New Canon R-Series Camcorders For 2017

Canon’s 2017 lineup of R-series camcorders are here. All three camcorders namely the Canon Vixia HF R80, R82 and the R800 carry quite similar lists of specs other than size of internal storage – The R-82 offers 32 GB, the R-80 has 16 GB, and the R-800 only has an SD card slot. The budget R-800 also doesn’t have Wi-Fi connectivity which the more expensive siblings have.

Canon Vixia 2017 Camcorders

Although prices remain largely unchanged Canon has improved on recording times, better back light correction in Highlight Priority Mode with more natural colors. In addition you get fast-motion recording options. All the new camcorders were updated with Flexible Slow and Fast motion recording, something coined by Canon in earlier models. This feature is no available for the budget R-series allows you to create fast and slow-motion effects onboard the camera. A very cool feature if you are into sports and creative videos.

This new lineup comes with 3.28-megapixel CMOS sensors with a zoom assist feature, optical image stabilization and a 3-inch touchscreen. In terms of recording times The VIXIA HF R82 leads the pack with 12 hours of internal recording time which is 6 hours more than the outgoing HF R72. When you insert in a 64GB SD card you’ll get a whopping 36 hours of recording time, more than enough for a long trip. If your budget is below $400 and don’t need such long recording times, the VIXIA HF R80 offers almost the same built-in features and comes with 6 hours of internal memory. The entry level VIXIA HF R800 record to SD cards only. All of these models has exceptional video quality for its price and are probably one of best mid-range camcorders on the market.

Here are the full reviews:

Here is a sample movie captured using the Canon VIXIA HF R82:

Capture The Best of Fireworks With 4K Video

fireworks

No festive celebration is complete without fireworks! And possibly the best way to capture these awesome bursts of light would be 4K video. While we would automatically try our utmost to channel the inner award-winning photographer in us and hit the camera capture button profusely, it might be wiser if we capture video at the best resolution available to us now – 4K.

With 4K video, the videos we capture (even on our smartphones) is remarkably sharp and lifelike. Not only will video allow us to relive the beautiful sights, it allows us to capture the boom boom boom of fireworks which we all know too well too. The added bonus of capturing videos of fireworks – we are still able to pull high-res still frames from the videos!

So the next time you want to capture great fireworks, think again and use that 4K video function that you have. In fact, celebrate the occasion by chucking that heavy tripod and use the highest frame rate you can get or even play around with the slow motion functions!

GoPro Updated Their Action Camera Range With Hero5 Models

The GoPro Hero 4 models launched 2 years ago revolutionized the industry and spawned many copycat models. Imitation is the best compliment like they say. To keep ahead of the pack, GoPro recently launched the 3 new models to cater to different budgets – GoPro Hero5 Black ($399.99), GoPro Hero5 Session ($299.99), GoPro Hero Session ($199.99).

GoPro hero5

The Hero 5 Session and the Hero 5 Black have quite similar features and specifications so you may not need to upgrade to the top model. Both are capable of shooting 4K videos at a frame rate of 30 frames per second. They are water resistant up to 33 feet without a housing. Each camera also has voice control. You need not worry about backups as your recordings are automatically backed up as part of the new GoPro Plus cloud-based subscription service. Audio is not compromised as stereo microphones are built-in. Also new are “professional grade” electronic, or digital, image stabilization which definitely helps in making playback more watchable.

If you are into extreme sports the more rugged Hero 5 Black would suit your needs. It comes with a 2-inch LCD touchscreen, features built-in GPS, and can capture RAW photos and Wide Dynamic Range videos. There are dedicated buttons for photo and video recording.

The Hero 5 Session takes 10-megapixel photos, and does not come with a screen, no GPS, and no RAW or WDR modes. The Session will still have GoPro’s ProTune video mode which allows you to capture a flatter image that is easier to color-correct when editing.

Read the full reviews here:

  1. GoPro Hero 5 Black Review (MSRP: $399.99)
  2. GoPro Hero 5 Session Review (MSRP: $299.99)
  3. GoPro Hero Session Review (MSRP: $199.99)

Sony’s 2016 Camcorder Lineup

Sony FDR-AX53

Fancy a 4K camcorder? While 4K is the new fancy schmancy resolution to own, many consumers are comfortable with just High Definition and do not see the need to move up to 4K. If you are one of those who still need to have a 4K prosumer camcorder, The newly released Sony FDR-AX53 is only the 3rd 4K camcorder to be released by Sony in the last two years. It comes packed with an all new 26.8mm ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T wide-angle lens and even lets you take 4K time-lapses amongst other cool features. Read the full Sony FDR-AX53 review here.

For a great HD camcorder, consider the new Sony HDR-CX455 that comes with a 26.8mm wide-angle lens, 30x optical zoom and is the cheapest video camcorder by Sony to own the Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system with 5-axis Intelligent Active mode. Other features include built-in Wi-Fi & NFC, 8GB of flash storage, a 5.1-channel microphone, Auto Wind Noise Reduction and My Voice Cancelling.

Folks with deeper pockets and a desire for a mid-range camcorder can consider the Sony HDR-CX675 which comes with 32GB flash storage and a class-leading 26.8mm G lens with 30x optical zoom. Read the full Sony HDR-CX675 review to find out more.

Canon Camcorders Lineup for 2016

Canon releases new camcorder models each year at the CES. This year, it announced three camcorders that are no strangers to us and are essentially a bump up from their predecessors – the Canon HF R70, Canon HF R72 and Canon HF R700.

Beginning with the cheapest of the trio, the Canon HF R700 is quite an upgrade from its predecessor, the HF R600. Despite its lack of Wi-Fi, NFC and internal storage, Canon decided to put in a battery with higher capacity for a better battery life, a new user interface and slightly better screen. New features include Zoom Framing Assist and Highlight Priority.

The Canon HF R70 is the mid-range model with 16GB internal flash drive and built-in Wi-Fi and NFC. And for about $50 more, you can buy yourself the Canon HF R72 which shares all the same features as the Canon HF R70 except that it comes with a bigger 32GB internal flash drive. Both these models bear the same Canon 3.28 Megapixel Full HD CMOS Image Sensor, DIGIC DV 4 image processor as their predecessors and dual memory card slots. New features include a high capacity battery for better battery life and improved LCD display amongst a few others.

Eye-Catching Polaroid Cube Gets An Update : Polaroid Cube+

Out of the corner of an email ad, this tiny ultra lightweight cube caught my eye – the Polaroid Cube. Touted as the world’s funnest, cutest lifestyle action camera in a tiny cubic package, the Polaroid Cube stands at just 35mm and yet, packs a punch in features. This tiny action cam is weatherproof, shockproof, mountable and is built to handle everything you can imagine. It comes with a 124° wide angle lens, records HD 1080p/720p video and captures professional 6MP still photos.

If you’re willing to shell out a bit more, you’ll be able to get your hands on the Cube+. Released earlier this year, the Cube+ adds Wi-Fi connectivity and works with a companion app for both iOS and Android. With this companion app, you will be able to use your phone as a remote or viewfinder. The Cube+ records high quality video in up to 1440p HD with image stabilisation and captures 10MP still photos.

Stay tuned for the full reviews.

Polaroid Cube+ Lifestyle Action Cam

Polaroid Cube+ Lifestyle Action Cam

Top 10 Camcorders

September 2017 Update

With a myriad of camcorder models and brands it is not easy to decide on one best that suits your needs. Here’s a list of top 10 camcorders selected based on picture quality, functionality, ease of use and value for money. You can use this as a starting point in making your buying decision.

