SD and HD video camera reviews

Compare test results, features and functions to find the best SD or HD camcorder
 
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  • Updated:25 Jul 2009
 

03.Product profiles

Product profiles - what to buy

The top models in both standard and high definition are profiled in rank order. Prices are recommended retail, as provided by manufacturers in June 2009.

Standard definition models

Panasonic NV-GS330

Price: $989
miniDV system

Good points

  • Good picture quality for video and good optical image stabiliser.
  • Very good start up time.
  • Best audio performance.
  • 143 minutes recording time.
  • External battery charger.

Bad points

  • Small optical zoom range.
  • No video lamp or photo flash.

Canon FS10

Price: $699
Memory card system

Good points

  • Good picture quality for video and good optical image stabiliser.
  • Excellent battery performance.
  • Easy to use.
  • Good set of video applications.

Bad points

  • Poor autofocus performance in low light.

Canon FS100

Price: $699
Memory card system

Good points

  • Good picture quality for video and good optical image stabiliser.
  • Excellent battery performance.
  • Easy to use.

Bad points

  • Poor autofocus performance in low light.

High definition models

Sony HDR-HC9

Price: $1599
miniDV system

Good points

  • Very good image quality.
  • Very effective optical image stabiliser.
  • Very good start up time.
  • Full size HDMI connection.

Bad points

  • Wind filter not very effective.
  • Slow to start up in still photo mode.

Canon HF10

Price: $1,699
Memory card system

Good points

  • Good picture quality for video when optical image stabiliser is used.
  • Very good start up time.
  • Quiet operation with very little motor drive noise.

Bad points

  • Poor wind filter efficiency.

Canon HF100

Price: $1,499
Memory card system

Good points

  • Good picture quality for video when optical image stabiliser is used.
  • Very effective optical image stabiliser.
  • Quiet operation with very little motor drive noise.

Bad points

  • Significant shutter delay in still image mode.

Product profiles - the rest

Standard definition models

JVC GZ-MG630

Price: $237
HDD system

Good points

  • Very good start up time in still image mode.
  • Excellent battery performance.
  • Quiet operation with very little motor drive noise.

Bad points

  • No optical image stabiliser.
  • Poor autofocus quality when panning in wide angle.

JVC GZ-MS120


Price: $237
Flash memory system

Good points

  • Excellent battery performance.
  • Very good start up time.
  • Quiet operation with very little motor drive noise.

Bad points

  • No optical image stabiliser.
  • Poor autofocus quality when panning in wide angle.

Panasonic SDR-S26

Price: $237
Flash memory system

Good points

  • Very good start up time.
  • Quiet operation with very little motor drive noise.

Bad points

  • Poor autofocus quality when panning in wide angle.
  • Zoom operation noise is noticable.

Flip Video ultra series

Price: $237
Flash memory system

Good points

  • Excellent battery performance.
  • Very good start up time in video mode.
  • Very good autofocus in low light.
  • Good video applications built into the model.
  • Quiet operation with very little motor drive noise.

Bad points

  • No optical zoom.
  • No optical image stabiliser.
  • No still photo mode.
  • Poor image quality indoors and outdoors.

High definition models

Panasonic HDC-SD20

Price: $1499
Memory card system

Good points

  • Good picture quality for video when optical image stabiliser is used.
  • Very good start up time.
  • Quiet operation with very little motor drive noise.

Bad points

  • Poor wind filter efficiency.
  • No mic input.

Sony HDR-XR200

Price: $1499
Memory card system

Good points

  • Good picture quality for video when optical image stabiliser is used.
  • Very good start up time in video mode.
  • Quiet operation with very little motor drive noise.

Bad points

  • Significant shutter delay in still image mode.
  • No mic input.

Canon HV30

Price: $1499
Memory card system

Good points

  • Good picture quality for video when optical image stabiliser is used.
  • Very good start up time.
  • Quiet operation with very little motor drive noise.

Bad points

  • Significant shutter delay in still image mode.
  • Zoom operation sound is noticable.
 

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