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 Compact | Samsung HMX-T10BN Compact Full HD Camcorder
Upon first glance, Samsung’s compact, budget-friendly (under $300, yay!) HD camcorder appears to be turning up its nose at you. The odd front end is actually a clever ergonomic design feature meant to keep your wrist in a comfortable position when shooting for long stretches. I was skeptical at first, but after an hour with the HMX-T10BN, I found that the upward-tilting nose really does make a difference. Along with its ergonomics, the HMX-T10BN features built-in image stabilization as well as a 1/4.1″ 5MP BSI CMOS sensor (the same technology in your iPhone 4′s camera) to help reduce noise and deliver sharper images in all lighting conditions. It does feel a little “plasticky,” but at this price point, and with these features, aesthetics should be the least of your worries. Test videos of the kids playing outdoors turned out great both during the day and at dusk, and even though a purist could argue that the 1920 x1080/60i resolution isn’t “full HD,” my eye couldn’t tell the difference. (Incidentally, 1920×1080/60i is the gold standard for many higher-end camcorders and HD video-editing programs.) It’s also easy to capture still photos using the 2.7″ LCD touch screen, though at 4.7MP for basic shooting and 2MP for still images culled from videos, you may be better off using your smartphone.