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HDV is a format where HD video is recorded on DV/Mini-DV cassette tape. HDV is a much older format (launched in 2003) and was meant to serve as an affordable high definition format for digital camcorders. HDV is typically stored in Mini-DV tapes - which look like the small sized cassette tapes.

HDV has gained a lot of popularity primarily because it couples an affordable technology with great picture quality on a functional archiving solution (due to Mini-DV). The Mini-DV tapes are not only good for capturing video but also double up as a great archiving solution to store video over time.

Increasingly HDV is facing competition from the AVCHD format - which is a much newer higher compression-lower quality format and is designed to be primarily stored on newer storage options like Flash and Hard Disk Drive. However, HDV is still a great choice as there are not very good options in the market right now to safely archive AVCHD video stored in Flash/Hard disk drives.
The best HDV camcorders often also support the newer AVCHD formats, have great manual controls and are compact to boot.

Browse All Top HDV Camcorders »

Panasonic HDC-HS700

Panasonic HDC-HS700K Black 240GB Full HD Camcorder - HDC-HS700K High Definition AVCHD


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Panasonic HDC-HS700
Sanyo VPC-SH1
Canon VIXIA HF S10
Vivitar DVR-910HD
Canon VIXIA HF10
Panasonic HDC-HS700K Black 240GB Full HD Camcorder - HDC-HS700K High Definition AVCHD
Sanyo VPC-SH1BK High Definition Camcorder and 10 MP Camera  Black
Canon VIXIA HF S10 32GB Flash Drive HD Camcorder
Vivitar DVR-910HD Camcorder
Canon VIXIA HF10 (16 GB) HDV Camcorder
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Release Date
Feb 2010
Jan 2010
Apr 2009
Aug 2010
Mar 2008
Recording Format
DV, AVCHD, HDV, Micro MV
High Definition, DV, HDV
High Definition, DV, Flash Media, HDV, Micro MV
DV, HDV, MV, High Definition
HDV
HDD Size
240.0 GB
64.0 GB
32.0 GB
16.0 GB
Optical Zoom
12.0 x
23.0 x
10.0 x
12.0 x
Recording System
NTSC
NTSC, PAL
NTSC
NTSC
NTSC
Camcorder Type
Digital
Digital
Digital
Digital
Digital
Memory Still Resolution
14.2 MegaPixels
10.0 MegaPixels
8.59 MegaPixels
8.0 MegaPixels
3.1 MegaPixels
Recordable Media
Hard Drive
DV, HDV, Memory Card, Micro MV

  • - It's also more practical here, since Panasonic also has the smallest, lowest-resolution LCD in its class.
    - Because of the small, low-resolution sensors still photo quality doesn't match the competition's.
    - It's better in low light than the rest, with lower noise and accurate but slightly more saturated colors.


  • The Panasonic HDC-HS700 is one of two high-definition digital camcorders (HS700, TM700) announced in February 2010 as successors to Panasonic's HS300/TM300 series. Both camcorders feature a 35mm wide-angle Leica lens, a 12x optical zoom, and SD/SDHC/SDXC memory card expansion.


  • The Panasonic HDC-Sd700 is everything that a high-def camcorder should be. It provides a wealth of advanced features for experienced videographers, while remaining very user-friendly for beginners. Without question, it is one of the best HD camcorders in its price range.


  • - Cons: Skips a little on full HD mode @60 fields/sec.
    - One note, though: I found that the HS (high sensitivity mode) doesn't work very well.
    - The video is crisp, clear, and lifelike, even in super low light conditions and the photos are an added bonus, even if they are only 4MP.
    - Anyway, I got some pretty good shots of a mockingbird in my back yard.

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    Although it may look like an ordinary camcorder, the Sanyo Xacti VPC-SH1 is a powerful device that records video and takes photographs. Along with being able to record full HD video, the camcorder can also take 10 megapixel photos.

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    - In dim or low light, we found it produced a little more noise that what we had expected, but it isn't a deal breaker for the average shooting situation.
    - The new cameras support the new SDXC memory cards for many hours of potential recording, and Mini HDMI output to instantly show off the 1920x1080 HD video in its full clarity.
    - The light weight of the camcorder is nice when toting it around all day.


  • An excellent flash-based prosumer HD camcorder, you may nevertheless pass on the Canon Vixia HF S10 because it lacks an eye-level viewfinder. And the identical--but cheaper, because it has no built-in memory--Vixia HF S100 may also be a better buy.

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    - The huge 8.5-megapixel CMOS only sweetens the deal.
    - The Canon HF S10 is perhaps the most exciting camcorder to appear here at the Consumer Electronics Show, at least on the upper-end of the market.
    - As mentioned above, the lens barrel on the front is overwhelming large, which is probably a clever trick from Canon's designers.

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    - LCD should be better.


  • The Vivitar DVR 910HD is a low-cost compact digital video camera. This is similar to the Vivitar DVR 920 in most respects, but lacks Pictbridge compatibility and doesn't use any stabilization technology.


  • Canon's first flash-based camcorder, the Canon Vixia HF10, delivers excellent HD video quality and performance in a tiny package.

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    - The Component-out terminal resides next to the card door, shielded by a rigid plastic square that pulls out.
    - This midnight-black piece of AVCHD artillery is flashy and compact, yet with well-equipped controls.
    - Canon was wise with its microphone placement on a camcorder this small.
    - The hand strap is anchored to the body of the camcorder via two burly metal d-rings that can take a healthy walloping.

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    - Menu system is not intuitive.