Camcorders offer a broad range of features, and an even broader range of prices.
Technophile: Lights, camcorder, action
Canon Vixia HF G10
The build The HF G10 is built for performance. Though only 15 centimetres long, it weighs in at a not insubstantial 540 grams. However, it jams a lot of features into its chassis.
The specs The G10 sports dynamic range and an impressive lens and pixel-sensor means video in low light should be fine, with few, if any artefacts, once the settings are appropriately adjusted. It boasts a 200x optical zoom, automatic white balancing and a 2.37 camera sensor resolution.
The focus If most of the above specs sound like a foreign language to you, the feature-rich and somewhat expensive HF G10 is probably not the best choice. But if you're a consumer shooter who likes to take production-quality videos, this camera is built to help you make a strong impression.
The build This sturdy smartphone-sized pocket video camera is just 11 centimetres long and weighs a mere 145 grams. It comes with a two-inch LCD for video playback and its lithium ion battery can deliver about 90 minutes of recording time before it needs to be recharged.
The specs The Playsport is built for ease of use, so the camera settings are pretty basic, with a top recording quality of 1080p. Options include a 4x optical zoom and a sensitivity controls for the built-in microphone.
The focus This pocket video camera packs quite a punch given its diminutive profile and cheap price. It's also waterproof, meaning you can take photos underwater at depths up to three metres. A great choice for the beach and at such an affordable price, it won't ruin your summer holiday if gets lost behind a dune.
Sony Handycam HDR-CX130
The build This more traditional Sony Handycam is built to last, though it is only about 22 centimetres long and weighs just 250 grams. It certainly won't tire your arm during marathon "baby's first birthday" filming shoots.
The specs The CX130 has no built-in memory, so factor in the cost of a memory card into the total price. However, other models in this class with built-in memory are probably less affordable. It features a 2.7-inch LCD viewfinder and can shoot 1080p video.
The focus The HDR-CX130 is a solid choice for video in good light, but might not hold up in dimly lit areas. It's highly automated and easy to use, though picky videophiles might not be satisfied with the results.