The Compact HD Camera Roundup

The high-def video revolution has arrived, and it’s pocket-sized. Inspired by the runaway success of the Flip Mino, other tech companies are playing catch-up, offering their own takes on the micro-video-camera trend. DailyXY took three of them – all of which shoot 720p HD video – for a spin.

Flip UltraHD
Like its baby brother, the Mino, the pocket-sized UltraHD is ready to go the moment you take it out of the box.

PROS: Flip-out USB means you can plug it straight into your computer. And it’s so simple, your grandma could use it.

CONS: Low-light performance, as with all cameras in this class, is murky. Memory is built-in, which is handy (you get 120 minutes at full resolution), but can’t be upgraded.

Kodak Zx1 (pictured above)
This Kodak is tiny but durable, and it looks exactly like a cell phone; it would be easy to film someone while pretending to send a text. (Not that we’d endorse that.)

PROS: Water-resistant and offers great daylight performance. Videos are stored on removable SD cards, which means you can keep multiple memory cards for vacations.

CONS: It needs a cable to connect to your computer, and it uses regular batteries. The sound is a bit muffled.

Panasonic SDR-SW21-S
A little larger than the cellphone lookalikes above, this Panasonic has a traditional flip-out screen. Besides the larger display, the main advantage is that it’s completely submersible, so you can capture your snorkeling in vivid HD.

PROS: Waterproof and shock-resistant, it’s the ideal vacation camera.

CONS: Bulkier than its competitors. Plus, the proprietary file format can be finicky.

Image courtesy of mwboeckmann on flickr


2 thoughts on “The Compact HD Camera Roundup”

  1. What about the Sanyo Xacti series? I’m looking at buying a Sanyo Xacti CG10 and most reviews say it blows the others out of the water in terms of video quality and features. Also, you haven’t talked about price at all — this is a pretty incomplete “roundup”…

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