Coming soon: Camcorders with features borrowed from cameras


Consumer Reports Coming soon: Camcorders with features borrowed from cameras Coming soon: Camcorders with features borrowed from cameras In addition to having a wider range of resolutions, our incoming batch of camcorders also boast some interesting new features, many borrowed from other portable devices, especially digital cameras. Those include:
 Face recognition / smile detection technology, borrowed from cameras, where it is now almost universal. A quick-start feature, to minimize the chances of missing that home-run swing because the camcorder was still booting up. Longer zoom lenses on standard-def models, with some models offering as much as 70x optical zoom. So-called “smart” modes that claim to optimize video performance in difficult shooting situations, such as low ambient light. Now, as with cameras, more models claim improved sensor designs to reduce graininess and other defects when shooting in low light without the camcorder’s built-in light. Also, a new group of Sonys includes the first camcorders to incorporate a built-in GPS sensor and Navtek digital maps. These promise to allow you to stamp videos with the place they were shot. One model we’re testing that includes this feature is the Sony HDR-XR500v ($1300).
We’ll post test results on the batch to our camcorder Ratings (available to subscribers) later in the spring.
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