1) Panasonic HC-X1

 

Panasonic HC-X1

Panasonic HC-X1

The HC-X1 is a 4K camcorder designed to supply nearly all the requirements of professional videographers. An example is its impressive Leica Dicomar zoom lens. At 20x to 24mm, it’s the widest angle in the industry and handles situations that send other camcorder owners scrambling for a wide conversion lens. It’s hard to describe the feeling that results when using the 480mm equivalent view video feature. This Panasonic product also eliminates the long hours spent on color correction because the camera’s programmed to handle that task. Genres such as reporting and independent film will be enhanced by the smooth video achieved with this system. The dual cards and recording capability are easier to achieve with the compact, light unit. Features may take a bit of practice, but the resulting professional product is well worth the time it takes to master them.

List Price: $3197.99

View Latest Offer on Panasonic HC-X1


2) Panasonic HC-WXF991

Panasonic HC-WXF991K

Panasonic HC-WXF991K

The HC-WXF991 is Panasonic’s new flagship consumer camcorder for 2016 and it offers some interesting weapons to combat other 4K camcorders in its class. It is the pinnacle of hand-held 4K video capture, featuring several in-camera cinema creative and editing solutions that enables you to capture amazingly sharp videos like a pro. For those without 4K display options, the WXF991 offers in-camera down sampling to 1080p Full HD displays. It also features multi-camera scene picture-in-picture recording via a second built-in camera, or add a Wi-Fi link to a mobile device camera to increase creative possibilities. It also offers one new upgrade that is lacking in the previous model, the addition of an electronic viewfinder.

List Price: $999.99

View Latest Offer on Panasonic HC-WXF991


3) Sony FDR-AX53

Sony FDR-AX53

Sony FDR-AX53

Sony unveiled the successor to the popular AX33 – the Sony FDR-AX53 but retaining the same price.  The Sony FDR-AX53 is slightly larger and combines 4K video recording and Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. It delivers sharp and clear HD videos that rivals the best we have seen. The biggest improvement that is the new ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T lens which now allows shooting video at 26.8mm wide-angle. The best thing about this improved lens is that the optical zoom for both 4K and HD has been doubled to a more acceptable 20x. . We found it easy to use in spite of having many features with the help of many automatic image and audio options for easy point-and-shoot operation.

List Price: $999

View Latest Offer on Sony FDR-AX53


4) Sony FDR-AX100

The Sony FDR-AX100 is the latest 4K Ultra HD camcorder aimed at the prosumer market. It is not cheap but what the image quality and feature set more than justify its price. Image quality from the newly developed Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens delivers true cinematic depth thanks to the 1.0″ Exmor R CMOS sensor. The FDR-AX100 records HD movies in the XAVC-S format, which uses MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 for video compression. Also captures high resolution 20MP still images. Connectivity with smartphones for One-touch sharing/One-touch remote has been simplified with Wi-Fi/NFC control.

List Price: $1698

View Latest Offer on Sony FDR-AX100


5) Canon Vixia HF G40

Canon made the Canon HF G40 for wedding videographers, student reports and amateur filmmakers. Some of the features that make this camcorder stand out from the rest of the more affordable lineup are the impressive 3.5-inch OLED display and electronic viewfinder. It also comes equipped with dual SD card slots as there is no internal memory. All that extra bulk makes the camcorder weigh about 1.7 pounds but the grip belt still makes the camcorder feel comfortable to use.

List Price: $1599

View Latest Offer on Canon HF G40


6) Panasonic HC-VX981

Panasonic HC-WX970

The HC-VX981 is the 2016 replacement of the VX870 and now serves as Panasonic’s most affordable 4K camcorder. It’s a great 4K Ultra HD camcorder with a Second lens that lets you record yourself during shooting. It does not really reinvent the wheel and retains a lot of the key specs including the 1/2.3-inch backlit sensor, LEICA Dicomar 20x optical zoom lens, wireless camera support, 3-inch touchscreen and overall look.  It comes with a useful control dial for comprehensive manual settings. The Leica Dicomar Lens captures sharp Video images in both HD and 4K. Records Full-HD at 120 fps and the Intelligent Frame Creation of the Crystal Engine interpolates to an equivalent of 240 fps for smooth slow motion. Also features 20x optical zoom and Panasonic’s 5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S.+ optical image stabilisation as well as other functions including HDR movie mode.

List Price: $899.99

View Latest Offer on Panasonic HC-VX981


7) Panasonic HC-W580

The HC-W580K is a direct successor to the HC-W570 and that really means that the older model had its fans and they really liked the idea of using another camera lens to do all sorts of creative stuff. That secondary camera makes a return to the Panasonic HC-W580K and remains as the selling point for this particular model. You won’t find any other Panasonic model in the 2016 series like this so owners can have a little bit of those bragging rights knowing that the prosumers have only one lens to work with.

List Price: $399.99

View Latest Offer on Panasonic HC-W580


8) Sony HDR-CX675

The HDR-CX675 is a Sony digital camcorder designed for people who need to record extra high-quality video while not needing some of the extra prosumer bulk that often makes these camcorders less portable. Not everybody needs a camcorder with manual controls so this is where the Sony HDR-CX675 looks more like a cost-effective alternative with the superior video quality to boot. Being part of the CX series, the HDR-CX675 doesn’t come with a projector which is something that a sizable audience sees as a solution looking for a problem. The key feature that makes the it really stand out from its lower priced siblings is its Sony G Lens. It may use the same BIONZ X image processor and Exmor R CMOS sensor as the $399 HDR-CX455 but this 46 mm makes all the difference when it comes to raw video quality.

List Price: $549.99

View Latest Offer on Sony HDR-CX675


9) Canon VIXIA HF R82

The Canon HF-R82 rounds out some of the best features introduced since Canon began the VIXIA line of camcorders. The company continually reviews and responds to customer suggestions and requests. The result is a yearly update that is either a huge change inspiring purchase of a new model or holding back in the event next year’s introduction has one or two items worth the wait. This is a year to consider adding the new camcorder to your family because of features like 32GB internal storage, a low price, and its comfortable, user-friendly operation.

List Price: $449.99

View Latest Offer on Canon VIXIA HF R82


10) Sony HDR-CX455

The Sony HDR-CX455 is the cheapest Sony camcorder to have the Optical SteadyShot image stabilization system with 5-axis Intelligent Active mode. 5-axis basically means that it tries to keep the video stable by compensating for vibrations in 5 directions. As a result, videos look smoother even when walking while recording video. Easily connect to an Android or iOS smartphone or tablet with Wi-Fi and the PlayMemories Mobile app to control the camcorder or instantly transfer, share movies and photos via your mobile device. NFC (Near Filed Communication) technology makes it even easier to connect to NFC compatible mobile devices with one touch.

List Price: $399.99

View Latest Offer on Sony HDR-CX455

New Streamlined GoPro HERO4 Session

GoPro has been busy innovating. Having earlier introduced the much improved HERO4 Black and HERO4 Silver version, they have just launched the Hero4 Session. What has set the action cam enthusiasts abuzz is the new form factor. GoPro apparently has placed more emphasis on the idea that “size matters”. Being lighter and smaller, it is more streamlined. It looks more like a cube than a rectangular box that everyone is familiar with.  It’s the most adventurous update in design, pun intended, we’ve seen from GoPro.

GoPro HERO4 Session

GoPro HERO4 Session

As you can see from the image above it has a smaller and lighter form factor which is most welcome among the community as it is more portable. This design opens up new mount locations previously not possible. There’s less drag or weight when mounting on bikes and helmets. The setback of being diminutive is that controls on the camera are extremely limited.

The feature set is interesting too.  The Hero4 Session shoots video up to 1080p at 60 frames per second (fps). Being 50 percent smaller and 40 percent lighter GoPro probably didn’t want to push the envelope at this point so it has omitted 4K, or even 2.7K modes that we see on the Silver and Black versions. As for photos, the HERO4 Session shoots in 8MP, or 5MP, with time lapse and burst modes.

Sony Shows Off New Camcorders at CES 2015

The theme for camcorders in 2015 is 4K. And price war for 4K camcorders are intensifying too. Panasonic unveiled new 4K camcorders at the CES. Not to be outdone Sony launched the new FDR-AX33 model. And prices are coming down too. It is a whopping $1000 off the FDR-AX100 launched at last year’s CES. It is smaller and lighter too.

