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BEST COMPACT CAMCORDER
BEST COMPACT CAMCORDER
The HC40 is one of those camcorders you just know you’re going
to like. From the compact, sleek and ergonomic design to the
features list that plays to the enthusiast crowd with its manual
controls and computer friendly connections – it’s a great cam.
The camcorder features DV-in/out, AV-in/out, S-video
in/out, USB output and an external microphone jack. It
also throws in LANC control, a 10x optical zoom, 2.5in
touchscreen LCD, megapixel stills and the ability to
create MPEG4 video clips. And Sony has managed to
do all this in a package that weighs a measly 0.46kg
and measures just 50 x 92 x 112mm (w x h x d).
High scores were recorded across the board in our test,
with our reviewer remarking on particularly vibrant colours, full of
punch and vigour. Test material also exhibited a very high level
of fine detail – great for those close-ups – and was free from
shimmer or jitter. The sensible location of controls meant that
handling and motor noise were not a problem. In fact, so good
is the HC40 that we were left wondering how Sony – or anyone
else – could top it!
camcorder user #200044
‘The HC40 is easy to hold, and
delivers the type of images and
functionality needed to make a
successful digital camcorder. It’s
already set a benchmark for
compact DV cams in 2004’
reviewed issue #190
JVC Everio with removable Microdrive
In many ways, the two Everio Microdrive cameras from JVC are
what the video market has been waiting for – a practical alternative
to tape. And with even larger capacity Microdrives than the initial
4GB versions imminent, the format promises a great deal.
A Microdrive is a removable hard drive form of recording. It
offers picture quality comparable with that of MPEG2 DVD
cams, but due to the size of the drive the
product is much more compact than DVD.
JVC is currently the only manufacturer
to use this format and has unveiled two
camcorders in its Everio Microdrive
range. The GZ-MC100 and GZ-MC200
share exactly the same specification,
differing only in design. The format is
being touted as a new concept in digital
media cameras, and an indication to the
future of home moviemaking.
The Microdrive itself is just 1.5in square, and can be inserted
and removed from the camera easily. It is also be possible for to
remove the Microdrive and insert it into a card reader connected
to a PC. We say PC, because the new Microdrives (which use
MPEG2 compression) are not Mac-compatible – an issue being
addressed currently by Apple and JVC.
The Everio range is capable of a maximum video resolution of
720 x 576 and at a maximum transfer rate of 8.5Mbps (megabits
per second). These figures are translated into an ultra mode on
the camera, which will see users being able to store 60 minutes
of video on the supplied 4GB Microdrive.
Canon MVX35i ■
Excellent performance from this
fully-featured upright mini DV cam.
Reviewed issue #197
JVC GR-DZ7 ■
2 megapixel-capable mini DV cam,with
a range of manual features and sockets.
Reviewed issue #195
Sony HDR-FX1 ■
Sony’s consumer high-definition camcorder.
Reviewed issue #198
Samsung VP-D6050i ■
Digital cam and powerful 5.25 megapixel digital
still camera in one – but with two lenses!
Reviewed issue #196
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