Looking for an inexpensive, highly portable and easy to use video camera? Pocket camcorders make an excellent choice for consumers looking to record web-friendly videos without worrying about a lot of technological bells and whistles. With Flip no longer in the market, you're choices are a bit more constrained but there are still plenty of models worth a look.
We've examined a range of pocket camcorders and have selected the top models for the year below.
Kodak's Playsport Zx5is a pocket camcorder that's waterproof to a depth of 10 feet with a rubber trim that girds it against short falls and bumps. This $179 camcorder is inexpensive, lightweight and delivers 1920 x 1080p HD video recording. While it offers good specs for the price, it doesn't boast as many features as a traditional camcorder (such as an optical zoom, large LCD, advanced exposure controls). Still, it's easy-to-use and takes decent still photos as well.
Sony's Bloggie Touch (MHS-TS20) is unique among pocket camcorders - it's held horizontally, like a digital camera. This unique grip delivers a big benefit - you can use the entire 3-inch touchscreen LCD to preview your videos. Alongside excellent video quality and a decent feature set, the Bloggie is well worth consideration. It's sold in an 8GB (four hour) version for $199 or a 4GB (two hour) version for $179. Since there's no memory card slot for adding additional recording capacity, we'd suggest springing for the 8GB version.
The Panasonic HM-TA1 offers a few nice feature most other pocket camcorders don't: it doubles as a Web camera for Internet video chats using services like Skype. The camcorder records 1920 x 1080 HD video and has a sharp-looking design. It can snap 8-megapixel photos too - although don't expect it to serve as a replacement for a standalone still camera.
JVC is not a major player in the pocket camcorder market, but the colorful GC-FM2A does offer SDXC card capability so it offers longer recording times than many pocket models on the market. The rest of the specs are fairly routine: 3-inch touch screen display, 4x digital zoom and digital stabilization with a price tag of $179.