The Best Mini Camcorders
Shoots underwater (as deep as 10 feet) and, of course, on land. It’s incredibly comfortable to hold, and it’s tough—both shock-resistant and sandproof (hooray!). High-def; built-in USB (no cord needed for uploading).
To buy: $160, samsung.com for stores.
Digital Harinezumi 2+++
Shaped like a 70s-era Instamatic, it creates grainy silent footage reminiscent of Super 8 film. Not your primary camera, but a charming, quirky extra—and a great gift for budding hipsters.
To buy: $170, acgears.com.
Cleverly revolves and unfurls to let you film around, under, or over just about any obstacle, including the large head in front of you at the school holiday concert. High-def.
To buy: $250, di.casio.com for stores.
JVC Everio GZ-HM440
Top shelf all the way, it contains two memory-card slots to store 22 hours of video (most cameras hold about 11). Crystal-clear optical zoom means you can shoot from a distance and still capture close-up smiles.
To buy: $230, jvc.com.
At about half an inch thick, it slips easily into a pocket. A Share button allows you to tag videos for delivery straight to Facebook or e-mail when you upload. You can also edit footage right on the camera. High-def; built-in USB.
To buy: $130, kodak.com.
Shoots In 3-D
Sony 3D Bloggie
Gimmicky, fun, and addictive, it records stills and movies with depth. View on a computer or a TV with 3-D capability, or watch on the camera itself. Built-in USB.
To buy: $250, store.sony.com.
Vivitar DVR 510
Quality video, a night setting for low light, and no need to charge (it runs on four AAA batteries). Not as sub-stantial as the others, but how about that price? Built-in USB.
To buy: $40, vivitar.com for stores.