In spite of its diminutive size. the Sony FDR-AX33 has a high-bitrate of 100Mbps used in 4K recording. It also incorporates Sony’s latest Balanced Optical SteadyShot (BOSS) image stabilization system. It is quirky to see the lens bobbing inside the frame to compensate for the shaking but it works. The Sony BOSS system stabilizes the entire lens unit, not just the sensor. Image stabilization. According to Sony this helps in getting a stable image in 4K video recording because of the huge amount of data that’s being processed. Advanced users will like the manual ring and buttons, which mimic pro-level camcorders.Watch how the lens literally “floats” in the body:

At $999 the FDR-AX33 shows that prices for 4K video cameras are beginning to come down. The AX33 is scheduled for February 2015 release. Watch out for our full review.

At the CES Sony also introduced four new Full HD camcorders. The Sony HDR-PJ670 (MSRP: $699) records 1080 at 60p, at 50Mbps in XAVC S. The HDR-PJ670 also uses BOSS stabilization. What it has is a built-in projector, a feature Sony has built into many of its Handycams. The HDR-PJ440 ($399) uses regular Optical SteadyShot. The HDR-CX440 ($299), is similar to the HDR-PJ440 but comes without the built-in projector. The entry level HDR-CX405 ($230) has a 30x optical Zeiss lens, but lacks the multi-camera control and Ustream support.

 

Panasonic Showcases 2015 Camcorders at CES

Top camera brands are showcasing their latest products at the recent CES at Las Vegas. Panasonic was indeed highly prominent in their displays and demos with a wide range of cameras and camcorders to retain their market share. Panasonic introduced 3 new 4K and Full-HD camcorders namely the:

  1. Panasonic HC-W570 (RRP $449)
  2. Panasonic HC-V270 (RRP $299)
  3. Panasonic HC-V160 (RRP $229)

All three models come with a improved 2.2MP back-lit sensor (BSI). The HC-W570 and HC-V270 models have a 28mm wide angle lens while the HC-V160 has a more restricted 32.3mm wide angle lens. The higher range models also have 50x optical zoom lenses, whereas the HC-V160 has a 38x optical zoom lens. Also, the W570 and V270 feature five-axis HYBRID OIS+.

Another innovation is what Panasonic calls it as the Twin Camera. It features a rotatable second camera on the side of the LCD screen. . This camera can shoot different angles capturing two scene simultaneously and layers the images onto one file with a Picture-In-Picture (PIP) effect.

New 4K High-End Camcorders

Panasonic 4K FHD camcorders

For higher end prosumers, Panasonic added the HC-WX970, HC-VX870, and HC-V770. These top models are equipped with 4K Video Recording and 4K Photo model. Featuring a 4-Drive Lens System, the HC-WX970 and HC-VX870 models enable 20x optical zoom in 4K resolution. Movie making can be even more creative with the addition of High Dynamic Range (HDR) Movie capability. We believe this is a first in the world of consumer camcorders.

Likewise the HC-WX970 has a Twin Camera. Price-wise the HC-WX970, HC-VX870, and HC-V770 retails for $999, $899 and $599 respectively.

GoPro Hero4 Black Holds Onto Top Spot In Its Category

GoPro Hero4 Silver

GoPro Hero4 Silver

GoPro certainly took the action video world by storm when they first launched years ago. Today, they continue to wow consumers with their niche range of products, only further solidifying their number one position in the action camcorder category.

Once again, the GoPro Hero4 Black delivers the best-in-class video with resolutions of up to 4K at 30fps or 1080p at 120fps, delivering smooth video even when shooting fast-moving scenes. Its processor is twice as powerful as its predecessor’s and with a high 60Mbps recording bitrate, together with the wide assortment of mounting options available, it sure makes one tiny yet powerful camera.

For a $100 less, consumers can go for the GoPro Hero4 Silver which would more than suffice for most. It even comes with a built-in touchscreen! Folks, on the other hand, who only want the best, will find that the Black the only way to go!

Canon Launches All New Canon EOS C100 Mark II HD Video Camera

Canon EOS C100 Mark II HD Video Camera

Canon EOS C100 Mark II HD Video Camera

Look out for the new Canon EOS C100 Mark II HD Video Camera in stores now! Recently launched, this all new lightweight, compact HD video camera boasts improved image quality, basic performance and operability to satisfy a wide range of user needs.

This successor to the widely acclaimed EOS C100 is the first Cinema EOS System camera to employ Canon’s DIGIC DV 4 imaging platform for accurate color reproduction and high image quality performance with reduced noise, especially when shooting in low-light conditions. It also allows users to take advantage of Canon’s wide lineup of interchangeable EF lenses for EOS SLR cameras, as well as the EF Cinema Lens lineup.

The new Canon EOS C100 Mark II supports a wide range of shooting styles and includes a variety of advanced wireless network functions, including a Browser Remote feature that allows users to wirelessly operate the camera via a web browser using a smartphone, tablet or other mobile device.

GoPro Ups the Game With The New Hero4

Consumers and investors alike are going over the moon with GoPro. Not only are GoPro’s innovative action camcorders flying off the shelf, it’s newly listed stock are also flying up to all time highs.

But competition in this actioncam segment is getting hotter than ever with many brands jumping on the bandwagon. So it’s about time for GoPro to step up its game. GoPro recently announced 3 brand new models:

1. Hero4+ Black ($499),
2. Hero Silver ($399),
3. A brand-new model simply called Hero ($129.99)

The HERO4+ Black and Silver are the new flagships while the HERO is a budget entry level model ($129.99) that sits beneath everything else in their lineup.

GoPro HERO4

GoPro HERO4 Black

The top Hero4 Black features UltraHD 4K resolution at 30 fps, along with 1080p/120 high-speed video. Both Black and Silver models have some standard new features like a HiLight Tag feature which enables you to conveniently mark important moments while recording so you can quickly locate your best clips later for playback. It’s high quality Protune compression has been improved to provide higher-quality stills. Both cameras are able to shoot impressive 12-megapixel still images and up to 30 fps in continuous shooting mode.

The HERO4 Black also features SuperView, a GoPro-exclusive video mode that captures an immersive wide-angle perspective so you see more of yourself in action.

The new models are priced very competitively especially the new entry level HERO at $129. Competitors will find it hard to match this level of performance and innovation at this price. They will be available in three configurations with different mounts intended for music recording and surf/snow, along with the standard classic kit.

New Panasonic Camcorder With Twin Lenses

Imaginative new designs are the order of the day for camcorder manufacturers to always keep that competitive edge. Sony has tried it with projectors on theirs with lukewarm response, or Canon with the Legria mini for the sporting pedigree, and the plethora of rugged action cameras led by GoPro in recent years. Panasonic is trying something radical this time – Twin lenses!

Announced at this year’s CES, the Panasonic HC-W850, which is the flagship model in the 2014 range, comes with an additional camera lens mounted on the flip cover. Called Twin Camera for good measure, this new camcorder is able to capture simultaneous videos and display them picture-in-picture on screen. Trying to frame and take a good video with one lens is already a challenge. Doing it well with two might be too daunting for some. So it remains to be seen whether this will catch on.

Panasonic HC-W850

The twin lens setup has many advantages of course. The second lens sits on the edge of the flip-out LCD. It can be rotated to point in a completely different direction to the main lens. Taking a video of your son’s soccer game with the main lens while aiming the other lens to capture your facial expressions when he scores a goal will make an interesting watch. That calls for really steady hands and a good feel of your surroundings.

Videos can be recorded in either AVCHD 2.0 or iFrame / MP4 format. The AVCHD 2.0 options range up to 1080/50p at 28Mbits per second, while MP4 max out at the same resolution and frame rate of 50Mbits per second.

