Cheap flicks: Digital camcorders on a budget

By Troy Dreier


(Money Magazine) -- Best for the technophobe: Flip UltraHD, $150

You don't buy this pocket-size model for its features but for its simplicity. Just press the big red button to shoot. Everyone can figure it out -- and every-one gets great high-def (1280 x 720p) results, says Antonio Bille of New York's B&H Photo & Video.

digicam.03.jpg
Sanyo VPC-CG102
How do you see your finances one year from now?
  • Investments up and job more secure
  • Investments up, but job shakier
  • Investments down, but job more secure
  • Investments down and job shakier

On the downside, the flip doesn't offer shooting modes or effects, and there's no optical zoom or memory-card slot. (It can hold two hours of video.)

Best for the eager novice: Sanyo VPC-CG102, $210

For just a bit more money than the Flip, the Sanyo gives you lots of extra features. It films at higher resolution (1920 x 1080i) and works with SD memory cards for expanded storage. It includes a 5x optical zoom and delivers better results in low light, says Bille.

Best of all, it takes rich still pictures, so you needn't carry a separate digital camera.

Best for the budding Fellini: Sony HDR-CX150, $550

With its large, back-illuminated image sensor, this camcorder gathers enough info to create stunning video in all kinds of light conditions.

The Sony also has 25x optical zoom. And it captures HD video at a 24MB per second, a frame rate "you would not have found at this price a few years ago," says Colleen Lerro of the Consumer Electronics Association.  To top of page

Just the hot list include
Frontline troops push for solar energy
The U.S. Marines are testing renewable energy technologies like solar to reduce costs and casualties associated with fossil fuels. Play
25 Best Places to find rich singles
Looking for Mr. or Ms. Moneybags? Hunt down the perfect mate in these wealthy cities, which are brimming with unattached professionals. More
Fun festivals: Twins to mustard to pirates!
You'll see double in Twinsburg, Ohio, and Ketchup lovers should beware in Middleton, WI. Here's some of the best and strangest town festivals. Play
Overnight Avg Rate Latest Change Last Week
30 yr fixed4.53%4.52%
15 yr fixed3.96%3.95%
5/1 ARM4.41%4.43%
30 yr refi4.52%4.51%
15 yr refi3.94%3.93%
Rate data provided
by Bankrate.com
View rates in your area
 
Find personalized rates:
Index Last Change % Change
Dow 24,843.22 8.81 0.04%
Nasdaq 7,411.95 33.49 0.45%
S&P 500 2,729.34 4.90 0.18%
Treasuries 3.00 -0.06 -2.02%
Data as of 3:30pm ET
Company Price Change % Change
General Electric Co 14.14 -1.14 -7.49%
Bank of America Corp... 30.44 -0.46 -1.47%
Micron Technology In... 59.41 0.38 0.64%
Hewlett Packard Ente... 15.52 -1.89 -10.86%
Advanced Micro Devic... 13.09 0.11 0.85%
Data as of 3:15pm ET

Sections

The Fed is trying to strike a careful balance: It wants to raise interest rates steadily to keep the economy from overheating, but raising rates too quickly could help start a recession. More

WIth prices starting at $35,000 and rising quickly from there to over $80,000, the Tesla Model 3 is far from a mass market car. More