Maybe some of you have noticed how rapidly HD camcorders are dropping in price. It is quite an interesting thing to observe as someone who has monitored the prices of gadgets like these for quite awhile. The prices continue to drop, and pretty soon I believe that most of the features available on the multi thousand-dollar camcorders we see today will be affordable for many lower budget indie film-makers in the future. However, that time has not yet come, but we still have great options to choose from.
The Canon HV30 (right) or HV20 (left) are great values for those that want to really take HD content to the next level. It includes some of the best features out of the prosumer level of HD camcorders. The recently released HV30 features 24P and 30P shooting modes and can accomplish 1080 progressive resolution. The only downside? It records to tape, but it is worth it if quality and features are important to you.
Certainly the most attractive looking camera, the Sony HDR-HC9 packs a bunch of features for those who are looking for more of a point & shoot experience. If you do not want to be bothered with customizing the settings on your camera, this camera is right up your alley. It can be found for around $800 online. It stores data to an internal hard disk.
JVC Everio GZ-HD6—$1280
The most expensive of the bunch, receives the least praise in public opinion. The quality is not up to par, and JVC almost forces you to use proprietary software to edit video—that sucks. It does look quite impressive, but the looks alone should not influence your decision. It is, however, a better option to standard video formats.
All prices listed are suggested retail, but prices are quickly dropping on the streets. My vote would be for the Canon HV30, but I really like the feel to HDR-HC9 after playing around with them at Best Buy. Personal preference will prove to be the most significant factor in determining your purchase. I would urge you to check each out for yourself.
Expect prices to drop anywhere from $150 to $350 throughout the rest of this year.
Before purchasing an HD camcorder online, please be sure to check the site you are purchasing from on ResellerRatings for customer reviews of the retailer.