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GoPro HERO3
Panasonic HC-X900M
Contour ROAM2
Panasonic HC-V500
GoPro HD Hero2
GoPro HERO3 Black Edition Camcorder
Panasonic HC-X900M Camcorder
Contour ROAM2 Waterproof Video Camera
Panasonic HC-V500M Camcorder
Go Pro HD Hero2 High Definition AVC Camcorder
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Release Date
Oct 2012
Jan 2012
Oct 2012
Jan 2012
Oct 2011
Recording Format
Flash Media, High Definition
Flash Media, High Definition
Flash Media, High Definition
Flash Media
Flash Media, High Definition
Recording System
NTSC, PAL
NTSC, PAL
NTSC, PAL
NTSC, PAL
NTSC, PAL
Camcorder Type
Digital
Digital
Digital
Digital
Digital
Memory Still Resolution
12.0 MegaPixels
16.0 MegaPixels
5.0 MegaPixels
3.0 MegaPixels
11.0 MegaPixels
Recordable Media
Flash Media, High Definition, AVCHD
Flash Media, High Definition
Flash Media, High Definition
Flash Media
H.264 codec, .mp4
Use
Video
Video
Video
Video
Video

  • The GoPro Hero3 Silver and White editions are strong contenders in the sports camera market, but the faster, more powerful Black Edition is head and shoulders the best sports camera on the market today.


  • If you're looking to upgrade from your HD Hero2, the Hero3: Black Edition should give you plenty to be excited about. The enhanced video performance means your videos will be sharper, have more detail in low light, and moving subjects will look smoother than anything you shot with the Hero2. In addition to being both smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the Hero3's built-in WiFi functions make it an easier camcorder to us, especially if you have a smartphone.


  • The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition delivers outstanding video quality and features like 4K that you won't find anywhere else.


  • Panasonic sure knows how to make a solid flagship camcorder with appeal to consumers and semi-pros alike, and, by all means, the new HC-X900M is exactly that-an excellent high-end camcorder. Unfortunately, the product still left us dissatisfied thanks to Panasonic's lack of updates and improvements over last year's HDC-TM900. We said the same thing last year when Panasonic failed to innovate, and this glaring trend of riding on the coattails of predecessors has us worried about Panasonic's future in the market.

    But we also can't really blame them.

  • Rating Unavailable

    With outstanding performance in two dimensions or three, the HC-X900M, by Panasonic, is well worth the attention of anyone seeking quality HD at an affordable price.


  • The last few generations of high-end camcorder from Panasonic have been hard to beat. The HDC-TM900 and HDC-TM700 offered powerful combinations of great image quality and comprehensive features. The HC-X900 continues that tradition, and just about edges our recommendation over Canon's excellent LEGRIA HF G10. The X900 is around £100 cheaper and offers a standard accessory shoe without the need for third-party adapters, plus a marginally easier control system. For these reasons the HC-X900 maintains Panasonic's position as our top premium camcorder recommendation.


  • As long as you don't need to change shooting modes on the go, the ContourRoam2 is a simple way to capture fine-quality POV videos in dry or wet conditions.


  • As an all-weather, easy-to-use action camera, the Contour ROAM 2 is a great little piece of technology. It's got some useful enhancements from the original ROAM, and is far cheaper than the high-end Contour+2. It captures good, but not great, video and photos, and the internal microphone still isn't the best, but for the casual user it's good value.


  • For basic POV filming the ROAM2 passes the test, although, outside of the rotating lens, there isn't any standout feature to set it apart from the rapidly expanding choices for compact, mountable video cameras. Definitely check out the available mounting options to find the correct mount or one that allows for multiple placements.


  • The Panasonic HC-V500M is a good entry-level camcorder, and it has plenty of updates over the previous HDC-TM40. But Panasonic failed to improve the V500M's low light capabilities, which ends up being the camcorder's biggest weakness. Still, if you're looking for a sub-$500 camcorder with a lot of controls and decent image quality, then you've come to the right place. The HC-V500M has more full-fledged manual settings than the competition from Canon, Sony, and JVC in this price range.

    Of course, the HC-V500M isn't dirt cheap.


  • The HC-V500 is another camcorder from Panasonic that doesn't quite hit the price mark for a true budget model. If you're really tight on cash, we would still recommend a more keenly priced alternative such as JVC's HD Everio GZ-E205. But if you have a little more to spend, the HC-V500 has a more generous array of configuration options and superior image stabilisation, making it worth the extra money.


  • This high def camcorder offers great quality and useful features, but the lack of built-in Wi-Fi makes it less convenient than others.


  • The GoPro HD Hero2 is easily the best GoPro camera yet, with the ruggedness and quality that we've come to expect and a new user-friendly interface.


  • If you're interested in camcorders, or even gadgets in general, it's almost impossible to ignore the GoPro HD Hero2. In our experience, the Hero2 is the best adventure-style camcorder we've worked with, and the model was easier to handle and control than its most direct competitor: the Contour+ camcorder.

    The GoPro Hero2 wasn't a stellar performer in our video tests, but its Full HD video looked just as good as what we see from your average ultracompact camcorder.


  • The GoPro HD Hero2 is a rugged HD video camera that can take a beating and go deep underwater. It includes a number of different mounting tools so that you can affix it to a helmet, skateboard, or anything else you can imagine.