back to article Ten of the Best... Pocket Camcorders

YouTube has a lot to answer for – not least the sudden rush of low-cost ‘pocket’ camcorders designed for quickly capturing short video clips on the move. These cameras typically cost less than £100 and have pretty low specifications – as little as 320x240 resolution in the case of the cheap and cheerful Disgo camcorder. At the …


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  1. Ash

    Ok, but...

    ... Which one is the clearest when picking up flesh tones in low light conditions?


    I nominate Ms. Bee as test subject. Begin.

  2. Jerome

    Bundled memory? No thanks

    Nice set of reviews, but it's strange that you place such value on built-in or bundled memory. Surely most people own memory cards already? I don't want the price of my gadgets being pushed up by unwanted integrated memory. The kind of pathetically small cards that are typically included just end up left in a drawer anyway, replaced with whatever size of memory card is currently offering the best value for money (e.g. 16GB at the moment).

  3. Michael Warburton

    Like the sound of the Tosh

    I've looked at the various (and there seems to be a lot) Aiptek ones for a while and had considered getting one of those, but that Tosh one for £60 less looks like a bargain.

    Thanks El Reg.

  4. Jolyon Ralph

    Panasonic HDC-SD9

    I have one of these beasties bought in Hong Kong recently, and there are a couple of problems that are worth discussing.

    1. The software is shite, there isn't anything readily available that does conversion of the AVC files from this camera into anything remotely useful - at least not GPL stuff.

    2. The battery life is also not fantastic. less than an hour on one battery in my use so far (far less than the 16Gb card will take). Plus, and for me this is the killer, the batteries are DAMN expensive (£80 for a standard battery, god knows how much for the extended one), and these batteries use sneaky coded chips to stop the chinese making cheap replacements (which I've become reliant for in my other cameras). Having to pay full whack for a battery again was an unpleasant surprise. There are replacement batteries available on ebay, but one of them simply didn't work at all, and the other does work but only with a special charger and by jamming something into the power input slot, and even then you don't get a status display for battery life. Still, better than giving Panasonic £80.

    Overall, I still think the camera is great, just be warned about the issues.


  5. Clive Galway
    Thumb Up

    Samsung VP-X300L

    In the sports camcorder category, nothing beats the Samsung VP-X300L

    Comes complete with a wired external lens with an inline button for on/off/start/stop. Put it on and all you need is the one button to operate it.

    Cost: about £240

    Plus the divx files it creates mimic miniDV ( 720x576 nonsquare pixels @ 25FPS. Interlaced or non-interlaced.) so mixing footage from this with footage from your miniDV camera is simple.

  6. jubtastic1

    Kodak Zi6

    Same weight, height and width as an iPhone but double the depth, 720HD, 30 or 60fps, 2 1/2" LCD, Image quality is bloody good, macro mode for (very) close ups, piss easy controls and a pop out USB connector. Looks and feels like a well made bit of kit.

    On the downside there's no image stabilisation, the zoom is a bit jerky and it eats batteries.

    £90ish but splash out on an SD card as you only get 30secs of recording on the built in memory.

  7. Tim Porter

    Kodak Zi6

    Absolutely agree - can't understand why the Flip was put here, but not this one.

  8. Phil Parker


    Never mind the bundled cards - do they do widescreen ?

  9. Steven Raith

    @Phil Parker

    Anything HD is widescreen already; it's a 16:9 format, isn't it?

    Steven R

    [not a TV/video buff...]

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Number 5 need input!

    What we need to know:

    * Battery life

    * Compression ratios (even simple captioning means re-encoding, after all)

  11. FreeTard
    Thumb Up

    The oregon is certainly shockproof...

    I have one strapped to my R6 for track use, and I came off at 170KPH right down onto it in a corner (too hot). I was more pissed off that the media had ejected from the impact (and not saving the crash for youtube) than I was about my smashed fairings. The camera also seriously eats batteries, so use lithium or you'll be sorry - a 20 minute session will totally drain it 2100mh rechargable batteries.

    Other than that its a great camera, waterproof & certainly shock proof

  12. al

    I can vouch for the FS100

    C'mon guys, this ain't no review, Ten of the Best ?, List of the latest more like,

    I bought the Canon FS100 in April,

    I wanted a simple Camcorder that recorded to memory card, no moving parts etc.

    Its SD, not HD, but it outshines some of the cheap HD cams I've used,

    after all it's got real Canon optics.

    Battery life is great,

    software isn't too bad,

    beyond 20x optical zoom hello, mr pixelface, below 20x, clear and sharp, good colour balance

    I get hours on an 8Gb SD card.

    Top requirement for me, an external microphone socket, this makes ALL the difference.

    Overall a fantastic camera, I probably wouldn't have bought it if I simply looked at the spec sheets, I'm glad I applied more thought

  13. The elephant in the room

    Dont forget your phone

    Many phones can take video as well as or even better than the lower end of this round-up, & have a colour screen thrown it. You are much more likely to remember to carry your phone than a camcorder, so if you want to be able to capture youtube moments learn how to use it...

    I have a Tony Hawk helmet cam as I didnt want to strap my phone to my head when snowboarding! However, it is dreadful - 320x240 res @ something like 15fps, monstrous battery consumption & doesnt work with rechargable batteries. And the battery compartment is actually too tight for the batteries - I have to peel the graphics off them to get them to fit! I think I'll flog it on ebay to someone who hasnt read this post!

  14. Eric Van Haesendonck

    Aiptek and Toshiba apparently the same

    I think that the Aiptek and the toshiba are actually the same hardware internally, so you probably should go with the cheapest (in France the Aiptek is actually cheaper than the Toshiba, which is why I bought that one).

    What I can say about the Aiptek is that battery life is far from stellar, but the it arrived with 2 battery packs in the box, which made up for it.

    The video files produced by these cameras are sometimes difficult to handle, however I had good results transcoding the files with the free application mediacoder (

    Video quality is OK during the day, however in low light condition my Aiptek has problem producing quality video. Don't expect the quality of a £600 HD camcorder in a £200 one.

  15. Peter D'Hoye
    Thumb Down

    Re: Panasonic HDC-SD9 (Jolyon Ralph)

    You also forgot the other bad things about this camera:

    - SD card can not be read by PC, so you need to read it through the camera attached via USB

    - in order to access the camera over usb, you are forced to attach it to external power. No accessing usb while on batteries. Yes, silly isn't it?

    - the tripod thread seems incompatible with my tripod (which works fine with all my other cameras)

    Apart from that, I have to note that Nero8 (Nero vision) handles the recordings perfectly.

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