These little miracles of technology are now better and cheaper than ever. But you have to shop around to find the best buys.
Travel essentials: Mini-camcorders
Canon Legria HFS21
The simple part of buying a top of the range mini-cam is that you have only two key names to consider: Sony and Canon. Between them, they make the best. And among newish models this is the one that makes pro film makers smile in approval: a full HD CMOS sensor, a built-in 65GB memory allowing 24 hours of continuous filming, a 3.5-inch touch screen, image stabilisation even at telephoto zoom, 8MP stills and - well, visit the website and you'll be sold, despite the price. Costs £999 (Dh5,778) at www.canon.com.
Flip Mino HD
For people frightened of technology, the Flip is a revelation - a thing of foolproof point-and-shoot simplicity. Press one button to turn it on. Press another to start recording. You can film for two hours. Then, when you want to watch what you've shot, a built-in USB port flips out to plug into your computer. The video quality - always a weak point with earlier Flips - is much improved. And, unlike phone cameras, it's notably good in low-light situations such as parties. Costs £180, (Dh1,041) at www.theflip.com.
Toshiba Camileo S20
Light and skinny with a 17mm body - small enough to slide into your back pocket - and a three-inch screen, this packs in an extraordinary number of features, from a slow-motion option right down to a motion sensor setting. You also get a boxful of accessories, including a mini USB charger, USB/HDMI cables, a pouch and cleaning cloth. The downside: cluttered controls and a complicated interface. Great for geeks, in other words. Costs £99 (Dh573) at www.toshiba.com.