standard-definition camcorders

Quick Take: Sony Handycam DCR-SX63

CNET did not review the Sony Handycam DCR-SX63, but we did review the DCR-SR68, which is very similar.

The main differences between the SX63 and SR68 are storage capacity and type. The SX63 stores video to 16GB of internal flash memory as well as Memory Stick Pro Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC cards. The SR68 records to an 80GB hard drive, but can store to Memory Stick Pro Duo and SD/SDHC/SDXC cards, too.

The SR68 is slightly bigger and heavier than the SX63, but there are otherwise no differences between the two models. They have the same lens, … Read more

Shootin' the moon with Panasonic's SDR-T50

Panasonic's 2010 standard-definition camcorders all feature a 70x zoom lens (as did its 2009 models). That's a long range that I'm still not sure is entirely useful for most people. Mostly because you really need to have it on a tripod or other stable support so that the video isn't a nauseatingly shaky mess. That, and it's a little creepy that you can capture video of someone blocks away without their knowledge. On the other hand, you can do fun stuff like capture a movie of the moon with fairly good detail.

This video was … Read more

JVC Everio GZ-MG670, GZ-MG680 Quick Take

CNET has not reviewed the JVC Everio GZ-MG670 and GZ-MG680 standard-definition digital camcorders. However, they are primarily the same as the JVC Everio GZ-MS120, which has been reviewed.

The only differences between the models are size, storage media, and in-camera video upconversion. The slightly smaller MS120 has no fixed internal memory. Instead, it has two SD/SDHC memory card slots, but no included memory cards. Buyers must purchase an SD/SDHC card up to 32GB separately.

The JVC Everio GZ-MG670 and MG680 have internal 80GB and 120GB hard drives, respectively, for storage as well as a microSDHC card slot for … Read more

Panasonic SDR-S26 Quick Take

CNET has not reviewed the Panasonic SDR-S26. However, it is primarily the same as the Panasonic SDR-H80, which has been reviewed.

The only differences between the two models are size and storage media. The slightly larger H80 features an internal 60GB hard drive for primary storage in addition to an SD/SDHC memory card slot whereas the S26 has no fixed internal memory; it only has an SD/SDHC memory card slot with no included memory card. Buyers must purchase an SD/SDHC card up to 32GB separately.

Just die already: Standard-definition camcorders

In the course of testing standard-definition camcorders, more often than not, I stumble upon a user review where the person complains that their cell phone takes better video than--insert model name here. Sadly, that appraisal is probably not far from the truth.

For example, the recently reviewed Sony Handycam DCR-SX41 and Samsung SMX-F34 flash-based camcorders are no great shakes in the video department. I have used smaller, cheaper devices that take as good or better video than these camcorders. The only things they really offer are megazoom lenses, compact, lightweight bodies, and better controls and shooting options--all at sub-$300 … Read more

Canon FS200 is small standard-def success

When I say the Canon FS200 is a success, it should be interpreted as "the video's not perfect, but the results are pretty good all things considered and the rest of it is a great package."

After all, there are cell phones and cheap pocket cameras with higher resolutions than your average SD camcorder. Also, video quality is very much in the eye of the viewer, so even defects in low-quality movies can be overlooked depending on who's watching what.

That being said, about the only major issue with the specs and design of the FS200 … Read more