There's a plethora of camcorders that are easy on the pocket, both in terms of size and cost. RCA Small Wonder camcorders haven't been available over here, but we learnt at CES 2009 that's set to change.
RCA has possibly one of the biggest ranges of budget pocket shooters going: Flip has the Ultra and Mino, Kodak the Zi6 and new Zx1, Creative the Vado, and even '14 new camcorders at a time' Sony only has two, the Webbie PM1 and C1. The Webbies show that the major players are taking this market segment seriously, and although there's nothing definite yet, the word on the street is the Webbies will make an appearance this side of the Atlantic after all. Meanwhile, RCA has confirmed that the Small Wonders are heading for Europe in 2009.
At CES we were told that Audiovox, the new owners of the the RCA camcorder brand, are working on conquering the different video formats in the US and Europe. Although nothing's set in stone, we could see a PAL Small Wonder some time in the first half of this year.
We wouldn't mind getting our hands on the model pictured above, the latest addition at the top of the line, the EZ409HD. Unlike other HD pocket rockets, it shoots at 1080p. RCA also claims 10-megapixel photographs, but until we get a closer look at the specs we'll assume that's interlaced. At the back, you get a 61mm (2-inch) LCD. Video is recorded to microSD memory card, with a 2GB card bundled in the pack. Generous.
Other new models include the headspinningly cheap Small Wonder MyLife EZ200 and Small Wonder Pocket EZ205, which pack 38mm (1.5-inch) flip-out screens and record to microSDHC. The Small Wonder Traveler EZ210 sports a 61mm (2.4-inch) QVGA display, and records to SDHC. They're priced at $89 (£60), $100 (£70), $150 (£100) respectively, all available in the US now.
Check out our photos from the Audiovox CES stand for the more sophisticated entries to the range, showing the range of possibilities for mini-camcorders.
Update: Audiovox has contacted us to let us know that the Small Wonder MyLife EZ200, Pocket EZ205 and Traveler EZ210 are all available now, so we've updated this post accordingly. Hurray!
The EZ300HD shoots 720p video or drops to YouTube resolution.
It boasts a 61mm (2.4-inch) LCD screen, records to a 2GB internal memory or SD card, and has a 4x digital zoom. As you can see, the EZ300HD's lens flips out to different angles.
If Flip Video gets its name from the pop-out USB connector, the $160 (£110) EZ300H is the slide video.
The EZ207 retails for $80 (£55), but is noticeably more plasticky than the other cameras.
The EZ207 features a flip-out screen, for shooting yourself or at different angles.
The EZ209HD captures video at standard or high definition, at up to 60 frames per second, as well as 8-megapixel still images.
The EZ209HD records to microSD card, up to 16GB, and will shoot up to two hours of video on a single charge. It also includes HDMI output and a 51mm (2-inch) LCD screen, all for $120 (£80).