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Top 5 HD Camcorders to Buy

15/01/2014 12:20:58 PM

What are the best HD camcorders on the market today? As with all digital imaging equipment, the answer to the question depends on your needs. Here's our thoughts on the issue.

There’s a huge array of choice today in the digital video camera market and if you are not familiar with the medium it can be a bit confusing. Understanding what some of the different camera options are and how to use them can help you make an informed purchasing decision.

Features to Compare When Buying a Digital Video Camera

One of the great things about a HD camcorder is that you can play the clips on your big-screen HD TV. The bigger the screen, the higher the image definition you will want. Low resolution images are fine for a small screen or the Web (such as video taken using a smartphone or compact camera) but if you plan to share video on a larger screen you’ll need equipment that can make it a more pleasant end-user experience. Work out whether you’ll need standard definition video, full HD or pocket camcorder before you start to shop.

The good news is that prices keep coming down. You can get a very good video camera for a decent price these days. They start from around $75, and then stretch into the thousands. Understandably, as the video cameras jump price brackets, the quality improves. Above $200 you can get a better camcorder, and above $400 there is another quality shift. Most people can spend less than $1000 on a digital video camera and be very happy with the results they get from their videos.

A lot of people opt for a HD camcorder, so working out what your needs are is the first step to identifying the best video camera for you.

Do you want a compact and portable video camera or one that is fully optioned?

If price and portability are key considerations then a compact video camera is going to be the best option for you. For less than $150 you can get a take-anywhere camcorder such as the Kodak PlayFull, or consider the Sony Waterproof, Panasonic HX, VistaQuest DV and Samsung W300.

Here are five other great camcorders to consider purchasing:

1. Panasonic HC-X920

Want to stream live footage then this is the HD camcorder for you. Packed with features and functionality including 1080p and 12x optical zoom, it also offers wifi to Ustream straight from the camera.

2. Sony HDR MV1

The Sony HDR MV1 is a great design, offers 1080p and is able to return good images even in less than ideal conditions, has a 3D microphone, and includes WiFi for ease of sharing. The list of features is massive and it’s well worth a closer look.

3. Canon Legria HF R46

If you are looking for tech, then the Canon Legria camcorder has all kinds of functionality you’ll be impressed by. It includes a 54x zoom, 1080p, a high resolution touch screen, “baby” mode (so you can add dates to events such as first time your toddler takes a step), and MP4 or AVCHD formats. Not to be passed over as you narrow down your list.

4. GoPro HD Hero 3 Silver Edition

For an action HD camcorder, you must consider GoPro. Synonymous with action video they continue to create impressive devices. This is an amped up HD Hero 2 with some extra features, such as wifi for ease of sharing, 1080p footage at 30 frames per second, or 720p at 60fps. It also offers 11MP for stills, better underwater focussing, and a more solid spring locking mechanism on the case to better protect the interior electronics. It also delivers great colour and performs well in diverse lighting conditions and speeds.

5. Panasonic HX-DC3

 

If light-weight matters to you then at just 162g, you’ll want to think long and hard about this little HD compact digital video recorder. It offers full HD recording and a number of preset shooting modes, image stabiliser and a 16 megapixel, 50x optical zoom for stills pictures, with a 5x optical video zoom.

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