As smartphones and cameras continue to offer improved video quality, manufacturers have stepped up their camcorder models to give consumers a reason to purchase that dedicated video cam. A quarter of the way through 2013, the newest camcorders on the market are offering beefed up features and better sensors in smaller packages.
More and more manufacturers are jumping on the wi-fi bandwagon, allowing users to instantly upload or backup their footage. The companies offering wi-fi are also offering improved apps enabling the cam to be remotely controlled, allowing the user to start recording or even pan away from the reach of the usual controls. While wi-fi isn't new to the imaging industry, it is improving with tweeks to operation like one touch uploads and auto backup and better remote applications in 2013.
|Many camcorders, like this one from JVC, now have built in wi-fi.|
Cams like the Canon Vixia HF R42 and JVC GZ-VX815 have the wi-fi built right in, others are offered as ad ons. Sony offers an add on this year that's compatible with all their new handycam models.
Wi-fi isn't the only feature receiving a makeover in 2013, many models have increased zoom ranges. Manufacturers are also boasting improved image stabilization technologies. Hard drive memory is a trend of the past as most models now offer some sort of flash memory or removable SD or Micro SD card or both.
Nearly every major camcorder company has improved their image sensor for 2013. JVC, for example, is advertising 2.4 megapixel CMOS sensors, with the VX815 at 12 megapixels. Sony's new sensors are back illuminated, designed for improved footage when light is low. And while two years ago, 1080p video quality was the standard for the mainstream models, many now offer 1920p, a step up from the quality inside the average camera.
|Panasonic's HXA100 introduced in 2013, is a compact wearable cam.|
While adding features, many models are continuing to shed ounces and centimeters for improved portability. Ultra portable pocket cams are also, conversely, improving their features and staying compact. Panasonic's new wearable cam, the HX A100, can hide the bulk of the camera in the user's clothing, while just the small lens, attached to an earpiece, and cord remain visible.
While 2013 models tend to add features and improve sensors, there's still a slew of past perks that are gaining in popularity, like cams with built-in projectors and the 3D cams.
With the continual camcorder improvements, few models are being sold in standard definition format. But since HD cameras are becoming less and less expensive, most consumers won't miss them. Manufacturers are working to keep dedicated camcorders from going to the wayside from smartphones and cameras by keeping models affordable, yet full of features.