So you're jetting off to some exotic location. You've got two choices about what kind of video camera you take: either something light and nimble that will tuck into the back of your rucksack, or a professional 3CCD monster that will do justice to the African savanna.
Only one camcorder in our line-up will really make wildlife footage shine, and that's the Sony FX1. But it's also the bulkiest. If you need great looking video from a compact camcorder, a hard disk model like the JVC Everio is a good trade-off.
Other important considerations when choosing a holiday camcorder include battery life and recordable media. While hard-drive based camcorders are almost unbelievably tiny, they also use the most expensive media. Alternatively, DVD camcorders offer a cheap and easy way of archiving video, but you'll have to sacrifice image quality.
In our experience, MiniDV camcorders are still the best format to take on holiday. You won't have problems buying a replacement MiniDV tape in the Congo. You might, on the other hand, struggle to find an extra Microdrive for your JVC Everio.
The Hitachi does its job extremely well, and you may love the simplicity of recording straight on to a DVD that you can play in your home DVD player. However, compared to a MiniDV camera in the same price range, the Hitachi is less flexible and captures a slightly lower quality image. For those without directorial aspirations the Hitachi is a total solution, but for budding filmmakers the limited options for transferring your footage to PC are just too restricting Read more
Reviewed on 14 April 2005
For the price, the best HD camera currently available Read more
Reviewed on 8 September 2004
It's largely thanks to the massive success of the iPod that microdrives have become so affordable. It was about time some great DV camcorders turned up with hard disks tucked away in their bellies, so we were pleased to find the JVC MC-200 is such a small and elegant use of this technology. Although you'll need to buy additional microdrives to store more than 60 minutes of footage on location, hard disk really is the future of DV Read more
Reviewed on 24 September 2004
This affordable MiniDV camera offers a good range of home-video-oriented features, as well as comfortable, smooth operation, but its video quality doesn't rise above average Read more
Reviewed on 7 October 2004