MiniDV is currently the most popular format for consumer digital camcorders. MiniDV camcorders are typically more affordable than their HDD and DVD counterparts. Each MiniDV tape will typically hold an hour of footage at normal recording speed and quality.
MiniDV tapes are available for purchase at not only electronic and camera stores, but also at drugs stores and grocery stores, making them easy to find while your on vacation.
This list is for 2006. You can read the updated 2007 list here.
The Canon ZR600 has a 25x optical zoom, and a reasonably sized 2.7 widescreen LCD. The camcorder has a variety of pre-set shooting modes to help you shoot the best video possible in different lighting conditions. Pre-programmed modes include portrait, night, beach, snow, spotlight, and fireworks. This is a great easy-to-use camcorder that is perfect for first time camcorder users as well as seasoned professionals.
This compact camcorder by Sony is perfect for someone looking for a easy to use digital camcorder. The camcorder has a 33x optical zoom, a 2.7 LCD screen, and digital still mode. One interesting feature of this camcorder is its ability to record mpeg-4 video clips that can be recorded and then transferred to your computer easily through USB.
This sleek digital camcorder has a 30x optical zoom, digital still option, and a built-in light. One thing that makes this Panasonic camcorder stand out form its competition is its joystick controller, which is used to navigate through the camcorders menu.
The Elura 100 by Canon has a 20x optical and 8000x digital zoom, as well as a 1/5 CCD for high quality video. The Elura 100 has a variety of built-in shooting modes for different lighting conditions, as well as a variety of built-in special effects. This Canon camcorder is great for someone who wants a lot of different features, but doesnt want to spend a lot of money.
The HV10 by Canon is an excellent compact camcorder that allows you to record high-definition video while on the go. The camcorder has a 10x optical and 200x digital zoom, a 2.7 LCD, and a 2.96 megapixel still camera , all in its 2x4, 16oz body. This camcorder is perfect for someone who wants the quality of HD video in a camcorder that is easy to take with you where ever you go.
The HDR-HC3 is an excellent consumer grade high-definition camcorder. This Sony camcorder records high-definition video and can take 4 megapixel still photographs. The camcorder has a 10x optical and 80x digital zoom, a 2.7 LCD screen, and a 1/3 CCD. This camcorder great for someone who wants an HD camcorder, but isnt ready to purchase a professional camcorder model.
For camcorder users who want to take their video to a professional level, the HDR-FX1 is an excellent choice. This Sony camcorder records high-definition 1080i video, as well as standard video onto MiniDV tapes. The camcorder has a professional-quality Carl Zeiss lens, 3 CCDs, manual zoom and focus and a 3.5 LCD screen.