The HD Hero 3 Silver Edition continues to defend its crown as the first choice in action cameras, but expect it to be outclassed by the Black Edition.
The XA10 will be of interest to professionals and purists alike
The current king of consumer 3D camcorders
Innovative and a sharp looker, the Air Pro is a brilliant newcomer
A solid camcorder with a reasonable projector, all at a very fair price.
Smart visuals and easy online sharing make this a handy pocket cam, if not quite best in class
Top marks for footage, zoom and stabilisation, but bring a spare battery
Excellent interlaced footage for TV but the absence of 1080p@50fps is a blow
This hassle-free headcam is the easy way to capture the action
It’s all very well shooting hours of HD video on your camcorder, but ultimately you want other people to watch it. You could transfer it to a PC or Mac, edit it in Final Cut and burn a DVD, but that’s a lengthy process; far simpler to buy a Pogoplug Video (£200, pogoplug.com). The original Pogoplug was a Stuff favourite that let you access your home data via the cloud. The new model, out April 1, will still do all of that, but will also now transcode video to H.264 on the fly with no delay. The result? You’ll soon be streaming footage to web-connected devices and mobiles left, right and centre, with no need for fiddly conversion processes.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR
1. Storage The two most popular storage types are hard disks and solid state, either built in, on cards, or both. HDD camcorders can still offer more storage space but are larger and more vulnerable to bumps and knocks. Solid state is preferable in most situations, especially as prices of SDHC cards are dropping all the time.
2. Zoom Some models now offer up to 70x optical zoom, but most will have between 10x and 20x zoom. Remember to separate claims about optical and digital zooms. Digital significantly reduces picture quality, since all it does is expand the digital image that’s already been captured, rather than picking up more detail.
3. Stills If you want your camcorder to double as a stills camera, remember most are capable of producing only mediocre-quality photos. Loads of cameras can record HD video, though, so they’re a better bet if you want one do-it-all gadget.