Not long ago, bulky camcorders with unwieldy and inconvenient video tapes were the only option on the market. Now, pocket-sized devices can give people the ability to take HD quality video using a camera that is not much bigger than a smart-phone. The best pocket camcorders provide picture quality and extra features that most larger camcorders can provide. And, since they have more memory than smart phones, pocket video cameras are more useful for people who want to shoot longer videos and even take still pictures.
Want a camera that can provide a lot of power and features and also fit in your pocket? Here are your best options.
The $200 Sanyo Xacti VPC-CG10 is one of the best pocket video cams on the market. This is a very uniquely shaped device. For people seeking a flip-style camcorder, this might not be the best choice, but for people who want power and features in a small package, the Xacti is one of the best options on the market. The Xacti has a pistol-like appearance, with a powerful lens sticking out of the top and a grip for smooth shooting. The larger lens means that users can get better performance when it comes to both digital and optical zoom, so they can shoot good pictures from farther away. The easy-grip design makes it simple to shoot with this camera, but it is the ability to zoom over longer distances that really makes the Xact stand out above the competition.
Another $200 option is the JVC PICSIO GC-FM1A. This device is sleeker than the Xacti, but lacks some of the zoom features. Nonetheless, it has a powerful camera that can take HD videos and still photos that have 8 megapixel quality. This image quality makes the PICSIO stand out, but its ultra-sleek size (it is about the same size as a smart-phone) may be the one trait that attracts the most people. The PICSIO comes in a variety of colors, so style-conscious videographers can get a device that is sleek looking and can take great videos.
Like smart-phones, pocket camcorders can be quite fragile and may not be able to stand up to rough conditions. The Toshiba Camileo, however, is built to handle the worst that Mother Nature can throw at it. The Camileo is waterproof and has a hard shell that means it can also withstand drops, cold weather, and even the occasional dunk underwater. This is a great tool for people on the go. The camera’s HD video quality is pretty good, especially considering it only costs $129, at the low end of the price range for HD pocket camcorders. The Toshiba Camileo can run for an hour to and hour and half before it needs to be recharged, so, like many pocket cams, it does have a limited battery life.
The $169 Sony Bloggie Duo HD Camera is another solid, sub-$200 entry into the market. Sony is known for its quality lenses, and the Bloggie is no exception. This device has 1080p HD quality video, a 270-degree rotating lens, and a battery life that is longer than most budget pocket camcorders (estimated at about 2 hours of shooting time). The biggest plus or this camcorder, however, is that shooters can add memory to it using an external drive. That makes it possible to store and shoot videos more easily without having to stop to upload a video to a laptop or other computer before continuing to shoot. Though not quite as full-featured as the top-of-the-line pocket cams, this is certainly a worthwhile choice for people in search of a useful pocket cam that has everything that a casual shooter would need.