Wi-Fi is built in and it also comes with NFC which allows you to wirelessly transmit your video from your camcorder to the internet. With the “Panasonic Image App” you can control your camcorder from your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. New WiFi features like Home Monitoring allows you to monitor your soundly sleeping baby from another location.

A 4K Camcorder For Consumers Is Finally Here : Sony FDR-AX100

Sony FDR-AX100

Sony FDR-AX100

The first consumer 4K camcorder has landed! Sony launched the Sony FDR-AX100, an Ultra HD camcorder, last month. This lightweight camcorder uses a 1″ Exmor R® CMOS sensor with direct pixel readout to capture 4K/30p video that far exceeds HD resolution. The larger sensor improves the HandyCam’s ability to capture noise-free images, especially during low-light conditions.

Compared to the AX100 that was released late last year, the Sony FDR-AX100 is considerably more portable, with a 74 percent reduction in size and a 66 percent drop in weight. Other features include a BIONZ X processor, enabling full-resolution 4K shooting at 24p and 30p with XAVC S encoding, an optically stabilized Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens with 12x optical zoom and a seven-bladed aperture for some significant bokeh and an all new My Voice Canceling feature which reduces vocals from behind the camera.

The Sony FDR-AX100 is set to ship in March for $2000. We can’t wait to get our hands on it. Stay tuned for the full Sony FDR-AX100 review!

Ion Air Pro Plus : A Worthy Action-Cam Competitor

Ion Air Pro Plus

Ion Air Pro Plus

The Ion Air Pro Plus has been in the market for a while now and has certainly given GoPro a run for their money.

The Ion Air Pro Plus is really the standard Ion Air Pro with added Wi-Fi and app connectivity. Waterproof up to 30 meters and shock resistant, it even features a waterproof microphone that allows it to keep recording even when submerged. At the bottom of the Ion Air Pro, you will also find Ion’s Cam Lock system – a plastic clip attached to the base of the camera that allows easy attachment to and removal from the range of mounting options included with the Ion Air Pro Plus and Ion Air Pro Wi-Fi kits.

An ultra-wide angle lens with a 170-degree field of view puts it on par with its main competitors – the GoPro HD Hero cameras and ContourHD cameras. Its lens sits behind dome-shaped glass which Ion claims to let it shed water better for a clearer shot. However, protruding glass sounds like it is going to get scratched easier.

The Ion Air Pro sits smack between the GoPro’s ruggedness and water resistance and the Contour’s user-friendliness. With the ability to quickly snap a photo without having to stop recording or switch modes and its affordable price range, the Ion Air Pro shows it too has its own charms.

Create Music Videos With The All New Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder

Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder

Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder

Looking to create the next music television video hit? The Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder could be just what you need.

Designed to capture high-quality video and audio, this beautiful camcorder records Full HD 1920 x 1080p video at 30fps and LPCM or AAC stereo audio. It also comes with a 2.7″ LCD monitor, 16MP Exmor R CMOS image sensor and a wide-angle Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens with a 120-degree angle of view.

For great audio recording, the HDR-MV1 sports a 120-degree stereo X/Y microphone array, external microphone input, Audio Lip Sync functionality and a headphone jack for more accurate audio monitoring. Users can choose to record in 44.1kHz/16-bit LPCM format or the 48kHz/128kbps AAC format.

Most of all, the HDR-MV1 features built-in Wi-Fi with One Touch NFC, allowing users to use a compatible device as a remote control or remote monitor.

Sony seems to have covered its grounds here. Look out for the full Sony HDR-MV1 Music Camcorder review soon!

Sony Announces All New 4K Consumer Camcorder : Sony Handycam® FDR-AX1

Sony Handycam® FDR-AX1

Sony Handycam® FDR-AX1

Early September, Sony unveiled its first 4K consumer camcorder – the new Sony Handycam® FDR-AX1. Video enthusiasts can now look forward to capturing 4 times the resolution of regular HD content for expressive, powerful imaging with incomparable levels of clarity and exquisite color in every scene.

Equipped with a 60fps camera, 20x zoom range G lens and Optical Steady Shot, this consumer level 4K camcorder offers budding filmmakers cutting edge technology and image quality that has not been available till now.

With the Handycam® FDR-AX1, the masses can now enjoy top quality personal content creation.

Sony Launches Flagship Action Cam HDR-AS30V

With more and more action cams in the offing like the latest GoPro Hero 3+, Sony is not resting on its laurels. The new Sony HDR-AS30V is lighter and more portable than its predecessors. It is 35 per cent lighter and 25 per cent smaller and packs in more features like GPS, Wi-Fi and NFC plus a f2.8 wide angle Zeiss Tessor lens boasting a 170-degree field of view. It also has a back-lit Exmor R CMOS sensor, which captures more light for a better HD image. All that in a housing that weighs a mere 90g. You get a choice of various recording mode for fast-moving or slow-mo for capturing more details. It shoots high definition videos down to a depth of 60m.

Sony HDR-AS30V

Still image capture is a good 11.9-megapixels but do not expect this to replace your DSLR in terms of picture quality.

As a ubiquitous standard in such new devices Wi-Fi capability is built-in so it’s easy to connect your smartphone. This also enables the HDR-AS30V to link to the optional RM-LVR1 Live-View Remote which looks like a waterproof wristwatch-style controller that allows hands-free operation.

A huge range of optional accessories like the AKA-CMH1 Chest Mount Harness and BLT-UHM1 Universal Head Mount Kit are available to cater to the extreme conditions that this action cam is made for.

The Sony HDR-AS30V retails for $299.99. Read the full Sony HDR-AS30V review here.

Halfords Nextbase In-Car Dash Cameras Released

Halfords Nextbase 402G Professional In-Car Dash Camera

Halfords Nextbase 402G Professional In-Car Dash Camera

There is an all new line of dash-cams in town! Halfords has released their new Nextbase range of in-car dash cameras that is set to give drivers the ability to reveal the truth behind car accidents.

These in-car dash cameras offer drivers a means to produce evidence of how an incident occurred and who is at fault. On the other hand, they also offer a range of useful additional features to suit each driver’s needs.

The Nextbase range consists of 3 cameras – the Nextbase 202 Lite, Nextbase 302G Deluxe and Nextbase 402G Professional.

The Nextbase 202 Lite is the most basic of the cameras and packs a 1.3-megapixel CMOS sensor, a 120-degree wide angle camera and built-in microphone. It films video in AVI format and sports a 6.85cm display with a 1280 x 720 pixel screen.

The Nextbase 302G Deluxe comes with infra-red night vision, GPS logging and a 3-Axis G-sensor to record impact direction and acceleration. And of course, the top of the range Nextbase 402G Professional comes with a 1920 x 1080 pixel screen, HD light-sensitive chip with WDR (wide dynamic range) technology and much clearer video footage in MOV format.

GoPro Updates its Hero Range With The New Hero 3+

GoPro, the pioneer of action camcorders, has updated its popular Hero3 with a smaller, sharper, faster version now called Hero3+. They have just made one of the world’s best-selling compact action camera and made it better. Most notably the Hero3+ is significantly lighter and smaller while at the same time increasing battery life by a massive 30%.

GoPro HERO3+

The lens went through a major upgrade and is now 33% sharper according to GoPro’s press release. Also new are some exciting features like SuperView.  The HERO3+ shots from a wider angle perspective allowing you to capture more of yourself and the surroundings resulting in a more captivating and engaging footage.

There are 2 editions: The Black and the Silver priced at $399.99 and $299.99 respectively. The top of the range GoPro Hero3+ Black Edition captures high-resolution, high-frame rate 1440p48, 1080p60, 960p100 and 720p120 video modes as well as 12MP stills at 30 frames per second. The HERO3+ Silver Edition has a lower frame rate of 1080p60, 960p60 and 720p120 and 10MP stills at 10 frames per second.

