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Group test: top 12 compact camcorders reviewed

Ranked and rated - the best holiday video cams

The latest camcorders are small, light, affordable and capable of shooting HD video. PC Advisor reviews 12 delectably diminutive devices.

Until a couple of years ago, a fairly so-so digital camcorder would set you back £400. And you'd end up paying twice that if you wanted to shoot in a convenient digital format rather than having to mess about with tapes and downloading from a fixed hard disk.

But that's all all changed, thanks to the take-off of flash video recording. FlipVideo's mobile phone-sized camcorders have led the charge for sub-£100 models, while the big guns such as Sony and Panasonic are producing stunning HD models in the £200 to £350 range. At the pricier end of the scale, Sony's soon-to-launch TG7VE GPS-enabled HD camcorder will cost £849. It will be one of the slimmest, lightest and most feature-laden models around.

But it's at the entry-level end of the digital video market that things are really shifting. Over the past year we've looked at some basic but robust models for as little as £35. There's even a Fisher Price camcorder if you're keen to head to the beach and let the kids do some filming of their own.

But there are some competent and pleasingly affordable models targeted at adults too. This means you can easily capture some decent video footage, and you won't have wasted precious recording media in the process. You can now shoot HD video and upload it to YouTube in minutes.

The latest lightweight, compact video cameras replace the tapes of old, committing imagery directly to built-in hard drives or, as seen here, removable media. The latter is typically provided with Secure Digital (SD) or higher-capacity SDHC memory cards.

NEXT PAGE: the future's tiny

Index:

  1. Ranked and rated - the best holiday video cams
  2. Compact camcorders: the future's tiny
  3. Compact camcorders: top 12 reviews
  4. Compact camcorders: conclusions

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