Babble Best Picks:
Along with diapers and a car seat, a video camera is essential for any new parent's maternity-ward checklist. Of course, you'll also want a camcorder that delivers long after Mom and baby have come home. So, whether you're capturing everyday milestones, connecting with friends and family, or even looking to film the family version of Avatar, here are our picks for the best camcorders.
- Aaron Burgess
Best for Budget | Canon VIXIA HF R10
Priced just slightly above Canon’s better standard-definition camcorders, the modest but nicely equipped VIXIA HFR100 offers enough compelling features to make the jump to HD a no-brainer. Microphone and headphone jacks, both rare for this price range, let you enjoy video privately and capture higher-quality audio through a stereo mic. Likewise, the ability to shoot at 24p means that you can create “movie-style” home movies that truly look cinematic. Beginners will also like the built-in Smart Auto mode, which adjusts exposure based on variables like distance and movement to give you consistently good results in everyday shooting conditions. “Good,” of course, is less than “great,” so expect to compromise some quality for the price if you’re shooting in low light (my evening footage had a lot of noise, even at the highest quality setting) or trying to capture fast-moving objects (where blurring is not uncommon). While internal flash-memory storage is modest at 8GB, you can copy footage and photos to your computer for editing, sharing and general safekeeping.