Canon Vixia HF M400
1080p HD video; AVCHD format; 10x optical zoom; 2.07 megapixel still photos; Optical image stabilization; 1/3-inch CMOS Pro sensor; 3-inch touchscreen LCD monitor; 5.1 surround-sound audio-recording capability; Cinema-look filters; DIGIC DV III processor; 2x SD/SDHC/SDXC card slots
Canon's HF M400 looks like a powerful consumer camcorder for the money. It's built around the same sensor/processor combo as Canon's flagship HF G10, plus a similar lens. That's significant because it records exactly 1920 pixels by 1080 pixels. There's no downscaling, upscaling, or picture resizing of any kind. There's more room for each individual pixel on the already-large sensor, so the low-light performance and dynamic range should be extra-sensitive. It also sports other high-end features like 5.1 audio recording capability, and cinema-look filters. The M400 is missing native 24fps mode, has no built-in memory (it records exclusively to two card slots), and the 3-inch LCD is a downgrade from the more expensive models. But overall, it looks great on paper. Also check out the HF M41, with 32GB built-in memory and an electronic viewfinder, and the HF M40, with 16GB built-in memory.