Sony Handycam HDR-XR550V (photos and samples)

The Sony Handycam HDR-XR550V fares well compared with the competition, though its video could be a bit sharper and the interface less cumbersome. Unless you absolutely need to store a lot of video on the camcorder--which I don't suggest--or have large hands that could benefit from the extra grip that the hard drive provides, Sony's cheaper--but almost identical--flash-based CX550V is a better deal.