Good low light and good sharpness results
If you're planning to spend less than $200 on a camcorder, you can't get much better than the Samsung HMX-W300. It's easy to use, has a waterproof design, and its image quality is very good for a camcorder of its size and price. The camcorder is not for people who want top-notch image quality, though, nor is it for people who require access to manual controls. This is a simple pocket cam that is great for capturing poolside activities or passing off to your kids during a picnic.
Images have good colour rendition
The FZ60 offers a lengthy optical zoom in a well-featured package, but image purists won't be satisfied with just JPEG capture and a steep price.
If you are forking out for a premium-priced superzoom camera, you might as well save up a little more and spend it on the FZ200, which gives you a fast and constant lens at f/2.8, as well as RAW capture.
Horrible, slow autofocus
With the HMX-W300, Samsung had the perfect opportunity to address many of the shortcomings of the camcorder's predecessor, the W200, which had plenty of room for improvement. Poor button construction, mediocre video quality, and the lack of a Macro Mode were some of our previous complaints that are still not ameliorated with the W300.
Two customizable function buttons
If you like a lot of dedicated buttons and manual controls at your fingertips, but don't want to spend the money for an interchangeable lens camera, the DMC-FZ60 will likely fit your hand like a glove. Its powerful 24X zoom, optical image stabilization and high light sensitivity all combine to give you tremendous flexibility for capturing attractive shots in most situations.
Faster burst shooting, expanded ISO range and more creative effects
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ62 is an appealing super-zoom bridge camera that does most things very well. The Â£349.99 / $399.95 launch price is high, but the FZ62 offers enough features, image quality and performance to satisfy anyone looking for an all-in-one, do-it-all camera.
WiFi connectivity and wireless features
The Bloggie Live's benefits include a lower price tag and a simpler feature set. It's a dedicated camcorder, so you don't have to worry about all the other features, apps, and costs associated with owning a smartphone. Then again, if you already have a smartphone that can record and transfer video wirelessly, then there's really no good reason to buy a Bloggie Live.
Capable, well designed camcorder
The Bloggie is a good choice for someone who either doesn't have a decent camera/video camera on a phone or mp3 player, as it does basically everything those devices do.
It also has several features not found on iOS: stills while recording, steadyshot, stereo sound, dedicated still/video buttons, 60p mode, and direct sharing with other smartphones to name a few. I found myself reaching for the Bloggie when I knew I'd want to take some video rather than relying on my iPhone.
Live-streaming capabilities via built-in Qik app
Without a doubt, the Sony Bloggie Live is the most versatile pocket camcorder we've tested in terms of wireless streaming, peer-to-peer sharing, and still-image resolution. Admittedly, it lacks a couple of useful features found in Kodak's Zi8, such as a mic-in port, a dedicated macro/landscape toggle, and removable storage. Is it a compelling alternative to a higher-end smartphone?
Small size and light weight make this camera easy to have at all times.
Pocket camcorders have come a long way, and the Bloggie Live MHS-TS55 proves that. This camcorder has fully embraced the technology of high definition and combined it with ease of use and portability. Uploading and sharing with social networks, YouTube, smart phones, and tablets has become an effortless process through this little Wi-Fi enabled device. It only takes a few touches on the camera's 3-inch touch-screen and you're done.
Great image and audio quality
The GoPro HD Hero is an absolutely massive step forward from the old model in terms of visual and audio fidelity. There's simply no comparing the footage you'll get from one of these to the footage from the originals and, since the design has stayed more or less the same, those upgrading will still be able to use all their old mounts.
Good color results
It's hard to come clean with our true feelings about the Panasonic HM-TA20. We love its rugged, adventuresome design, but we can't say it is any better than the other waterproof camcorders we've tested particularly the Kodak PlaySport series. In fact, the TA20 doesn't have the best grip due to its rigid design, and we did find its memory card slot area wasn't as protected from water as we would have liked it to be.
Decent video performance
Taken purely as a pocket Internet camcorder, Panasonic's HM-TA20 is decidedly average. It shoots decent video, but apart from the built-in video light it doesn't have a particularly class-leading feature set. It's a different story when the headline features of waterproofing and shock resistance are taken into account. In this respect, the TA20 is clearly top of the pack, with the most confidence-inspiring locking mechanisms on the market, belying its budget pricing.
Good video quality
As a knockabout, point-and-shoot video camera, we thoroughly recommend the HM-TA20. It's ideal for a family holiday where it might get dropped by the kids, or for a surfing trip where it'll get dumped in the water and thrown in with sandy clothes. It's not the last word in picture quality, but this kind of device isn't supposed to be. It does its job, which is to take decent footage in any condition.
Chunky design and poorly implemented software
The Panasonic HM-TA20 is far from faultless and suffers from a chunky design and poorly implemented software. Still, if you have kids, are into water sports or just need a survive-all camcorder to take on holiday with you, it can be a reliable companion for your trips and is capable of producing decent looking videos and, if you shop around, can be found at a reasonable price.
Mediocre image quality and no tripod mount.