Low light performance is also enhanced. Auto Low Light mode intelligently changes frame rates based on lighting conditions. What is full action video without the cacophony of well recorded audio. Sound quality is also improved with an advanced wind-noise reduction technology keeps the audio clearer during high-speed activities. What more can we ask for.

Another Action Cam To Add To The List : Toshiba Camileo X-Sports

Toshiba Camileo X-Sports

Toshiba Camileo X-Sports

Sports enthusiasts will be pleased to find they have more options for action cams these days as compared to the days when there was only the GoPro. Toshiba has joined the action cam bandwagon with the release of its Toshiba Camileo X-Sports.

The Toshiba Camileo X-Sports is designed for action sports and comes with a waterproof housing that will allow users to take the X-Sports down to a depth of 60m and also plenty of mounting options for bikes, helmets, chest and so on.

The camera captures 1080p video at 60fps and owns a 12-megapixel CMOS sensor and a wide-angle lens to capture all the action. It also comes with a wrist remote that gives users basic controls, even while underwater up to a depth of 3m. Other features include an electronic stabilization system, being shockproof up to 1.5m, a 2-inch rear LCD display and USB and HDMI connections.

Stay tuned for the full Toshiba Camileo X-Sports camcorder review!

Garmin VIRB Action Camera Takes On GoPro

Garmin VIRB

Garmin VIRB

Garmin has announced its latest and its first 1080p action camera – the Garmin VIRB. With Garmin’s strength in developing military and aviation-grade kit for decades, the Garmin VIRB is certainly worth checking out.

Garmin seems to have taken the best of the GoPro and even overcome some of its weaknesses. The Garmin VIRB Elite comes with built-in Wi-Fi, accelerometer, altimeter, GPS and even shoots 1080p video, albeit at 30fps. It even comes with image stabilization, lens distortion correction and takes 16-megapixels stills. All this compared with the GoPro Hero3 Black that manages 1080p at 60fps and can take 4K video.

While the GoPro wins on frame rate and even sensors, the Garmin VIRB hits home with a whopping 3-hour battery life over the GoPro’s one hour and a half. It also gets points for having a built-in 1.4-inch Chroma colour display and HDMI output, allowing users to not only frame and watch video easily but also enjoy instant video playback on a big screen.

Garmin also infused its expertise with ANT+ sensors into the Garmin VIRB. Both VIRBs work with ANT+ sensors and allow users to link it to their heart rate monitors, cadence bike sensors, speed sensors and more.

For those who love water, the VIRB’s rugged casing has an IPX-7 rating which means it can be submerged up to 1 metre deep for half an hour. Those who wish to take it deeper can go for the dive case option.

Stay tuned for the full Garmin VIRB and Garmin VIRB Elite reviews!

Fancy A Wearable Camcorder?

Adventure seekers are out in droves in the summer biking, rock climbing, hiking, diving, and doing all sorts of outdoor activities. And more are documenting their adventures in video thus  action camcorders are growing in popularity. It’s nothing like re-living the adrenaline rush  in the comfort of the home.

GoPro and Contour are the industry’s first movers and many other major brands followed suit. Sony released the HDR-AS15 and Panasonic launched the new HX-A100 earlier this year.

The HX-A100 is slightly different from the typical POV camcorder. Instead of mounting it on a helmet, a ear hook is included so you can wear it around your ear and shoot hands. A “Multi-Mount” option is also available for attaching the camera to a helmet or backpack. It also comes with built-in Wi-Fi to broadcast live video on UStream. Videos are captured in full HD. You can upload video and images to social networks using your smartphone. A lot of thought is built into the design and it is made to deal with the harsh outdoor environment like being waterproof to depths down to 5 feet.

Panasonic HX-A100

Panasonic HX-A100

It has intelligent video sensors to automatically correct tilted images, while the Image Stabilizer suppresses blurring. This is essential for an action camcorder.  In dim lighting situations it is able to capture clear, low-noise videos. The slow motion capability is another useful feature.

The Panasonic HX-A100 is priced at $299.99 and is available in 2 colors – black and bright orange.

Source: Panasonic USA

Blogger Alert : Look Out For Canon’s Latest Vixia ‘Mini’!

VIXIA_Mini_5

Canon has pulled off the wraps on its latest Vixia camcorder – the Vixia mini. Targeted at bloggers, this mini camcorder is really a Full HD camcorder with an ultra-wide angle lens, built-in stand and flippable viewscreen that can be placed to show the action from the rear or front of the camera that is perfect for bloggers who love those pretty self-shots!

Not only can this ultra-wide angle f/2.8 lens capture video at 160-degrees and stills at 170 degrees, it’s 2.7-inch LCD touchscreen can also be tilted by up to 60 degrees to get the best shots when placed on a flat surface.

This feature-packed DLNA-compatible camcorder comes with a 1/2.3-inch CMOS sensor and Canon’s proprietary DIGIC DV 4 processing, a built-in stereo microphone and Wi-Fi connectivity on board, allowing users to upload video straight to YouTube and Facebook without the need for a computer.

Look out for the Canon Legria mini in stores soon and the full review here!

How To Get The Best Out Of The Canon Vixia HD Camcorder

The Canon Vixia HD Camcorder lets you get the best out of any situation with two different aspect ratios in varying quality levels with 3 different frame rates.

You can shoot in (16:9) widescreen or the traditional (4:3) aspect ratio. For frames per second you can choose from the 24, 30 progressive or the 60 interlaced frames per second for your video recordings.

canon-vixia

For starters, you can set your image quality to MXP with a 60i or PF30 frame-rate for a 1080p widescreen video with a standard frame-rate in North America. At such a setting, you can record close to 3 hours of video on the internal memory of the camcorder. If you do not wish to view it on the highest quality possible, you can change the quality to XP+ for double the recording time.

The Canon Vixia HD camcorder stores your videos in an AVCHD format which needs a software to convert the AVCHD file to a DVD or something useable. Software out there include iMovie or Final Cut Pro. The software aside, you need to connect your camcorder to the computer via the USB cable to access the files. Make sure to eject the USB drive before unplugging to avoid any possible complications with the files on the camcorder!

Glidecam Launches XR-500 Camera Stabiliser

Glidecam XR-500

Glidecam XR-500

Glidecam launched a most affordable Camera Stabiliser earlier in the year and it has some interesting features and potentially more value, making it decent competition to the Steadicam Smothee.

For a mere $100, users will get a camera stabilizer with a foam handle grip, a gimbal and a tripod-style mount. And unlike the Smothee which requires adaptors to attach various cameras, the Glidecam does not require any adaptors except your regular tripod mount. With the exception of the iPhone which requires a special mount at an additional $50.

The Glidecam XR-500 also features an extendable post and adjustable weights, giving users more control over the camera.

Samsung HMX- QF30 – An Affordable Digital Camcorder

Samsung has a foothold in many industries but ‘video camcorder’ is one market that they have not really gotten a grip on. But they are inching forward ever so slowly with a few models and are making some headway.

Their new Samsung  HMX- QF30 is priced at $329.99 with street prices going for less than $300. It is for those looking for an affordable digital camcorder and who are willing to settle for less than cutting edge stuff. What you get is a compact, easy to use camcorder with useful features.

Samsung HMX-QF30

Samsung HMX-QF30

The HMX-QF30 has a 1/4in sensor and a 20x optical zoom. If you are fine with less optical quality, you can go all the way to 40x with digital zoom. The 2.7in color touchscreen monitor is adequate but is smaller than those offered by competitors.

Wi-Fi is built-in. With that you can easily upload your videos to YouTube and Facebook. The HMX-QF30 also lets you transfer videos to your mobile and broadcast live on the internet with the Ustream web service. You can download the free Samsung MobileLink app from the App Store and Google Play to transfer videos to your smartphone or tablet.

