 hours of high-definition video footage (HD LP mode). A 3.0″ touch-screen display lets you compose and view your shots while a built-in GPS receiver offers the ability to view your current location on the LCD map display, as well as “tag” shooting locations.
The Canon VIXIA HF M41 is the choice for those that need extra storage capacity. You get 32 GB which is enough for around 12 hours of video in LP quality or about 3 hours of Full HD 1080p video when using the 24Mbps MXP setting. More memory can be added by inserting one or two SD cards. Overall video quality has improved over last year’s M31. This may not be noticeable on paper since the megapixel count of the M41 is actually lower than that of the M31 but the VIXIA HF M41 can still take 1080p images and record Full HD video. Megapixels do not really affect the overall quality of a digital camcorder on a large scale to begin with and the M41 clearly shows that by sporting an improved image sensor instead. With the new HD CMOS Pro Image Sensor, the low-light performance is noticeably better and wider dynamic ranges are now accessible. It works well with the Smart Auto feature that automatically detects the scene and tries to choose the best settings and that sometimes fixes its color accuracy shortcomings. The DIGIC DV III image processor still works and reproduces those purple and blue tones nicely.
The Canon VIXIA HF R21 is a 2011 model that will redefine the series because of the various improvements over the R11 that it replaces. The quality is increased significantly as it uses the improved Full HD CMOS Image Sensor. It can immediately record Full HD 1920 x 1080 video without relying on interpolation. This 3.2-megapixel sensor also means that the camcorder can take 1920 x 1080 still images too. These images and videos can then be viewed on and HDTV through an HDMI cable where 1080p outputs are finally a possibility. The HF R21 allows you to record up to 12 hours of crisp high definition video to a 32GB internal flash drive or to two SDXC-compatible memory card slots.
The Sony HDR-XR160 is a new high-definition model with 160GB hard drive and a 42x extended zoom. It is also accompanied by a Dolby Digital 5.1 channel recording mic and Clear Phase stereo speakers that will give you true-to-life sound. The HDR-XR160 records in 1080/60p and is capable of doing an immediate playback via HDMI on your HDTV. The HDR-XR160 is a sleek and chic ultra-compact model that is easy on the eyes and also easy on the pocket. You will also come to find that although the HDR-XR160 is small in size, it is not small on its quality and features.
The HDC-TM80 is part of Panasonic’s 2011 mid-range high definition camcorders with 42x zoom and Hybrid optical image stabilization. The HDC-TM80 records through a single image sensor (1MOS) lens capable of 33.7mm wide-angle and 42x zoom. It shoots 1920 x 1080 high definition format recording to 16GB of built-in flash memory. Panasonic’s Crystal Engine Pro processor provides the engine for recording sharp images and amazing movies. The HDC-TM80 is configured with Panasonic’s Intelligent Auto focus, Hybrid Optical Image Stabilizer (O.I.S.) and Wind Noise Canceller.