RCA is updating the Small Wonder line with four new YouTube-ready digital camcorders. All of the cameras ship with easy-to-use software that allows users to edit, upload, and share their clips via Box.net or YouTube. Aimed at those consumers who want a tapeless, hassle-free way to capture video on the fly, RCA is offering four different models including one top-of-the-line camcorder that shoots in 720p. All Small Wonder camcorders allow for memory expansion--some via SD, others through a microSD slot. As you can see from the picture, the EZ205 has a flip-out screen, but the press material we were … Read more
Though late to the flash-based camcorder party, Canon is showing that it sure knows how to boogie down with three new standard-definition models, two of which can record to built-in flash memory in addition to SDHC cards. Similar to Sony's Hybrid Plus feature, Canon is calling its version Dual Flash Memory, for obvious reasons.
All these new models, which make up the FS series, also include Canon's new Advanced Zoom system, which sounds suspiciously like digital zoom, but according to Canon doesn't produce any noticeable degradation of the captured video. They make a decent argument for this, … Read more
JVC made surprisingly few camcorder announcements for early 2008, which included a standard-def Everio hard-disk camcorder lineup of only two basic models, one of which comes in four flavors. On the other hand, based on the specs, they actually sound worse than their 2007 counterparts, for the same prices.
The $799 GZ-MG730, slated to ship in February, tops the line with its 1/2.5-inch 7-megapixel sensor (for producing high-resolution stills), 2.7-inch LCD, and 30GB hard disk. But oddly, the 10x zoom lens is really slow. Its maximum aperture only goes as wide as f3.5 in a category … Read more
Late to market with its first SD-based camcorders--Panasonic and Sony both announced third-generation models this week--Canon nevertheless makes up for lost time with a couple of attractively specced models for 2008. They join the modestly revved HV30 HDV model and the currently shipping HG10 and HR10 under the Vixia brand umbrella for HD camcorders.
At the top of the product line, the HF10 incorporates 16GB built-in flash memory--the largest capacity we've heard about thus far--and a slot for SDHC removable flash. According to Canon, it records AVCHD video at a maximum bit rate of 17 megabits per second, and … Read more
It seems like Sony's saved the zing in its camcorder announcements for its AVCHD products, which generally offer significant enhancements over last year's. For one, all the models (like their DVD equivalents) finally support true 1,920x1,080 recording, albeit at the same bit rates as the previous 1,440x1,080 capture. They also mark the addition of Memory Stick Duo support for video--a feature of lesser importance for the hard-disk models than others--which Sony dubs "Hybrid" recording.
The two top-of-the-line models, the SR11 and SR12, both incorporate Sony's highest-resolution 1/3.15-inch 5-megapixel ClearVid … Read more
Don't look for any great leaps in consumer HDV technology from Sony, at least during the first quarter of 2008. The company's lone new HDV product, the Handycam HDR-HC9, replaces two older models, the HDR-HC5 and HDR-HC7, with nothing but a few nice-to-have manual settings.
The HC9 adds spot metering and focus, color bars, a center marker, peaking display, and infinity focus in manual focus mode; that's it. Otherwise it's pretty much the same as the HC7--the same 10x zoom lens and 3.2-megapixel ClearVid CMOS--and will cost the same $1,099 when it ships in … Read more
While high-definition camcorders continue to be the most exciting for camcorder enthusiasts, Sony continues to develop its standard-definition hard-drive camcorders. The company's four new models for 2008 include changes to core features, such as sensors and lenses, smaller overall size compared to last year's models, and some technologies from Sony's digital cameras in the top SD HDD model. All of the models also include built-in zoom microphones and a Quick On feature, which basically puts the camcorder in standby mode, so it consumes significantly less power than in regular mode and lets you start recording faster than … Read more
The biggest problem with high-definition DVD camcorders is that the small discs barely hold enough footage to capture your child's walk-on part in a ballet recital. Sony is trying to remedy the situation this year by including 8 GB of internal flash memory on the two AVCHD DVD models in their line. That means that even if you don't have a disc in the camcorder, you can record almost one hour of highest-quality, high-definition video to the internal memory and then transfer that footage to DVDs in the camcorder or offload it directly to your computer. Sony's … Read more
The Panasonic SDR-S7 is a new ultracompact camcorder that records its footage to SD and SDHC cards. The slim shooter looks similar to the rugged SW20, though it lacks any waterproof, shockproof, or dustproof attributes. It features a 10x optical zoom lens and a 2.7-inch flip-out LCD screen, and a Quick Start feature Panasonic claims lets it start recording just 0.6 second after opening it. The SDR-S7 ships in May, with a suggested retail price of $300. … Read more
Panasonic just revealed a new waterproof, shockproof, and dustproof compact camcorder at today's CES press conference. According to Panasonic, the new SW20 can handle dunks in up to 5 feet of water, drops from up to 4 feet, and will keep most dust out of its pint-size, colorful casing.
Though Panasonic has been producing its rugged Toughbooks for several years now, its camcorders have had this persistent quirk of breaking if you drop them several feet or submerge them in water. The SW20 is the first rugged, waterproof camcorder I've seen so far from Panasonic (last year's … Read more