Ergonomically, the compactness and the thin short strap may be uncomfortable for those with large hands to control the record and zoom buttons on the back of the camcorder. To keep file sizes low, it records videos in the MP4 format which introduces compression artefacts. So don’t expect pristine quality videos. So if you keep your expectations low, the Samsung HMX-QF30 delivers an affordable solution for the younger set who wants to easily share videos with friends.

More info and specs from Samsung.

All New GoPro Dive Housing For Optimal HD Hero Performance Underwater

Summer is here and it is time to check out the Dive Housing that GoPro announced for its HD Hero line of action cameras a few months ago. This new accessory from GoPro will give you the best possible results from your action cam up to depths of 60m.

So why would you get this accessory considering the GoPro already comes with a waterproof housing that would taken you to the same depth of 60m too? This new Dive Housing is an enhancement to the existing housing, offering a large flat-glass lens to give you the best quality results from your camera. It is also compatible with all models of the HD Hero, as well as with existing mounts and accessories.

The Dive Housing comes with a lens cap and string and mounting accessories in the pack.

Want Something Light and Rugged? How About Pocket Camcorders

Although camcorders have been scaled down in size and weight over the last few years since the digital revolution, most of them will just not fit properly in your pocket or handbag. If that is your major bugbear, here are some handy pocket camcorders that might just fit your bill.

1. The Toshiba Camileo P100 is a sporty looking pistol like pocket camcorder that measures just 4.4″ x 2.4″ x 2″ and weighs under 6 ounces. It’s about the size and weight of an iPhone! Belying its size is a spacious 3″ touch screen with 5x optical zoom which is good enough for most purposes. The pistol grip is comfortable, but those with large fingers may find it a challenge to hit the right control buttons. The Toshiba P100 supports SDXC memory cards, which means that you can use up to 64GB for a solid 12 hours of full HD video. In addition, there is a video light for low-light shooting and shoots good stills at 8MP. As you’d expect from a small video camera, one major drawback is shooting time. It’s lithium-ion battery will only last about an hour, so plan your video shooting carefully. This is not for serious shooting at far away exotic places. Being a 2011 model, it is now going at street prices below $130 which is certainly a good buy.

Toshiba Camileo P100

Toshiba Camileo P100

2. Slightly better in specs and features is another pistol grip camcorder – the Panasonic HX-WA03. The sensor is a respectable 1/2.33in CMOS with 16MP. Still images ring in at 14.3MP. It renders images in Full-HD recorded on SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Cards. It also has a 5x optical zoom and 15x iZoom, dropping to 6x with the Active image stabilization enabled. However don’t expect image stabilization to be as effective their mainstream camcorders like the $399 Panasonic HC-V520 for example, but it fairs very well on image quality. A common feature of most pocket camcorders is that they are more rugged. It is waterproof, freezeproof, dustproof and you can use it safely to a depth of 5M underwater. It retails for $199.99.

Panasonic HX-WA03

Panasonic HX-WA03

3. If you have a larger budget the $449 JVC Everio GZ-V500 is a compact unit that packs some big camcorder prowess into a pocket-sized housing. It comes with higher optical zoom (10x), a large aperture lens (F1.2) for good low-light capability, 32.8mm Wide Angle lens, optical image stabilization and snaps 10M Digital stills. The hand strap and screen allows you to handle the camcorder steadily with both hands, making it easier to shoot more smoothly than with a pocket model. It is very portable and light so you can comfortably slip it into a pants or shirt pocket. However it is not as rugged as the Panasonic. Video quality is not exceptional but decent enough. It has a slow motion recording function useful for analyzing your golf or tennis swing.

JVC Everio GZ-V500

JVC Everio GZ-V500

4. Kodak PlaySport (Zx5) is another great option if you want something really rugged for use in rain, snow, surf and sand. This waterproof/shockproof pint-sized camcorder produces pretty good video quality for its price and size, is easy to use, and has good editing/sharing software. However be prepared to accept the bare essentials as it does not come with a built-in USB connector, no flash or video light, the battery can’t be removed, and an anemic 4x digital zoom which has to be used sparingly. The default resolution is 720p at 30 frames per second which is slightly better than DVD video. It captures 5-megapixel stills. Sharing the video is made easy with ArcSoft’s MediaImpression for software and the Kodak Share Button app.

Kodak PlaySport (Zx5)

Kodak PlaySport (Zx5)

Sony’s Flagship Action Cam : Sony HDR-AS15

Sony HDR-AS15 With Waterproof Housing

Sony HDR-AS15 With Waterproof Housing

These days, there are a couple of options if you are looking for a POV or action camera. Very unlike a few years ago when consumers only had the GoPro to contend with. Sony has joined the bandwagon of POVs and released its very own Sony HDR-AS15.

Sony has pulled all the stops on the Sony HDR-AS15. Drawing on its years of experience in the digital camera and camcorder industry, it has combined its proprietary SteadyShot® image stabilization with an Ultra wide angle Carl Zeiss® Lens with a 170-degree viewing angle and Exmor R back-illuminated CMOS sensor to bring consumers a high performance action cam. Together with drool worthy features such as built-in wireless LAN and a waterproof housing that can be taken down to approximately 200m, this action is certainly worth checking out!

Read the full Sony HDR-AS15 review here.

Veho Muvi HD NPNG edition Poses Competition For GoPro

Veho Muvi HD NPNG Edition

Veho Muvi HD NPNG Edition

GoPro had its day as the only extreme sports camera available for a while and has started to feel a lot of heat in terms of competition these days. The popularity of these cameras has certainly inspired many other manufacturers to product action cameras that have amazing features.

The Veho Muvi HD is just one of GoPro’s competitors and looking at its NPNG, or No Proof, No Glory edition, GoPro’s competition packs a punch. The Veho Muvi HD NPNG edition comes with a 8GB microSD card and it is designed to be held like a phone. It comes with a small LCD screen on the back and a simple menu system with a series of really simple controls that allow users to navigate. On the left of the camera, you will find a power switch, mini-jack for video-out, mini-USB and mini-HDMI port.

Included in the box is also a waterproof case that can be used up to depths of 60m and for as long as 60 minutes. The one thing that users will love about this Muvi HD is the included remote control. It is simple and reasonably logical and comes with a built-in battery. The Muvi HD can also record at 1080p, 720p at both 60 and 30fps, 960p and WVGA.

For folks who have a tighter budget, the Muvi HD is certainly worth considering especially since it is fabulous to use, produces great video and is dead simple to use.

Canon C100 : Beyond The Usual Camcorders

Canon C100

Canon C100

Canon’s C-range of camcorders is stunning, to say the least. In fact, when the mid-range Canon C300 was released last year, it was an immediate hit with independent producers.

The Canon C100 was recently introduced and it is the cheapest of the C-range. While it does not quite match up to its big brother, the C300, it still qualifies as a professional video kit, especially with its ‘Super 35mm’ sensor, DIGIC DV III Image Processor and EF lens compatibility.

Folks who already use a Canon DSLR camera and are looking to take the next step up into video production, can certainly consider the C100. It sure makes stiff competition for its DSLR-based rivals.

2013 Canon Mid Range Camcorders Come With Wi-Fi

Canon’s lower to mid-price range of camcorders have always been good value for money for delivering quality video with ease of use and great features. This year’s mid-priced models the Vixia HF R40 and HF R42 are decked with more new features like Wi-Fi connectivity, powerful 53X zoom, DIGIC DV IV image processor and a 3.28-megapixel full HD CMOS image sensor, along with full HD at 60P and 35Mbps AVCHD recording. And with Canon’s new CameraAccess app you can now control the camcorder from another room!

Even though they are priced below $500, the R40 & R42 are solidly built but light and handy. With its built-in Wi-Fi and custom apps, remote shooting and streaming is now made very convenient for bloggers or those who just want to share videos on the go.

Picture quality is commendable as they come with 60fps Full HD capability, a wider-angle 32mm lens with an improved optical zoom. It’s also a bonus that they can record MP4 and AVCHD simultaneously.

