We thought we may see more companies announce pocket-friendly mini camcorders, but we were kind of surprised to see them all be high-definition models.
CNET Reviews staff
DXG pretty much specializes in small camcorders, so it wasn't surprising to see it roll out two little HD models at CES 2009. The 581V (pictured) and the 580V (with a more traditional horizontal camcorder design) are due in the first quarter of this year for $179.99. The DXG-581V can capture HD video up to a resolution of 1,920x1,280 and capture 8-megapixel photos. The DXG-580V records at resolutions up to 1,440x1,080 at 30fps. They are equipped with built-in flash memory (though DXG didn't say how much), but they also have an SDHC slot with support for cards up to 8GB.
Showing it's serious about the mini camcorder market, Kodak rolls out a sibling model for its nice, but somewhat clunky, Zi6, the smaller and weather resistant (IP43 certified) Zx1. It's 30 percent smaller than the Zi6, but the trade-off is a smaller 2-inch LCD. It's slated to ship in early April for $149.95.
Sony MHS-PM1 Webbie HD
Sony's a little later entering this space than we expected, but it came out of the gate with what looks to be a solid product, due in part to a cool swivel lens. The MHS-PM1 Webbie HD records 1080p MPEG-4 video to Memory Stick Duo media at 1,440x1,080-pixel resolution, and shoots stills at a comparatively high resolution (5-megapixels). You should be able to get it in March for $170.
RCA Small Wonder EZ209HD
In the mini camcorder market, last year RCA pretty much played second or third fiddle to Flip Video and Kodak, with Creative recently making a late charge. Well, RCA hopes to change all that with its new Small Wonder EZ209HD, which carries the bargain price of $120 and is due out sometime this spring. This model is smaller than previous Small Wonders, integrates a microSD card slot rather than an SD card slot (supporting cards up to 16GB), and retains a not-too-puny 2-inch LCD. It captures video at HD and SD resolutions at up to 60 frames per second. It also captures 8-megapixel photos.