Camcorders in focus: HMX E10, HDC-SDX1H, Xacti CA100 and iPhone 4

By Amanda McGahan,

Camcorders have long been a family favourite and manufacturers are constantly looking for new features to set themselves apart from the competition. We thought we’d look at a few recently released camcorders to see some of these new features.

Firstly, why buy a camcorder at all when you have a smartphone like the iPhone4, which can shoot HD video? The iPhone 4 shoots video in 720p and has a pretty amazing lens, making it a serious option for video, especially over a dedicated portable Flip device.

iPhone 4 Round Up

If however you want to capture all your holiday shots in Full HD then Samsung’s HMX E10 has recently been unveiled, which will not only shoot in Full HD but also has a 270 degree swivelling lens, enabling you to put yourself in the picture. It also has a built-in USB port meaning you can attach it to a computer without a USB cable. The HMX-E10 will be available at $199.99 from September at selected retailers. There has been no UK price announced.

Camcorders are currently competing on zoom, so you can achieve close-up images like never before. Panasonic’s HDC-SDX1H offers 23x Intelligent Zoom and is Panasonic’s lightest HD camcorder, (some say lightest in the world), weighing in at 50lbs with the battery and optional SD Card. It is Skype-enabled so you can make calls using it as a webcam and microphone.

There is also strong trend towards making sports-friendly camcorders as manufacturers make them tougher or waterproof. We recently covered the Sanyo’s Xacti CA100, which allows underwater HD filming. You can also get rugged camcorders, which will not shatter or have so much as a dent if you drop them, which are great if you are like me, clumsy as hell.

Camcorders are becoming more pocket-friendly and networking is becoming a common feature and all the cameras featured above allow for effortless uploading to Facebook and YouTube. Do any tempt you, or are there any exciting new cameras we’ve missed? Let us know!

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    The problem for dedicated camcorder manufacturers is that with phones like the iphone 4, they are going to lose a lot of camcorder buyers that could previously be described as casual users. If the iphone 4 is ‘good enough’ for the odd video, then this will take a huge number of people out of the low spec end of the market.