Battery life is also an area of improvement Canon has been working on. These new camcorders use a new battery that will see them go twice as long, which is important since the Wi-Fi function can be a real drainer.

The HF R40 (8GB) costs $399.99 while the higher model HF R42 (32GB) retails for $499.99.

Look out for a full review of these camcorders.

New Kid On The Block : Monoprice MHD Action Camera

There’s a new kid on the block! It’s the Monoprice MHD Action Camera and it is, by far, one of the least expensive POV cameras available in the market at less than $100.

The MHD Action Camera not only records in 1080p, but also features a compact, lightweight body, simple point and shoot functions and multiple mounting options. While it is a decent camera, especially with its price point, folks whose priority is video quality should consider something like the Contour Roam2. All in all, the Monoprice MHD Action Camera makes for an affordable and easy-to-use waterproof camera of choice.

Why Buy A Full Size Camcorder

With the proliferation of smartphones and and more and more DSLR cameras with video recording functions many a question has been asked why do I need a camcorder? The reason is that these devices do not do a good enough job. If you had saved for an expensive 3 week vacation to Europe taking in sights of the Swiss alps, Eiffel Tower and the Vatican, do you want to save these precious memories on low resolution videos on your smartphone or tablet?

I guess you get the picture. Full size camcorders capture videos that are clear, sharp and in focus. Most if not all of today’s camcorders record in high definition. The colors are rich, even in low light and downcast conditions. The higher end models take good quality stills too.

Trying to zoom smoothly using a smartphone or DLSR is difficult and almost impossible, whereas the optical zoom on a camcorder, which usually ranges from 10x to 50x, is smooth, gradual and even. And of course, optical zoom blows the digital zoom you find on smartphones out of the water.

Also most camcorders have swiveling LCD screens that swing out from the body which can be tilted. This makes it easier to take videos from more angles and is easier to compose. The higher end models like the Canon HF G20 and Sony HDR-PJ650V come with viewfinders too.

Sony HDR-PJ790V

Sony HDR-PJ790V

In addition some full-size camcorders have unique features. For instance, the Sony HDR-PJ790V includes a tiny projector, the top end Sony HDR-TD30V comes with two lenses for 3D video capability. The latest ones even come with Wi-Fi features for convenient and quick upload to YouTube or your computer or instant sharing with friends on their tablets other mobile devices.

Canon Launched Two New Pro Camcorders XA20 and XA25

Hot on the heels of the recently announced Vixia HF G30, Canon officially announced the launch of 2 new camcorders to its professional range: the XA20 and XA25. They are successors to the Canon XA10 that Canon launched two years ago.

Canon XA20

Canon XA20 With Handlebars that house XLR inputs and a mic holder.

These new compact pro camcorders feature a brand new Digic DV IV processor that allows the XA20 and XA25 to record 1080/60p AVCHD video. They can also record AVCHD and MPEG-4 video via dual SD card slots. This is a significant improvement over the older image processor which was not powerful enough for these functions. The new CMOS sensor is also larger and it adds more flexibility to the image stabilization function.

Important features like zoom has been has been doubled to 20x. A new zoom lever and a focus ring to control zoom gives better control. Also improved is a brighter touchscreen in the form of a new 3.5-inch OLED screen that uses less power and thus extending the battery life.

It also comes with built-in WiFi so you can upload video directly to YouTube and Facebook. A nifty feature for those who want to share videos immediately with friends and family.

Canon has tentatively list the price of the XA20 at $2199 and XA25 at $2699.

Sony Made Significant Improvements To Their High End Camcorders

Sony has been gaining market share in the camcorder market and sales have been improving over the last few months helped in part by a cheaper Yen. They remain highly committed in the prosumer camcorder segment and have been putting in much research and innovation in improving their flagship models.

Their 2013 flagship camcorder Sony HDR-PJ790V. It replaces last year’s HDR-PJ760V. It records at full 1080P 24.1-megapixel high definition video with an improved Exmor R CMOS sensor.

Sony HDR-PJ790V

Sony HDR-PJ790V

It comes with improved specs like Balanced Optical SteadyShot stabilization, a 10x optical zoom, 96GB of internal memory, GPS, manual control, 60p/60i/24p frame rates, and an optical viewfinder. Sony is still the only brand offering a built-in projector. The new model’s built-in projector is much brighter as Sony has upped the lumens to 35. Also added is an input so that the projector can play video from other devices and not just video from the memory card. Its 96GB of flash memory stores a massive 38 hours of recording which is more than adequate even for a long vacation.

The audio portion has also been updated with a multi-interface shoe, and HDMI connector and mic capable of 5.1-channel recording.

You can even use your smartphones and tablets as a remote control for the PJ790V if you buy the optional ADP-WL1M1 Wi-Fi adapter. It also allows you to instantly share your videos and photos online, or conveniently backup all your videos and photos on your PC. It’s a great option to have.

The Sony HDR-PJ790V retails for $1599.99. A full review will follow.

Have Fun With The GoPro Hero 3

Action cameras have been hot news to home movie buffs and pro videographers. You can often see them popping up in cars, attached to helmets, on bikes and in boats. Why? It’s because these video cameras capture interesting videos from unconventional angles not usually seen on boring home made videos and deliver the adrenaline on film!

One of the hottest action videocams in the market now is the GoPro Hero 3, the latest from a company whose main niche is wearable and gear-mountable cameras and accessories. The popularity of such videocams spurned an industry supplying mounts, harnesses and contraptions enabling you to stick a GoPro to anything that moves.

GoPro Hero 3

The latest Hero 3 is an ongoing evolution and is now smaller and lighter without sacrificing on image quality. What makes it even more popular is its ease of use making it an idiot proof camera. You can even strap 2 Hero 3’s side by side for creating 3D video. GoPro also provides a smartphone app so that you can use your phone as a viewfinder and change settings. A great feature to have.

Specs wise the Hero 3 is a tour de force. Comes with f/2.8 wide-angle lens, a 12-megapixel sensor that lets you shoot in 4K at 12 fps, 2.7K at 30 fps, 1440p at 48 fps, 1080p at 60 fps, 960p at 100 fps, 720p at 120 fps and WVGA resolution at an incredible 240 fps. It even comes with and built-in WiFi. Being an outdoor action camera the it is robust enough to be knocked, dropped or used in a wide range of tough environmental conditions.

With better hi def video quality and versatility the GoPro Hero 3 is a serious little piece of equipment.

Veho Muvi HD NPNG Extreme Sports Camera

Sports videography is catching on with the young and active. Well if you are into extreme sports what best to show off your exploits than capturing and showing it off. “No Proof No Glory” or NPNG in short, is what UK brand Veho is telling you.

Veho is fast becoming a household name in sports video camera segment. Founded in 2006 it now has sales distribution in over 100 countries.

Veho’s latest VCC-005 Muvi HD range retails from $199.95. The full bundle costing $259 comes with a Waterproof Case and a Helmet Front Mount that allows you to create a true POV angle when filming handsfree. A wide range of body, cycle, motorbike and in car mounting accessories are also available as options. It has a tripod mount too, which is very useful indeed in certain situations where you want more stability. A remote control is also included at no extra cost.

Veho Muvi HD

Veho Muvi HD

Video quality is pretty good and the Muvi HD records in 1080p, 720p at both 60 and 30fps, 960p and WVGA. The 960p mode allows you to record with a tall image. This is great if you are into skiing or skydiving as it captures a larger area so you need not worry too much about where you’re pointing the camera when you’re in the air.

Here’s a short video clip filmed using a Veho MUVI HD:

So if you are looking for a reasonably riced action camcorder, the Veho Muvi HD is certainly worth a consideration.

A New Funky Camcorder From JVC

JVC has just released an updated model to last year’s JVC GC-PX10 and has upped the funk factor. The new JVC GC-PX100 is unlike any camcorder you have seen. In fact it looks more like a digital SLR camera.

