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HD Digital camcorders Comparative | Best Digital Video Camcorders HD

Updated on May 4, 2014

HD Digital Camcorders Comparative

Did you ask for HD video?

Today`s HD digital video recorders have increasingly lower prices and better capabilities... reason enough for a comparative review of the best six HD video recording devices in the market.

The ability to record video in high definition (HD) has become a standard feature on most camcorders available. But if you don`t feel the need for HD you can always find great Digital Video Cameras without this feature.

The purpose of this hub is to compare six different compact models from different brands and segments. All with HD video recording and digital recording to memory cards, hard disk or other internal memory.

Before purchasing any camera try to inform yourself as much as possible about their characteristics and remember to make a choice based on your needs and expectations.

Photo by vali_bv @ sxc.hu
Photo by vali_bv @ sxc.hu

Before showing the results I would like to remember that all the information was collected both on the brand's official websites, on several video HD magazines and relevant internet forums.

The parameters examined in the test are fundamental points to which you must pay attention.

Regarding the price, the cheapest HD cameras as a rule have more limitations but in some cases can also be the best choice.

When choosing which one to buy you must have your needs and expectations in mind. You don`t want to find yourself with the wrong camera, do you?

In the bottom of this page after every HD digital video camcorders has been presented you will find those with best performance as well as those whith the best quality/price ratio.

ContourHD video demo

Best HD helmet-cam! Make great Full HD onboard videos!

ContourHD 1080p Helmet Camera
ContourHD 1080p Helmet Camera

* Full HD Recording (1080p) - 1920x1080 pixels - 30fps

* 5 Megapixel Sensor

* Internal Microphone

* Removable Lithium-Ion Battery; records up to 4 hours

* Aluminum and Fiberglass Water Resistant Body

 
Click thumbnail to view full-size
JVC GZ-HM550 High Definition Camcorder
JVC GZ-HM550 High Definition Camcorder

Elegant Full HD memory camcorder with dual memory of 32GB internal Flash memory/SD card featuring 10.62M Back-illuminated CMOS, Real 9.3 Megapixel Stills with no interpolation, Built-in Bluetooth Wireless Technology, Advanced Image Stabilizer, "Super LoLux" for brighter shooting in low light and unique shooting functions

 

JVC HD Everio GZ-HM 550

This camcorder from JVC HD it is somehow contradictory and unbalanced.

The Everio is one of the most expensive in this test but it`s not equipped with touch screen.

Instead, the available screen is surrounded by holes and a kind of trough, technology-based laser touch operation.

It is up to the user using these commands to navigate throughout the content and make selections. Even when the screen is turned off it resets itself and keeps all the features (as happens in other screens from the test) although the physical buttons remain upside down.

Note that the display of this equipment is filled with too much information.

The JVC HD Everio GZ-HM-550 has HDMI connection and Bluetooth, but it is somewhat slow to start.

In the box you can find a command just like the Sony`s. The Everio has a sturdy body featuring flash and lantern.

Also has a button Upload/Export to transfer content directly to the internet.

The On button is also used to obtain data on the memory usage.

Despite the high price some features of the GZ-HM-550 fall short of adequate and the quality achieved in videos and photos is only average.

Sony Handycam HDR-CX 150

Very similar to the other Sony, the CX150 is more compact and functional with all the commands at your fingertips.

It is also noted that this device is very quick to start allowing you to start recording fast enough every time it`s necessary.

There are several common features in both Sony models featured here. For example, the fact that the screen remains virtually empty during the operation: on one side, there are only the virtual buttons for zooming and recording but the rest just tap the screen to let other elements appear.

Other features are the good performance of the zoom, the button for instant content recording on a predefined support and input to the optical memory card located at the base of the body.

In addition, there is the tactile screen quality, good robustness, ease of operation and stability.

Given the features there is something strange: a button located next to the lens opens and closes the protection.

The quality is good in photographs and videos but could not get the same level as his sister especially in the interior shots.

