Kaitlyn Chantry is the editor-in-chief of CamcorderInfo.com. And she's been so kind as provide us with her favorite camcorders picks in every key price range.
Don't be confused by imposters: the ultracompact Flip camcorder is still the hot girl that everyone either wants to have or wants to be. At $230, the second-generation MinoHD is more expensive than all those Flip clones, but you get what you pay for. It's sleek and stylish—especially when you can design your own—and has decent video quality (for a tiny, trendy camcorder). Most importantly, it's so easy to use that your granny could make herself the next YouTube star. [Review]
Note: Gizmodo actually preferred Flip's Ultra HD, but only because it's substantially cheaper than the MinoHD. More on that in our mini cam Battlemodo.
JVC Everio GZ-HM200
The JVC Everio GZ-HM200 doesn't exactly roll off the tip of your tongue, but for just $580, it might roll its way into your heart. It can't quite compete with the big dogs in our testing labs, but its digital image stabilization is surprisingly effective and the color accuracy left us slack-jawed. The HM200 is also small, easy to use, and has decent options if you want a little control over your video. And we just love having two SDHC memory card slots. [Review]
Canon Vixia HF20
The Canon Vixia HF20 is all about getting the complete package. It lacks the huge lens and high resolution of its big brothers, but it does have the sexy interface and powerful performance we've come to expect from a Canon camcorder. At $800, you're definitely paying for that clear, sharp video and fantastic design. The HF20 is for people that want to save a little cash, but still want to own the cool toys. [Review]
If you're spending over a grand on a consumer camcorder, it's pretty hard to go wrong. But this year's Panasonics are the crème de la crème. They've got great auto features, are stuffed full of manual controls, and are smoking hot performers in low light. The TM300 (Panasonic's 32GB flash memory model) feels like it was personally sculpted for your hand—and at $1300, it won't break the bank. [Review]
There are obviously a lot of other great camcorders this year—for every budget and level of experience. Read all of CamcorderInfo's picks for the 2009 Select Awards here.
Kaitlyn Chantry is the editor-in-chief of CamcorderInfo.com. She has reported on and reviewed everything from video games to coffee cups. CamcorderInfo has been using scientific lab testing and comparative analysis to provide consumers with comprehensive, unbiased camcorder reviews since 1997.