Monday, March 5, 2012

Pocket camcorder reviews

I can't believe how much video camcorders have improved and changed over my lifetime. OK...so I'm going to play the old card now. When I got married, I remember the "state-of-the-art" camcorder was a big shoulder model with VHS tape. The quality then was considered good, but if you look at it now, it was pathetic! Seriously, I think the Fisher Price model could out do it now.

As technology improves, the cost of shooting high quality video keeps dropping. I'm going to do my best to review a couple of pocket camcorders currently on the market...Sony's Bloggie Touch, and Samsung's w200. Both are $99 models capable of shooting 1080p HD. I must start out by saying...just because something shoots 1080p, doesn't mean the quality is going to be awesome! The awesome factor has everything to do with the size of the sensor in the camcorder. The same goes for a camera. Just because you have a lot of megapixels, doesn't mean you'll have quality images. The smaller the sensor, the less the quality.

Both the Sony Bloggie, and the Samsung w200 have small sensors. The Bloggie has a touch screen on back, and comes with 4gb of flash memory (not expandable). There is also an 8gb model. It claims it can shoot 2 hours of video at 720p. The Bloggie is smaller in size than the w200, but has a larger screen than the Samsung model.

Although the Samsung w200 has a more rugged and larger body, much of that is due to the fact that it is waterproof up to 10 feet. This would make for a great pool or snorkeling camcorder. There is a white balance setting for underwater too.

In head-to-head outdoor video shooting, the Samsung is richer in color. Both have image stabilization and do a pretty good job with that. In low light shooting, the Samsung is still richer in color. The Bloggie did a poor job with color in low light. The Samsung also uses a micro SD card so you don't have to worry about running out of memory, as long as you have enough memory cards.

After shooting both, I choose the Samsung over the Sony. Easier menu options, micro SD memory, waterproof, and richer color make it my winner. Both are available at Costco.

I have to say that my Canon s95 point and shoot camera does an even better job with video, as does my iPhone. But if you need a cheap, waterproof option, the Samsung w200 can be a great choice.

Happy videoing!

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