JVC GC-PX100

JVC GC-PX100

Its unique feature is its ability to record at speeds of up to 600 frames per second. This makes it ideal for sports coaches and golf enthusiasts to analyze strokes and shots closely. You can play it back on the LCD screen in slow motion without any editing making it convenient to review your strokes almost instantaneously. It also comes with wireless integration with smart devices making it even easier to review your videos on site without going back home to your PC.

The GC-PX100 records 1080/60p AVCHD video at 36Mbps, and is also capable of recording in MPEG-4 and MOV. The video images look great at 60p, but at 600 fps it loses quite a bit of resolution. It also captures 12 mega-pixel still photos.

Priced at a reasonable $899, the JVC-GCPX10 is a big step forward by JVC in its attempt to create a hybrid still and video camera that targets a different segment of the camcorder market in a smart way.

Sony Launched New Camcorder HDR-PJ650V

2013 will see another hot battle for video camcorders with manufacturers like Panasonic, Canon and Sony jostling for market share with hot new products and better features.

Hot on the heels of new releases by Canon during the 2013 Consumer Electronics Show at Las Vegas, Sony launched the HDR-PJ650V with improved features such as a customizable front dial for fine control, and a pull-out electronic viewfinder.

Sony HDR-PJ650V

Sony HDR-PJ650V

Carrying on Sony’s proprietary innovation, the HDR-PJ650V also features a built-in projector. This new model has a brightness of 20 lumens, up from 13 on the PJ580. Even better this time, Sony’s engineers have gone one step further and added a projector input. With this you can play external videos through the camcorder. How cool is that!

Built quality is solid with sufficient heft and fits the palm well. It has a clear 3-inch, 921k-dot, flip-out and swivel LCD panel and the hinge is pretty strong. Image quality is excellent for a mid range camera.

The suggested retail price is $1,099.99. Here’s the full Sony HDR-PJ650V review.

5 Tips For Shooting Better Videos With Your Camcorder

You’ve spent good money buying a high definition camcorder. But somehow you find that the holiday video you took is not what you expected them to be. Friends and family members start fidgeting 5 minutes into the video and turn their attention to something else.

Here are some tips to help make your videos more engaging and at least hope to keep your audience attention for a longer time.

1) Videos are too long – this is what all newbies fall prey to. You bought your first camcorder and begin shooting like crazy. Press the record button and keep the tape rolling…bad idea. Most people will not be able to sit through hours of amateur videos. You need to keep your video clips short and to the point. If you know video editing it helps to cut off extraneous footages and make your video short and crisp. If not, plan ahead, have the scene you have in your mind before shooting. As a rule of thumb make each take less than a minute long unless it is really necessary, like your child’s musical performance.

2) Frame your shots well – fill the frame with your subject, and don’t be afraid to place him or her slightly off-center. For example, when filming your children, it is more visually engaging to capture the them in their natural activity like laughing, talking or playing with them a bit to the right or left of center.

3) Use different angles and vantage points – Recording your child playing an entire football game sitting on the bench from the sidelines could be a bit dull to watch later. Shooting from behind the goal, or walking along the sidelines provide more interesting mix of shots, and can heighten the drama of important moments. Also, use the most effective shooting angle: kneel down to get near your subject, when appropriate, or use a higher vantage point to capture the whole pitch.

4) Avoid backlighting – Unless you are creating some special effects, just because youe can see people’s faces when they’re backlit doesn’t mean the camera can. More often than not, images that has bright sky or intense lighting behind the subject shots result in uncomfortable haloing effect with no visible features so you miss out on the facial expressions. By shifting to one side or asking your subject to turn the body slighlty will usually improve the shot. Some camcorders have a feature that lets you reduce the effects of backlighting, but are usually not that effective and tends to make a mess of the scene.

5) Have a pair of steady hands (or use a tripod). Last but not least, a shaky video will turn everyone off. Make sure you keep your hands really steady and pan slowly. Do not make any sudden movements otherwise it will be a nauseating to watch. If you do not have a pair of steady hands, invest in a tripod.

Zoom Q2HD – An Audio Recorder With Video

For budding musicians who are into recording your own tunes you now have a better option. Why not record your performance in high quality audio and top it with video and post it on Youtube. You can have your cake and eat it! With the Zoom Q2HD now you can.

Most video recorders or camcorders focus on high-quality video, with audio as an afterthought, but the Zoom Q2HD Handy Video Recorder allows you to record 1080p HD video with impressive audio quality. It achieves this with built-in condenser microphones. On field tests, stereo separation is superb. However video quality is not up to normal camcorder standards but good enough to post on Youtube. Still, for musicians and those who want better audio quality recordings, the Zoom Q2HD offers a neat package and at $199 offers fantastic value. Color and overall picture is not bad, and at least quite on par with the iPhone 5. But you need a pair of steady hands as image stabilization is virtually not existent.

It is handy and light. Weighs just three ounces and its rectangular shape of 2″ x 5″ makes it easy to fit in your hand. Just beware not to get your fingers get in the way of the lens.

The only complaint is that the battery life in not that great. It runs on a pair of AA batteries but for only two hours with video and four hours with audio recording. It comes with HDMI output and when used with the on-board editing features, you do not need a computer for video editing. Good feature to have when on the move.

Sony Gets Into the Action Cam Niche With The HDR-AS15

Sony is getting away from the standard video camcorder niche which is getting rather crowded with Panasonic, Canon having a big market share. It has instead ventured into more exotic niches like action cams and binocular cams like the DEV 50.

Go Pro has been the market leader in action cams and Sony does not want to be left behind this time. The new Sony HDR-AS15 is the company’s answer to the popular GoPro devices. Quite similar to the GoPro, the HDR-AS15 comes with a waterproof housing that you can safely use up to a depth of 60m which is enough for most divers. And it has built-in Wi-Fi too! In this age of instant sharing this makes it very easy for you to share video, pics, or even control the camcorder remotely. Good feature to have.

Sony HDR-AS15

Sony HDR-AS15 Action Cam

With a 170 degrees superwide angle lens it can shoot in 1080p at 30fps, at a bit-rate of 16Mbit/s. Pictures are very sharp and image resolution is good.

The Sony HDR-AS15 is a pretty handy device with many uses and we look forward to doing a full review.

Canon’s New Flagship HF G30 Makes Up For HF G20 Disappointment

Canon VIXIA HF G30

Canon VIXIA HF G30

If you were disappointed with the Canon HF G20 that was released earlier this year, Canon has surprised consumers with its newest Vixia camcorder : the Canon HF G30.

The brand new camcorder is loaded with features that were surprisingly missing from the HF G20. Packed with the ability to record 1080/60p video, shoot MP4 video at a bitrate up to 35Mbps, a new OLED touchscreen, increased zoom capability (up to 20x), and a slightly larger image sensor to improve the performance of the camcorders updated image stabilization system, the HF G30 comes with a ton of extra features. It also comes with two SD memory card slots but no internal memory.

Look out for it in the next couple of months!

Sony DEV-50 – New Digital Recording Binocular

Wow, binocular camcorder anyone? Check out one of the coolest gadgets to come from Sony. You can have your cake and eat it!

Sony DEV50

Sony DEV50

The gorgeous looking Sony DEV-5 (MSRP $1,999.99) features a compact body, excellent optics, and a weather-proof frame. Optical zoom is a useful 12x, up from the previous model’s 10x. Video recording is Full HD in 3D (or 2D if you prefer). Still photography has been upgraded to the binocular’s maximum effective resolution of 20.4 megapixels.

The electronic viewfinders of the DEV-50 have been upgraded to OLED for a better resolution and color reproduction of the scene. Other useful features include GPS tagging of videos and photos. YOu can confidently use it in the outdoors and extreme climate as it is now both dust proof and rain proof. Although you are not advised to fully submerse the device, but it should be able to withstand the most demanding field work.

Look out for a full review.