Tuesday, August 24, 2010

New pocket camcorders sport features you've been wanting

I love my Flip cameras (I own several and use them for group training, among other things). They've brought intuitive, inexpensive and shareable video to the 21st century.  But every Flip owner I know yearns for certain features--and some competitors are bringing those to market in a new batch of light camcorders. 

That's the good news. The bad news: No one camera has all of the features.  Once you read this list of new options, I'm sure you will join me in wanting a camera that combines MP3 audio recording and an LED light for dimly lit settings and Skype and Eye-Fi and....well, you get the picture. Here are some new models that caught my eye:

  • JVC today announced two new Piscio pocket cameras, the GC-FM-2($179) and the GC-WP10 ($199), a waterproof model. You can choose from four resolutions for recording, up to full HD 1080p, and the cameras include image stabilization, time-laspse recording and robust editing functions and special effects that work with Macs and PCs. Both have SD card slots that are compatible with Eye-Fi cards, allowing you to share files on wireless networks, and a 3-inch touchscreen that JVC says you can even operate with gloves on. The waterproof model comes with an MP3 recorder built in. (Go here for a full list of specs.) These cameras can be pre-ordered now; they debut in mid-September.
  • Panasonic has a TA-1 HD camcorder enabled with Skype and iFrame with full 1080p recording, and the Skype includes both audio and video and connecting this camera to your PC makes it a webcam, if you wish.   There's also a built-in LED light for shooting in dim locations.
  • Sanyo scored this review on Gizmodo for the Sanyo VPC-PD2BK Full HD Pocket Movie Dual Camera, which I shared with you last week.  The review notes "The price for the VPC-PD2BK is only $170...It takes 10-megapixel photos, stereo sound recording, flash, SD/SDHC/SDXC card compatible, measures 2.48 x 0.87 x 4.36 and weighs 3.7 ounces. The 3X optical zoom also sets it apart."
  • Kodak, as reported here earlier, wins the tiny award for the Kodak Mini, which comes with an SD card and is compared to the size of a credit card (well, at least in one set of dimensions). It's the least expensive and smallest of the bunch.
With new models on the horizon, deals can be found on models that were hot just a few months ago--the formerly $179 Kodak Zi8can be had for $119, for example.  And if you plan on shooting some extreme sports like motocross or surfing, therelatively new category of wearable cameras for helmets, surfboards and more might be more your speed.

What ultra-light camcorder are you using these days? Do any of these tempt you away or toward a Flip camera? Share your preferences in the comments.

Check out don't get caught on Facebook, where I'm floating ideas and discussing them before they appear on the blog.  It's shaping up as a great networking community for communicators.

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