Flash memory seems to be the way forward with the best digital camcorders having no moving parts, therefore allowing for longer battery life, a compact design and light enough to fit into your pocket or purse.
Built-in flash memory or a removable card? Why not choose both for maximum versatility.
When buying a flash memory card for a digital video camera, as well as the size in GB, check the number written in the small circle printed on the card. The higher the number, the better suited for a HD video camera. We would never consider less than class 4, with the present maximum class 10.
Check also for the initials SD (secure digital) or SDHC (secure digital high capacity).
I would advise against using an SD card, they are not really up to handling all of the data at speed. A newly developing card is an SDXC card with capacity up to 2TB, but these are a little way off yet. Sony uses their own type of flash memory in their best digital camcorders,called a memory stick.
Now that you may have narrowed your choice by reading lots of camcorder reviews based on brand, you may like to consider which recording format you prefer for your consumer HD Camcorder.
Take a look at some of the more popular options:
Flash Memory, HDD, DVD, HDV, MiniDV, Digital8, Hi8/8mm, MicroMV or Hybrid
As flash memory cards increase in capacity and speed of writing, they are increasingly being used by every manufacturer of HD camcorders as a reliable way of reducing the size and weight of the digital video camera by replacing the battery-draining hard drive, so we have lighter camcorders with a much extended battery life.
This can be either built in as part of the HD video camera, or be added as a removable card or memory stick. Some come with both internal flash and a memory card slot.
HDD (hard disk drive)
These camcorders can record over 200GB, whereas flash memory is limited to 64GB at present, but who knows what the future holds?
Scenes on a hard disk drive can be moved around internally as basic in-camera editing, and many hours can be recorded and stored without the need to export footage to another media, but of course this uses moving parts and will drain battery power.
Sharp knocks to the HDD camcorder can also seriously effect the recording
These use both a hard drive and flash memory, and are a popular choice.
These use small inexpensive DVD blank discs which can be instantly played on any DVD player.
Similar rules apply as to the HDD format: heavy battery demand, accidental miss-handling and the recording time is compromised by recording in high definition.
Mini DV camcorders
These can record for just an hour before the tape is full, and tapes cost about $5 each. Once full, you will need another tape until you can transfer the recorded footage to another medium, but it’s not a good idea to re-record onto the tape because of drop-out possibility.
Digital 8, Hi8, 8mm and Micro MV
These were all great innovations in their day, but are a dying breed and not for consideration here.
So there you have it, the full spectrum of HD camcorder reviews.
Choose your budget from the price page, choose your preferred manufacturer from the brand page, remember your format options, choose the features which best suits your needs, then you are ready to watch some video demonstrations on the video page of camcorder reviews.