Shopping for the best handheld camcorders for home use will be easier if you bear in mind important factors such as price versus your budget, design (pocket camcorders versus standard models), and features.
Pocket camcorders are becoming popular these days due to their portability and ease of use. Unlike standard camcorders, these do not have a flip out lens making them lightweight and easier to carry around. These are also more affordable than most handheld camcorders. The only setback is the lack of an optical zoom option.
Handheld Camcorders by Flip and Kodak
In case you intend to purchase a pocket camcorder, the best models based on camcorder reviews include those manufactured by Flip and Kodak. You may also find exceptional products from Canon, Samsung, Panasonic, JVC, Sanyo, Sony, Toshiba, RCA, and others.
The Flip series from Cisco is a runaway winner for pocket camcorders with the Flip UltraHD model as the most popular in the group. This camera can record videos at a 1280 x 720 video resolution and a ratio of 60 frames per second. The latest version now features image stabilization and the option to connect external devices such as microphones and lenses through the FlipPort connection.
As for Kodak, some of the best pocket camcorders they offer include the Playsport series, Playful HD, Zx1 HD, and Zi8. The Zi8 captures videos at 1020p in resolution. The Zx1 on the other hand records videos at a resolution of 720p. This model offers a sleek design which is also rugged at the same time. The Playsport can record videos at 1920 x 1080p HD, while the Playful is on par with other mini pocket camcorders in terms of size.
Among standard camcorders, on the other hand, Sony is still the top brand. Some of the highly recommended Sony Handycam models are the HDR-CX550V, HDR-CX130, HDR-CX160, and HDR-XR160. The HDR-CX550V is Sony’s top of the line camcorder with a video recording resolution of 1920 x 1080, a 3.5 inch LCD display screen, and a 5.1 surround sound for audio. This is one of Sony’s best when it comes to video quality, but is a bit pricey costing over $1,000.
Other Expensive Handheld Camcorders
Other expensive camcorders with best video recording capabilities include the Panasonic HDC-TM700 and the Canon Vixia HF21. The HDC-TM700 features video recording at 1920 x 1080p resolution, 3 inches touch screen LCD display screen, 12x optimal zoom, and face detection. The Vixia HF21 on the other hand also features face detection, optical zoom at 10x, and a touch screen LCD display screen (3.5 inches) but with additional features such as 64MB internal flash memory, a very sharp video quality recording at 24 Mbps, and the “smart auto” mode.
A more affordable alternative to this are the 2011 models HDR-CX130, HDR-CX160, and HDR-XR160 along with last year’s model the CX-110. Unlike the CX550V, these are very easy to use. Although in terms of video quality, the CX550V of course still stands out. Other affordable camcorders include the Panasonic SDR-T50, Samsung SMX-F34, and the JVC Everio GZ-MS100. All these are below $300 in price.
The Panasonic SDR-T50 is worth considering for certain features such as an outstanding image stabilization, powerful optimal zoom lens, and compact design. Video quality wise, it is not the best choice but will actually do if you’re not choosy. The Samsung SMX-F34 on the other hand features a video resolution of 720 x 480 and a 2.7 inches LCD screen. The JVC Everio GZ-MS100 features a CMOS sensor of 680,000 pixel and 35x zoom capacity.
Nancy Artesia recently graduated with a degree in Journalism, and she is now working as a regular freelance writer, covering topics such as media, technology, and business.