Best HD Camcorder 2012

Best HD Camcorder 2012

Purchasing a good quality HD (High-Definition) camcorder shouldn't be a hasty decision. Manufacturers have introduced a huge range of camcorders for the current season, but which ones fit the bill of an average consumer? Let's check those options.
An HD camcorder ensures that special moments in life aren't missed, and can be viewed in a better picture quality. The new generation camcorders easily surpass their SD (Standard-Definition) counterparts in terms of producing high quality videos with clear sound. Videos recorded in an HD camcorder are far more detailed and can be customized with the number of options available in the gadget.

Things to Look For

Although, HD camcorders are extremely useful, they do come with a hefty price tag. Mentioned below are some important features that should be considered before making the final call of purchase.

Video/Sensor Resolution
The picture quality produced by a camcorder depends on its sensor's resolution. As of now, companies use the following three sensor types,
  • CCD (Charge-Coupled Device): They collect light and convert it into electrical signals for image processing but consume more energy.
  • CMOS (Complementary metal-oxide-semiconductor): CMOS offers flexibility because it caters to each pixel individually thereby improving the overall picture and video quality.
  • MOS (Metal-oxide-semiconductor): These sensors guarantee to achieve a high-quality image and video while keeping energy consumption down.
The greater the sensor resolution, higher is the picture quality. HD camcorders provide two types of resolution - the HD Ready (720p) and Full HD (1080i and 1080p). The 'i' and 'p' stand for interlaced and progressive scanning. Models having 1080i and 1080p resolution are preferred more as they provide a clearer and detailed image with amazing quality.

Storage Medium
The recording medium is an important feature to consider while buying a camcorder. As of today, there are four ways to record data - Mini DV Cassette, hard drive, flash memory and mini DVD. Out of the four options the most preferred ones are the hard drive and flash memory.
  • Hard Drive: Camcorders with hard drive are extremely easy to use as there is no need to remove the drive for data transfer. The hard drive allows the user to record videos for hours and the data can easily be transferred to a computer or an external hard drive.
  • Flash Memory: Other than the hard drive, flash memory is also a common data recording medium. A flash memory is further classified into three types - the internal memory of the camcorder which has a capacity of almost 32 GB (seen in most camcorders), the SSD (Solid-State Drive) which boasts a capacity of greater than 64 GB and finally the memory card which has a range of 2 GB to 32 GB.
Zoom
Full-size HD camcorders come with a minimum of 10x optical zoom and this feature is controlled by the movement of optical lenses. The lenses play a crucial role in providing crystal clear images. Another added feature is the digital zoom which makes the image more clearer by increasing the pixel size, which in turn leads to a crystal clear video or picture.

LCD
Touchscreen LCDs are extremely common in today's camcorders. They are not only used to view videos and images but also to access many recording and playback features. Most LCDs measure almost 2½ inches, but some are larger in size which does increase the price of the product. To ensure that they work fine in exterior environment, LCDs should be checked in sunlight as viewing can differ from model to model.

Size and Weight
Thanks to the recent technological developments, camcorders have lost the excess weight and the box-shape. Most camcorders are now weigh less than 700 gm, including battery. Their compact size ensures a perfect fit in a human hand, a small bag or the pant pocket. After considering all these necessary points, the buyer can then make a uniformed decision suiting his/her needs. Here are the best options for buyers.

Top Rated HD Camcorders


Canon Vixia HF G10
  • Optical Zoom: 10x
  • Digital Zoom: 200x
  • Camcorder Sensor Resolution: 2.37 megapixels
  • Effective Video Resolution: 2.07 megapixels
  • Supported Resolution: 1080p
  • Min Shutter Speed: 1/2 sec
  • Max Shutter Speed: 1/2000 sec
  • Optical Sensor Type: HD CMOS Pro
  • LCD: 3.5 inches
  • Face Detection: Yes
  • Digital Video Format: AVCHD
  • Operating System: Windows XP, Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  • Price: $1300
Pros
  • Outstanding video even in dim light conditions
  • Two memory-card slots
  • Multiple options are provided for shooting HD videos

