RIP standard-def camcorders

With nothing but HD camcorders announced at CES 2012, it looks like SD-resolution camcorders are finally done.

LAS VEGAS--Standard-definition camcorders should have died a while ago, but the manufacturers kept them around because they were still selling. That changed this week at CES when all the major manufacturers--Canon, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, and Samsung--announced nothing but high-def models and confirmed there would be no more SD models coming in the future.

The F80 marks the death of standard-def camcorders for Samsung's lineup. Samsung

Now, I know some of you out there have or had SD camcorders that produced great video, but manufacturers stopped making high-quality SD models a long time ago when HD took over. What was left were inexpensive models with generally mediocre or downright bad video quality. But they were cheap, and usually had extreme zoom lenses, and the files were easy to play and edit on older computers.

In their place are the new Samsung F80 and JVC's Everio EX and E series, which give you the option of recording in HD or SD.

Similarly, Panasonic's HC-V10 records in 720p or Apple's iFrame format, which is designed for easy editing and playback for sharing online or viewing on mobile devices.

These models are basically last year's standard-def models, but with new sensors and features, so you can still expect long lenses and affordable prices and, with any luck, better video quality than their SD predecessors.

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