Pocket Camcorders Promise Simple Video

December 12, 2009 12:00:00 AM PST
YouTube makes it easy to put your videos up on the web. In fact, 20 hours of video are uploaded every minute to the site. And now pocket camcorders are popping up on many people's Christmas wish lists.Thirteen-year-old Jack Alexander loves to shoot home movies with his Flip Video Camera. He says it's more convenient than a regular camcorder. "It's not like a really big thing you need to tug around with you. It fits right in your pocket."

Consumer Reports checked out 14 different pocket camcorders, all priced $200-dollars or under. Included were ones from Flip, Sony, and And Kodak. Testers evaluated both video and audio quality.

"They don't compare well to full-size camcorders in terms of video quality, or even audio quality. But for their convenience and size, you can't beat them," said Elias Arias with Consumer Reports.

And then there's the newest iPod Nano that lets you shoot video. "Compared to other pocket camcorders, the iPod Nano's video is as good as the best we've seen in pocket camcorders. However, the audio begins to distort as it gets louder," said Arias.

Testers found all the devices make shooting videos nearly foolproof. And once you're done shooting, you can easily connect the camcorder to your computer, where you can save, edit, and share videos.

Consumer Reports says the Pure Digital Flip Video Ultra HD for $200-dollars had the best video quality and is the easiest to use.

Or consider the Kodak ZI-8 for $180-dollars. Along with decent video quality, it has some great features, like image stabilization and an audio input that lets you adjust your recording levels.

If you find the pocket camcorder too small and want a real video camera, Consumer Reports says consider the Sony Handy Cam for $250-dollars. It will still fit in your pocket, and while it only shoots standard definition, the video quality is better than all of the high-definition pocket camcorders. It also has a zoom lens, unlike many pocket camcorders.


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