CES 2011 Wrap-Up: Best Camcorders At CES 2011
Last updated on 01/18/2013
Sony and Kodak debut the most interesting new video cameras at CES 2011.
By Liam McCabe
Camcorders, at least those in the price range that 98% of consumers would consider buying, are pretty stagnant these days. Year to year, not much changes anymore. Most camcorders you'll see this year could have been released at any time since 2008. That said, a few new models emerged at CES 2011 that managed to actually get us excited about the future of portable, affordable video.
Kodak Playsport Zx5
The new Playsport Zx5 (or "Playsport Gen 2" as Kodak's rep called it. "No more numbers.") follows up the mega-successful Playsport Zx3 pocket camcorder, which shot stabilized 1080p video and was waterproof up to 10 feet. This newest model is now also shockproof, dustproof, and has faster autofocus. Kodak left the insides well alone, which is a wise move. We're totally fine with the fact that Kodak really hasn't changed the way that their pocket camcorders shoot video since mid-2009 -- they found some kind of sweet spot, and we don't blame them for sticking to it.
Sony Handycam PJ30V
This one just makes sense: Sony slapped a projector into a camcorder. The PJ30V has a pico-projector built into the backside of its fold-out LCD panel, so shooters will be able to share video on any wall, right from their camera. The projector is pretty dim (10 lumens) but the concept is excellent and should work decently well unless there's intense direct light. Sony had a mini-darkroom display where the picture was very clear, but it was even clearly visible out on the Las Vegas Convention Center showroom floor. The PJ30V is also a solid full HD camera too, with a 1/4" CMOS sensor, 32GB flash memory (plus Memory Stick/SD card slots), geotagging capability, and 24fps shooting as well.
Sony Handycam TD10
We were tired of the 3D schtick by the end of the convention -- no matter where we went in the LVCC, it popped up somewhere nearby -- but the Sony TD10 made a lasting impression. This 1080p shooter would likely be Sony's flagship camcorder as a 2D model, but it just so happens to shoot in the third dimension. Unlike other 3D camcorders (excluding Sony's own Bloggie FS3 and JVC's TD1), which use a conversion lens that splits the signal and cuts image resolution in half, the TD10 is a self-contained 3D camcorder with two lenses and two sensors -- it's essentially two camcorders in one body, working side by side. It's damned expensive, but just preliminarily, it looks like best 3D camcorder solution yet.