It was just recently that I was looking for a camcorder, one that recorded in full high definition, 1920 x 1080 resolution. HD is a term which applies to several different resolutions; I wanted full HD.
The camcorder I purchased was the Sony HDR-CX100 Handycam, for 379 USD. I really didn’t want to spend that much money, but evidently that’s how much a full HD camcorder costs – upwards of 300 USD. I got the HDR-CX100 from amazon.com. It had the best price at the time, and the free shipping helped.
As I said above, the Sony HDR-CX100 Handycam is a full HD camcorder, which means it has the capability of shooting at 1920 x 1080 resolution, but it can also shoot in standard definition.
Most of the camcorder’s functions and settings are accessed by its 2.7 inch swivel touchscreen LCD. The Sony HDR-CX100 has a 10x optical zoom lens and a 120x digital zoom with built in SteadyShot image stabilization technology. For storage, it has 8GB of onboard flash memory; and in case that is not enough, the camcorder has a slot to insert a Memory Stick Pro Duo card.
Most camcorders these days have the capability of shooting photos. A feature I first was excited about, until I discovered that the photo capabilities of most camcorders are comparable to that of a cell phone camera. Not only are controls and settings limited, but so is the resolution, or megapixels. The Sony HDR-CX100 can shoot 4MP still images, and 2.2MP images, while recording video.
To capture a photo while shooting video you can either hit the dedicated shutter release on top at the rear of the camcorder, or you can use Sony’s Smile Shutter technology, which will just shoot every time it senses a smile.
The only other camcorder I considered was the Samsung HMX-H100, which also shoots full HD video. That was roughly the same price as the Sony when I got it. The Sony HDR-CX100 has a list price of 499, and the Samsung of 449, but both were on sale for a little under 400 USD at the time, but the Sony was slightly less expensive.
Each was at the bottom of their respective manufacturer’s full HD line of camcorders. Like the Sony HDR-CX100, the Samsung too has a 2.7 inch touchscreen LCD. And just like the Sony it has a 10x optical zoom lens as well as image stabilization. The Samsung’s digital zoom is 100x. A nice feature the Samsung has, which the Sony doesn’t, is a flash.
The Samsung can shoot 4.7MP still images, but does not shoot still images while recording video.
Choosing The Sony HDR-CX100
Both the Sony HDR-CX100 Handycam and the Samsung HMX-H100 are great HD camcorders, and choosing between them was not easy. In the end I chose the Sony over the Samsung, based on the 8GB of embedded flash memory, its size and feel, and its lower price at the time. The photo abilities of either were not much of a consideration, since I don’t really think I will use the camcorder much to take pictures. Maybe that’s something I will come to regret, since the Samsung can take larger photos than the Sony.