Cons
  • High price
  • No 60p and a little bulkier
  • No 3D


Sony HDR-PJ200
  • Optical Zoom: 25x
  • Digital Zoom: 300x
  • Camcorder Sensor Resolution: 1.5 megapixels
  • Effective Video Resolution: 1.31 megapixels
  • Supported Resolution: 1080i with Projector
  • Min Shutter Speed: 1/8 sec
  • Max Shutter Speed: 1/10000 sec
  • Optical Sensor Type: Exmor R CMOS
  • LCD: 2.7 inches
  • Face Detection: Yes
  • Digital Video Format: MPEG-2, AVCHD
  • Operating System: Windows XP SP3, Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  • Price: $450
Pros
  • Geotagging photos through GPS
  • Touchscreen panel
  • Built-in projector

Cons
  • Standard video quality
  • Touchscreen controls are too small on the 2.7 inch screen
  • Video recording in low light is not impressive


Sony HDR-CX190
  • Optical Zoom: 25x
  • Digital Zoom: 30x
  • Camcorder Sensor Resolution: 1.5 megapixels
  • Effective Video Resolution: 1.31 megapixels
  • Supported Resolution: 1080p
  • Min Shutter Speed: 1/8 sec
  • Max Shutter Speed: 1/10000 sec
  • Optical Sensor Type: Exmor R CMOS
  • LCD: 2.7 inches
  • Face Detection: Yes
  • Digital Video Format: MPEG-2, AVCHD
  • Operating System: Windows XP SP3, Windows 7 and Windows Vista
  • Price: $300
Pros
  • Low price and light-weight
  • 1920x1080 resolution and a powerful zoom
  • Integrated USB cable

Cons
  • Limited functionality and no internal storage
  • No touchscreen, headphone or microjack
  • No 25p or 50p mode


JVC Everio GZ-EX210
  • Optical Zoom: 40x
  • Digital Zoom: 200x
  • Camcorder Sensor Resolution: 1.5 megapixels
  • Effective Video Resolution: 0.56 megapixels
  • Supported Resolution: 1080i
  • Min Shutter Speed: NA
  • Max Shutter Speed: NA
  • Optical Sensor Type: BSI-CMOS
  • LCD: 3 inches
  • Face Detection: Yes
  • Digital Video Format: AVCHD
  • Operating System: Windows XP SP3, Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Vista SP2
  • Price: $280
Pros
  • Wi-Fi
  • Advanced Image Stabilizer
  • Inexpensive

Cons
  • Slow software update
  • Low battery life (i.e. it drains fast in this case due to its small battery)
  • Minimum video resolution


Samsung HMX F80BN
  • Optical Zoom: 52x
  • Digital Zoom: 130x
  • Camcorder Sensor Resolution: 5 megapixels
  • Effective Video Resolution: 0.92 megapixels
  • Supported Resolution: 720p
  • Min Shutter Speed: NA
  • Max Shutter Speed: NA
  • Optical Sensor Type: CMOS
  • LCD: 2.7 inches
  • Face Detection: Yes
  • Digital Video Format: MPEG-2, AVCHD
  • Operating System: Windows XP SP3, Windows 7 and Windows Vista SP2
  • Price: $250
Pros
  • Built-in studio editing software
  • Lightweight and inexpensive
  • Built-in speakers

Cons
  • No night scene recording
  • Average video recording in dim light conditions


Panasonic HC-V10
  • Optical Zoom: 63x
  • Digital Zoom: 100x
  • Camcorder Sensor Resolution: 1.5 megapixels
  • Effective Video Resolution: 0.56 megapixels
  • Supported Resolution: 720p
  • Min Shutter Speed: 1/25 sec
  • Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000
  • Optical Sensor Type: BSI MOS
  • LCD: 2.7 inches
  • Face Detection: Yes
  • Digital Video Format: H.264, iFrame
  • Operating System: Windows XP SP3, Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Vista SP2 and Apple Mac OS X 10.6.3
  • Price: $220
Pros
  • Great video quality
  • Excellent zooming features
  • Compact body and light weight

Cons
  • Low battery life (i.e. it drains fast in this case due to its small battery)
  • Minimum video resolution


Before taking a final call on the purchase, it is important that the user operates the device for sometime to be familiar with all its functions. The smartest thing to do is to select a camcorder which fits the desired needs. With proper care and maintenance a camcorder can last many years and capture some memorable moments.
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