At one point, springing for a camera that could survive a smash or two meant sacrificing, you know, actually getting a decent camera. Not so anymore! Panasonic's 12.1MP TS3 is thoroughly rugged and does geotagging and 1080p video.
Some pocket cams are big. Some are small. Some are waterproof. But they're are basically the same. At least when you compare 'em to the Casio Tryx, a 1080p cam with a fairly ingenious new design. Er, several designs.
While pocket cams video quality has improved incrementally from "good enough" to really actually pretty damn good, audio quality has largely been ignored. The new Zoom Q3HD combines 1080p, 30fps video with stereo mics for the full pocket cam package.
One of the more exciting features of the new Flip Ultras is the FlipPort, a proprietary connection that allows the UltraHD to take advantage of third-party accessories. Among the first: the Scosche freedomMIC, a wireless lapel mic for your pocketcam.
When a product's sole tenet is simplicity, revisions can be tricky. The new Flip MinoHD and UltraHD cameras play it safe: the video's still 720p, but it's 60fps and image-stabilized, and the devices look familiar but the Ultra's now accessory-friendly.
Samsung's outing two new affordable cameras: the HMX-E10, a 1080p pocket cam with a handy 270-degree swiveling lens and the 14.2MP ST80 point-and-shoot, which packs Wi-Fi for beaming photos and 720p video directly to YouTube, Facebook and the rest.
The pocket cam's claim to fame is being "good enough." The Flip SlideHD strives to be a little more, adding a sliding touchscreen for watching videos on the camera itself. That's biting off more than it can, or should, chew.
Samsung has updated their HMX-U10 with two new compact camcorders, the HMX-U20 and the HMX-U15. Both shoot 1080p video and feature time lapse recording, but bumping up to the U20 gets you 3x optical zoom.
Yesterday HP announced the V1020h, a 720p-recording, SDHC card-reading pocketcam. It has a built-in USB plug and an HDMI port for sharing, but the real noteworthy tidbit here is the pricetag: $109.
Just a bit of hardware erotica on the Flip MinoHD: the red circle is the lens, which is being pulled off the CMOS chip (directly below). The 720P chip leaves individual pixels just 2.2 microns to capture their snippets.
Pocket camcorders are a hot holiday gift, but due to their nearly identical feature sets, it can be tough to tell which is best—so I tested seven of these humble unitaskers to make your decision easier. You're welcome.
Flip's followup to the successful, caveman-easy Mino HD is fundamentally the same product, slightly better. The improvements are welcome, but there are still some issues I wish Flip would address.
Kodak's first entry into the pocket camcorder pool, the Zi6, may be the new king of cams. My lab assistants and I have done more scientific research in the field of cheap-ass camcorders than anyone we can name off the top of our heads. In my expert opinion, this is a winner, ready to unseat Pure Digital's original…