We're not sure how much Lady Gaga, Polaroid's creative director, was involved in the making of the X720, and there are no giveaway signs such as the chassis being made of raw meat. In most respects, Polaroid's X720 is a me-too product, with nothing particularly singling it out from the pocket Internet camcorder crowd. However, it does have one rather unique feature. Despite the added bonus of being waterproof, this camcorder costs just Â£70, making it one of the cheapest on the market.
Best size and weight, simple to use.
Genuinely impressive underwater, and sporting an excellent, rugged design thatâ??s perfect for trips and dips. The easy to use X720Eâ??s aquatic nature is matched by good value stills, and video that just about fulfils the brief for an occasional use gadget.
List of available accessories is far smaller than the competition
If you're in the market for an adventure cam, there are three reasons to consider the JVC Adixxion over the competition: its on-board LCD, the waterproof core, and its simple interface. The Adixxion won't get you video that looks as good as what the GoPro, Contour+2, or Sony Action Cam are capable of, and it doesn't have nearly as many features or controls, but it should fulfill the basic needs required by adventure-cam seekers.
Good high-def video capture at 1080p
To sum things up, the XA1's 1080p video that we shot and played back on a HD monitor was good, but not the best, sharpest video we have seen from a POV action cam (like the HD Ghost). Some of our still images seemed a bit soft, especially with distant subjects. This might be due to the single focus lens, or the modest 5MP resolution. The built-in Wi-Fi mode is awesome, allowing us to stream video to our smartphone or PC computer. On the downside, we can't view and record at the same time.
I also find the camera uncomfortable to hold, giving very little room for fingers without constantly, and accidentally hitting buttons (mainly, the silver side button), when held in the horizontal shooting position. If there was no issue with the sound playback mentioned above, I would have kept the camera and just trained myself to hold it differently, as well as learned to tolerate the lack of 'touch screen' responsiveness, but because of the playback sound issues, I'm sending it back.
Sturdy build and waterproofing
Sony's bloggies have never quite been the value option. If you want a decent waterproof pocket Internet camcorder, then Samsung's W200 is very keenly priced, Polaroid's X720 even more cost effective, and then Panasonic's HM-TA20 and Kodak's Playsport Zx5 are also both cheaper than the bloggie Sport. Features are also very limited, even for a camcorder of this type. But this is a typically solid Sony device, and of course image quality is top of the genre.
Shock and waterproof body
The Bloggie Sport won't challenge the pro-level video cameras in terms of features and quality, but its simple interface and sturdy, waterproof body is likely to appeal to families at the beach or the extreme sports enthusiast who regularly finds his or her camera submerged in water.
Decent video performance
The Sony Bloggie Sport is much like previous Sony pocket camcorders only a lot hardier. Waterproof and impervious to dust and (moderate) drops onto hard surfaces, you'll struggle to break it. It's simple to use, with barely any settings to tweak and one huge record button to kick off video although the touchscreen can be slightly unresponsive at times.
Good low light performance
With Cisco killing off its Flip camcorder line last month, the ultracompact camcorder market was left with some gaping holes to fill. Kodak's series of pocket-cams may be poised to take over a chunk of the Flip's former market, and, we must say, the waterproof PlaySport Zx5 is certainly a worthy heir. We liked the Zx5's predecessor (the PlaySport Zx3) enough to name it our best ultracompact camcorder of 2010, so it shouldn't be a surprise that we liked the Zx5 as well.
Full HD shooting
With the Playsport Zx5, Kodak has built on the excellent Zx3, and added standards-compliant dust and shock proofing. The result is a camcorder ready for a wider range of outdoor activities. The specifications and performance are otherwise very similar. So although the new model is a little more expensive, making it slightly worse value overall, it's the better choice if you want a cheap pocket camcorder able to resist the elements and a bit of rough treatment.
Isn't enough to make us fork out an extra £30 to £40 over the previous model.
It's hard to see what the Zx5 brings to the party that wasn't already offered by the Zx3. Both 1920x1080 video capture and image stabilisation were already included, as was the shoot and share option. The Zx5 has a dedicated Share button and DIS (direct image stabilisation) plus support for face-recognition. This isn't enough to make us fork out an extra £30 to £40 over the previous model.
Good video quality.
The Playsport Zx5 is a very versatile pocket camcorder,it not only takes sharp video but is designed to go underwater and take the odd fall off a table. Despite its sturdy build, the Playsport is sharply styled and not at all cumbersome to carry with you. The lack of a built-in USB plug and a lapse in autofocus top the very short list of quibbles with the Playsport Zx5, which continues Kodak's tradition of leading pocket camcorders.
Decent video quality
The PlaySport will probably not be used to make any award winning documentaries (or even a serviceable student film). But for its price it can't be beat as an adventure camcorder, and is more than acceptable as a pocket cam for less demanding users. Its video and image quality is on par with the rest of its class, and its superior build puts it above its competitors.
Rugged waterproof and shockproof specifications
The Kodak Playsport Zx5 is a fun little pocket HD video camera. Video quality is good for a camera of this size, and you can capture decent 5-megapixel images when needed. With a street price of $159.99 US, the Playsport is very easy on the pocketbook.
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