In some ways, the JVC HD Everio GZ-HM400 is an object lesson in the corners manufacturers have to cut for size. Essentially a larger version of the
Granted, at that price, it's still cheaper than its primary competitors, the Sony
The HM400 has a similar feature to Sony's Smooth Slow Record mode, which captures a short, low-resolution clip at up to 600 frames per second, so when it's played back at 30fps it looks like slow motion. The camcorder also integrates JVC's K2 audio technology, which "restores the sound details lost during compression to enable high-quality audio playback that is closer to the original." That I'll reserve judgment on, since it's usually used to decode clean audio, not the low-bitrate, relatively messy audio that comes through a prosumer camcorder's mic.
Still, JVC does enough that's interesting with the GZ-HM400 that I'm looking forward to giving it a shot, so to speak. We've got one here, so the review should be up before you start your holiday shopping.