Fantastic optical image stabilization
Last year, in our review of the HDR-CX700V from Sony, we dreamed of a future where Sony would actually improve the low light performance of its high-end Handycams. This year, with the HDR-CX760V, that dream has become a reality. The CX760V is not only the strongest consumer camcorder Sony has released in a few years, but it's also one of the most impressive models we've reviewed all year.
The camcorder did everything well in our performance tests.
Excellent motion with 1080/60p record mode
If you're looking to get the most bang for your buck on an HD camcorder, the Panasonic HC-V700M should be near the top of your list. It's a mid-range model, so it doesn't have high-end features like a viewfinder or lens ring, but it's got solid performance and enough controls and features to keep most users satisfied.
Great image quality
Panasonic's HC-V700 takes a different strategy to its very top-end models, with one larger sensor rather than three slightly smaller ones. But it still produces excellent image quality. It's lacking a couple of features compared to Panasonic's top-end models, in particular a lens ring and heaphone jack. But plenty remains for the enthusiast, with a full set of manual controls, a microphone input and standard-sized accessory shoe.
Great image stabilisation
The Panasonic HC-V700 isn't a bad camera by any means, but we were a little disappointed by its image quality in the long run we just wanted a bit more from it. But that doesn't detract from what it offers that cheaper units don't. Excellent quality in capturing motion, brilliant image stabilisation and a positively decadent zoom level mean this unit absolutely deserves consideration, but only if the price sits well with you.
High Quality Camera
Overall my initial impressions are very good. The still picture quality appears to be average to good for a video camera. Definitely not as good as a stand alone digital camera, but truthfully I haven't taken very many pictures, so maybe it will be better than I think. I plan on buying an extra high capacity battery, since I have never had good luck with batteries lasting very long, plus it's always good to have a backup.
Easy-to-use interface and menus
If you're keen on the idea of a projector, then this is the camcorder for you. But if you're not going to use this feature, then it would be better to look for another camcorder in a lower price range. Both the projector and the GPS features would make this unit ideal for travelling; however, if you're looking for a simple, good-quality point-and-shoot camcorder, it would a mistake to commit to this camcorder, given its price.
A small HD digital video camera recorder with a projector... How cool is that? But is it worth it?
Overall, the camera does deliver when it comes to capturing HD video in well-lighted or outdoor environments. But how important is the project for you, that's probably going to be the biggest drive. While it works great from outdoor shots, if you are looking at it to capture your baby or child when asleep or in low-light, the camera may be too dark/grainy for your taste.
Image stabilization does a good job accounting for handshake
Sony's lineup of HDR camcorders are classified as entry-level products for first time users, and judging by their specifications and features, the Handycams will keep most consumers happy. The HDR-CX360V is a step-up model from its counterparts, the CX130 and CX160, offering a highly sensitive CMOS sensor, the capacity for 7.1 megapixel photos, and a GPS and map feature.
Lacks onboard storage - additional memory card purchase required
JVC's Everio GZ-HM30 is an entry-level HD camcorder, and is the most basic of the new Everio lineup. It upscales output to 1920 x 1080p resolution (though it is non-native), and has 40x optical zoom. Standard definition recording is also selectable. This particular model does not have any on-board flash storage, but has a single slot for an SDHC or SDXC card. Its image sensor is 1.5 megapixels and there is a 2.7-inch LCD display on the side of the body.
Decent image quality
JVC is frequently competitive at the budget end of the market, and the GZ-HM30SEK continues the tradition reasonably well. It uses the AVCHD Lite format, with its 720p resolution, to make the most out of a small 1/5.8in CMOS sensor. Image quality is decent, even in low light. There's no built-in memory, but SDXC is supported, and there's a sizeable 40x optical zoom. It's one step up from a pocket Internet model.
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