Friday, January 12, 2007
Buyer's Guide 2007: Digital Video Cameras
From DV tape to hard drives, today's cameras offer something for everyone
The Panasonic VDR-D300 records to DVD and will accept DVD-R, DVD-RW or DVD-RAM format discs. Discs can go right from the camcorder to a DVD player. It's a 3-CCD camera with a 10x optical zoom lens and optical image stabilization. The index screen allows you to easily edit and order your video clips right in the camera. It also captures 3.1-megapixel still images to an SD card and is PictBridge-compatible. List Price: $999.
Another hard-drive camcorder is the JVC EVERIO GZ-MG77U, featuring a single-chip image sensor with a 10x optical zoom lens. It also can take 2-megapixel stills and store them on the same 30 GB hard drive. You can organize and edit your clips right in the camera, creating playlists, and then send your video to a TV, VCR or JVC's ShareStation DVD burner (not included) for creating discs without a computer. You can also plug into your computer via USB cable to make use of the included DVD Creation software. The unit's "drop detector" instantly shuts down the hard dive if the camera senses that it's falling, protecting your video clips. List Price: $900.
The Sanyo Xacti VPC-HD1 Digital Media Camera is an ultra-compact video recorder that records to an SD memory card rather than to tape or recordable disc. The HD1 video is created using 720p HD Video Scanning (1280 x 760 Progressive) and compressed into an MPEG-4 file. The camera, which also features built-in image stabilization and wind-noise reduction, can capture video as well as 5.1-megapixel still images. The camera can record as much as 41 minutes of HD video on a 2 GB SD card. List Price: $799.
The Samsung VP-D963WI features digital image stabilization as well as built-in light and audio enhancements for high-quality picture and audio. Recording to standard miniDV cassettes, the camera also records video to a memory card (SD, Memory Stick Duo, Memory Stick Pro) installed in the camera's multi-memory card slot. List Price: $899.
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