LAS VEGAS — Many of the same features and functions
that are helping to drive the digital point-and-shoot camcorder
business in 2012 are proving to be just as valuable
to people shopping for a dedicated camcorder.
Long-zoom ranges, high-quality still image capture,
large image sensors, low-light sensitivity and wireless
connectivity are all key selling points among new models
slated to debut here at International CES. At the same
time, standard-definition models have all but disappeared
from most companies’ lines.
The following is a glimpse at what most of the major
brands are planning to unveil this week:
Canon is presenting six Vixia HD camcorders, dropping
SD models entirely in 2012. The line is split between
the HFR and HFM model series.
HFR models include the HFR300 ($350), HFR30
($450) and HFR32 ($550). Models feature optical zoom
magnification to 32x starting at a 32mm wide angle, 51x
advanced zoom, a 20 percent reduction in body size,
AVCHD or MPEG-4 recording options, new optical image
stabilization and touchscreen panel.
The HFR30 and HFR32 models both include Wi-Fi and
DLNA connectivity. The R30 has 8GB or internal memory,
and the R32 steps up to 32GB of internal memory. The
HFR300 has only an SD card slot for memory.
The HFM models include the HFM500 ($550), HFM50
($650) and HFM52 ($750). All offer HD CMOS Pro imagers
with better low-light performance, AVCHD or MP4
recording options, advanced optical and intelligent image
stabilization, 15 percent size reduction and 10 percent
weight reduction, and have 10x zoom lenses (6.1-61mm).
Models M50 and M52 feature
built-in Wi-Fi and DLNA
connectivity support. The
HFM50 includes 8GB of
memory while the HFM52
offers 32GB of memory. The
HFM500 has only an SD
card slot for memory.
DXG USA will introduce
two additions to its Pro Gear
HD camcorder line. Models
DXG-5K1V ($300 suggested
retail) and the DXG-B01V
($250) are said to include
for expert videographers
with easy-to-use touchscreen
LCD interfaces for advanced
and amateur users alike.
The DXG-5K1V features
FullHD 1080/60p recording,
12-megapixel still photo resolution and a 20x optical zoom
The DXG-B01V offers 1080p high-definition video recording
and comes with an HDMI cable and support for
high-capacity SD cards.
JVC America is presenting seven HD Everio camcorders
This year’s models will record in FullHD (AVCHD); feature
SD card slots, including one model that adds both
an SD card slot and 16GB of internal flash memory; and
incorporate back-side illuminated CMOS sensors.
Shooting and editing software will be installed
on all models, including among some units timelapse
recording and editing functionality.
Four of the models will add Wi-Fi connectivity
with real-time monitoring of images via PC or
smartphone; detecting and sending photo and
video files via email; movement detection that
emails images to a PC or smartphone; and a
smartphone app that allows downloading videos
and stills from an Everio to the smartphone.
The GZ-E10 ($200 suggested retail) features
a 40x optical zoom lens, F1.8 Konica Minolta
lens, face-detection circuitry, 2.7-inch LCD,
1.5-megapixel CMOS image sensor and a
choice of black, blue or red body colors.
The GZ-E200 ($250) adds a 3-inch touchscreen
LCD, 2-megapixel still image resolution,
smile meter/smile shot circuitry that gauges the
strength of a subject’s smile, and black, blue
and red color options.
The GZ-EX210 ($300) adds Wi-Fi capability
in addition to the features of the GZ-E200.
The GZ-EX250 ($400) steps up with the addition
of 16GB of built-in flash memory and an
SD card slot. It will be available in black only.
The GZ-V500 ($400) omits Wi-Fi but adds
a 3.32-megapixel CMOS sensor. It shoots 10
megapixel stills and includes a 10x optical zoom
and optical image stabilizer, built-in light, super
low-lux shooting, 60 fps continuous still shooting
and 300 fps high speed video for slow motion.
The GZ-VX700 ($450) adds built-in Wi-Fi to
the features in the GZ-V500.
The GZ-GX1 ($800) adds 1080/60p video
recording (AVCHD progressive), a 3.5-inch
LCD, 10.6-megapixel sensor and 11-megapixel
still image resolution.
Samsung will introduce four digital camcorders
highlighted by two models with built-in Wi-
The company will offer two upgraded versions
of the popular Q10 from 2011, in the Q20
and Q20 Wireless models. Both feature a very
small form factor, enhanced zoom range and
wireless capability to send off recordings on
Above those, Samsung will step to a model
with an even longer zoom range, higher-quality
video and still image performance, and wireless capability.
The company will also show the next generation
in its Pocket Cam line in the W300, which
will replace the popular W200.
The new Pocket Cam is designed for outdoor
use, offering water, shock, cold and dust
resistance. Pricing and availability will be announced
Sony’s lineup will offer 17 models, including
two advanced Bloggie pocket cams, two SDlevel
entry camcorders carried over from 2011,
four HD entry models, five midrange models in
two steps and four high-performance models.
Mixed among them at all levels are four combination
The four new HD entry models range in suggested
retail from $299 to $439. All offer up to
four times the still image resolution of last year
using a new Pixel Creation technology, a 25x optical
zoom lens, active SteadyShot, iAuto+ function
and built-in USB quick-charging system.
Step-up units add a touchscreen flip-out LCD,
8GB of internal memory and an HDMI cable.
High-end models include two projector
combos — the PJ710V ($1,299) and PJ760V
($1,599) — and the stand-alone CX760V
($1,499). All feature an improved multi-directional
balanced SteadyShot system with up to
13 times the stability of last year.
The 2012 flagship is the TD20V ($1,499)
dual-lens 3D-capable model that is 34 percent
smaller and features a 0.25-inch EXMOR R image
sensor, 20.4-megapixel still shot resolution,
2D/3D 3-inch glasses-free flip-out LCD monitor,
64GB of internal memory and 1080/60p
HD video resolution.
Meanwhile, two new Bloggies include the
Bloggie Live (shipping at CES at a $249
suggested retail) with built-in Wi-Fi for live
streaming and feedback, Share It Now (socialnetwork
sharing) and Auto Sync networking
capability and the water/shock/-and dust- resistant
Bloggie Sport (shipping in February
at a $179 suggested retail) with a new touchscreen
Vivitar will unveil its ProSeries X advanced
2012 digital camcorder lineup, including the
XVN-J2 ($280) Full HD 1080p projector camcorder
combo that packs a mini projector into
a 100x-zoom and LCD touchscreen- equipped
The XVN-J9 ($450) offers 1080p resolution,
built-in projector and steps up to an 8x optical,
120x digital zoom and 3-inch LCD touch
Also slated is a pair of dual-stream recording
video cameras: the XVN-8 ($400) and the
XVN-1 ($300). Both have the ability to simultaneously
capture two full-stream videos. The
XVN-8 comes with FullHD resolution, 23x optical
zoom, and a 3-inch touchscreen LCD. The
XVN-1 is a FullHD 1080 model with an ultraslim
The XVN-5 ($250), meanwhile, is billed as
one of the smallest and lightest video cameras
in its class. It features FullHD video recording,
5x optical zoom with a 3-inch LCD touchscreen,
MicroSD memory and the ability to attach an
external 2.2x telephoto lens and a 0.43x wideangle