Canon VIXIA / Legria HF S200

Canon Vixia/Legria HF S200 has bring the consumer closer to the professional - recording high definition video very quickly into two removable SD memory cards (SDHC).

Capturing 1920 x 1080 videos you will get full HD from lens to screen.

The high quality genuine Canon 10x HD Video Lens allows bright, sharp and detailed videos with good color and contrast.

It has a good image stabilization thanks to Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization from Canon.

Even in low light conditions this camera will offer good images as well as good quality photography.

Thanks to its low power consumption rate this camera`s battery duration will allow you to record for about 1h30m.

Panasonic HDC-SDX1

This device from Panasonic has an extremely quick start, beating the remaining models.

But there are several other good points to highlight: it is very light, the screen has good tactile quality, the menus are simple and intuitive, zooming provides reasonable results and the battery barely protrudes from the body.

That said, there is also several drawbacks including the fact that there is no internal memory in a camera that cost about $500 USD.

Also negative is the fragile aspect of the material that constitutes the structure of the HDC-SDX1, the screen being filled with too many elements whose utility is aborted.

Thinking of video cameras with HD technology the existence of a knob next to the lens to open and close protection it is a bit strange. Supported by the side belt the layout of more immediate controls is very functional.

Curiously, although the screen is tactile on one side it displays four physical buttons, to shoot video, access the Menu and zooming, expansion and the volume controls.

Another curiosity is the inclusion of two light sources: a flash and a flashlight.

As for the quality of captured pictures and videos, they are average but not too much.

Samsung HMX-H205 BP

Samsung can score points by being the only company to introduce a model with recording technology with SSD support (solid state drive) in this case providing 32 GB.

The SSD storage systems have several advantages such as speed of access and data security being less resistant to sudden movements, there is less risk of losing or damaging the camera recordings in case of fall.

It also offers a lower power consumption which helps in battery life.

It has a fast engine and it`s possible to start filming very quickly after turning it on.

Robustness, though short of the Sony, and a good quality display are highlighted.

Like the Panasonic the tactile screen has four physical buttons on the side to record video, access the Menu and zooming, expansion or the volume control.

Unlike most of the other cameras there is no flash or flashlight.

This is yet another model with the odd choice of a switch to open and close the lens cap.

The quality of images and photos is average.

Sony Handycam HDR-CX 300

Usefulness of the side belt, with regard to usability and security, is demonstrated when using this model which is the heavier in this review and also one of the most expensive.

Sony Handycam HDR-CX300 wins the robustness of the body and the dimensions prizes but its portability is more constrained.

Another important characteristic in this camcorder is the excellent quality of the tactile screen which displays rich images with good definition.

One can hardly press the button to toggle between modes using only one hand due to its location above the very prominent battery and dimensions of the device.

The main menus are simple and intuitive and you can define your menu as to the elements you find most useful.

More advanced users have at their disposal more complex options.

However, when it goes into full menus you should be able to select the icon of the settings area you want and not having to scroll through a list to get where you want.

Being more attractive to advanced users this Sony is quick to start, easy to operate and provides footage with great stability.

Moreover, the photos and videos stand out for quality.

The Best Ones!

Best performance:

  • Sony Handycam HDR-CX 300

and

  • Canon VIXIA HF S200 / Legria HF S200

----------------------------------------------

Best quality/price ratio:

  • Samsung HMX-H205 BP

and

  • Sony Handycam HDR-CX 150

=============================================

Conclusions:

I had several Sony camcorders in the past (High8, miniDV) and although they never last as much as I would like (for life) they always delivered good performances and justify their prices.

So I`m not surprised with the results and would recommend Sony`s HD Digital Camcorders to everyone.

Of course, depending on your needs, you will find both Canon and Samsung as good choices as well.

Comments

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    • funride profile imageAUTHOR

      Ricardo Nunes 

      7 years ago from Portugal

      Hey Vikas, nice to meet you. Which camera do you own? Is it HD? Thanks for sharing your opinion ;)

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