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Pocket Video Cameras

guy with video cameraLooking for a small, easy to use video camera for that someone special? Pocket Camcorders are usually rectangular shaped, vertically oriented, and record video formatted for the web, they tend to be a little cheaper than your average camcorder, and have a little less video quality. They come in two main varieties, HD (high definition) and and standard.  In simplest terms HD means the video has a resolution of 1280x720 pixels or higher, in reference to the web standard definition is 620x480 pixels. The HD variety of pocket camcorders usually records video using H.246 encoding and the standard definition cameras tend to use MPEG-4 encoding.

Here are some questions to ask when purchasing a pocket camcorder. Does it have a wide angle lens? Are the batteries rechargeable, and if so are they removable, how long is the battery life? Does the camera have a built in USB connector or does it use an attachable USB cable? Does it have tv-out or HDMI, and does it come with tv or HDMI cables? How much internal memory / storage does it have? Is the memory extensible via card slot? Does it take still photos?

These are the makes, models, and prices of a few popular pocket camcorders:

Pure Digital:

  • FlipMino ($180)

  • FlipUltra ($150)

  • FlipMinoHD ($230)

  • FlipUltraHD ($200)


  • Vado ($100)

  • Vado HD ($230)


  • Zx1 ($150)

  • Zi6 ($160)


  • Webbie HD ($170)

Pocket Camcorders are a great and easy way to create a vlog, display a home, showcase a product, share vacations and special moments, record a webcast, or capture live events and performances. So no matter if you want to be web famous or just share video with friends and family a pocket camcorder is the way to go.

If you feel however that a pocket camcorder is not for you and you favor devices that combine the functionality of many devices into one (phone, mp3 player, gps, camera, etc) a smart phone may be the way to go for you.

The iPhone 3Gs is available on the AT&T network for $199. The cameras specs are as follows:

  • 3 megapixels

  • Autofocus

  • Tap to focus

  • Video recording, VGA (640x480) up to 30 fps with audio

  • Photo and video geotagging

The Motorola Droid with Android OS is avaialble on the Verizon Network for $199. The camera has the following specs:

  • 5 megapexiles

  • Autofocus

  • Dual LED Flash

  • Video recording , DVD resolution(720x480) 24 fps capture.

  • Location tagging

The Blackberry Bold 9700 is available form T-Mobile and AT&T for $199. Here are the cameras features:

  • 3.2 MP Camera

  • Auto Focus, Image Stabilization

  • Flash

  • Video camera recording: Normal Mode (480 x 352 pixel)

The decision between a smart phone and a pocket camcorder is completely up to you the consumer, but if you like to do a lot of video recording I'd recommend getting a pocket camcorder and saving your phones battery, but the phones listed above are definitely capable of getting the job done just as well as a dedicated pocket camcorder.