Sony, Sanyo, Panasonic battle for compact camcorder crown

Sony, Sanyo, Panasonic battle for compact camcorder crown

Summary: While the mini-laptop wars heat up in another department, the world's gadget producers are fighting it out over another device: the compact hi-def camcorder.In today's New York Times, David Pogue explains how Sony, Sanyo and Panasonic keep trying to beat each other to the punch in making their handheld cams harder, better, faster, stronger.

SHARE:
TOPICS: Hardware
2

Panasonic HDC-SD9While the mini-laptop wars heat up in another department, the world's gadget producers are fighting it out over another device: the compact hi-def camcorder.

In today's New York Times, David Pogue explains how Sony, Sanyo and Panasonic keep trying to beat each other to the punch in making their handheld cams harder, better, faster, stronger. As it turns out, the miniaturization of these devices (well, sort of -- they don't quite fit into the pants pocket just yet) hasn't sacrificed overall quality-- just features like wide-angle shots and image quality under low light.

Ho-hum. Well, it's better than a cell phone, that's for sure.

Oh, and the crown, by the way? Of a field of the Sony HDR-TG1, Sanyo Xacti 1000 and Panasonic HDC-SD9, Pogue awards it to the Panasonic for overall quality and handling comfort. But, much like our own review, Pogue is clearly doing so begrudgingly:

Just remember that for about the same price, you could buy a camcorder like the Canon HV30. It’s bigger but still fits a coat pocket. It has all the right jacks, like microphone and headphone. It records onto commonly available MiniDV tapes, so you’ll never run out of storage halfway through your vacation. More important, it shoots high-definition video the way it was born to be: stunningly crisp, with incredible presence and nearly perfect color.

In short, it appears that no matter how many companies claim the title “world’s smallest hi-def camcorder,” what they mean is “world’s most compromised.”

What do you think, readers? Are these cams worth the roughly $900 price tag? Tell us in TalkBack.

Topic: Hardware

Andrew Nusca

About Andrew Nusca

Andrew Nusca is a former writer-editor for ZDNet and contributor to CNET. During his tenure, he was the editor of SmartPlanet, ZDNet's sister site about innovation.

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.

Talkback

2 comments
Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Are these cams worth the roughly $900 price tag? No.

    Too many compromises, too many bugs. Maybe the next generation, but for right now, neither the price or the feature-set makes sense. Why go to HD if all you end up with is compromised content?
    terry flores
  • Great cameras!

    There will always be something new and improved around the corner, but today,s cameras are light-years ahead of what you have in the closet. I have a Sony HC-3 and a Sony FX-1, and both deliver a stunning picture compared to anything made 5 years ago. The consensus on some of the boards I frequent is that the Canon HDV cams might have a slight edge in picture quality, but the Sonys are much more rugged.

    Go for it. All these cams are great!
    riredale