A decent pocket camcorder that's also a makeshift snapshot camera, the Canon Optura S1 is not an optimal choice for indoor shooting.
While its predecessor had prosumer aspirations, the Panasonic PV-GS500 is strictly for casual videographers who want top-notch video on autopilot.
The Panasonic SDR-S50 standard-definition camcorder is worth considering for its manual controls and powerful zoom lens in a very compact body--not video quality.
This extremely compact, nicely designed camera should please technophiles who want both photo and video capabilities and can afford to splurge.
Like its sibling the HF10, Canon's flash-based Vixia HF11 delivers excellent HD video quality and performance in a tiny package. However, the HF11 delivers a bit more value for its lower price.
At its best, the Canon Vixia HF M3x series--composed of the M300, M30, M31, and M32--delivers a very good blend of video quality, features, and performance for the money, but some people may find the touch-screen interface extremely frustrating to use and the battery life painfully short. Plus, you really need to bump up to the highest bit rate quality. Of the series, the HF M300 is the best deal.
With a big zoom, a small size, and a decent price, the Canon Elura 100 is a great choice if you plan on steering clear of low-light situations.
And yes, it's actually pocket-size.
A tiny, point-and-shoot, full-HD video camera that's simple and fun to use, the Dimika Action Cam is a very good inexpensive option for situations in which you don't want to risk your more-expensive camera or smartphone.
The Kodak Super 8 film camera brings the fun of shooting 8mm film into the digital age.
The Canon HG21 is an excellent camcorder that does so many things right and hardly anything wrong. Our only concern is that it might be a victim of it's own success. Its flexibility means more more potential outlay on accessories, its huge hard drive means you're not likely to ever fill it, its assorted high-end features mean its pretty pricey. But we still love it
If you're not interested in being able to record HD footage, you'll find this standard definition camcorder a good bet.
The Canon Legria HF G10 camcorder's video quality is great, but its high cost and a few minor flaws mean it's lost some points in our book.
It's not the most glamorous model on the market, but JVC's Everio GZ-HM330 will easily provide most families with everything they need from a high-definition camcorder, for a very acceptable price.
Sony's Handycam DCR-SR58E is one of the better standard-definition camcorders we've seen of late. It's easy to use and offers some genuinely useful features. It is, however, let down by its appalling photo quality.
The Sony Handycam HDR-CX115E is a small but surprisingly feature-packed, high-quality camcorder. It's comparatively cheap and easy to use, too. Still photos aren't much cop, but this is a fine video device in all other respects.
Despite the recent interest in hard-disk based camcorders, we still love the ignoble MiniDV format for its unchallenged picture quality and easy availability the world over. Because it's a well-trodden technology, new MiniDV cameras like the GR-D240 offer what were once premium features for a surprisingly low investment
Its average photo quality is a shame, but the Panasonic HDC-SD60 still comes highly recommended -- few entry-level camcorders have impressed us so much in terms of both features and video performance.