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Help with choosing a camcorder


Well-known member
Sep 23, 2008
South Shore Montreal
Looking to buy my dad a camcorder for his birthday/father's day. One of the things he has supposedly looked at was display size, so I would like to have at least 3.0", as for the rest he never really mentioned anything and being that he is in Afghanistan atm (1 month to go) it is a little more difficult to bring up the topic without having him catch on. However I can guess roughly what he would want in terms of features.

- the option of using SD cads. I know there are some that have internal hard drives, but if something happens I would at least like to have the option of using an SD card.
- nice picture obviously, but in terms of resolution we only have 720P/1080i TVs at home. However other family members do have 1080P capable TVs and I see no reason to limit ourselves to 720P.
- good sound quality
- no firewire, should be able to connect to his pc through usb (if it has internal memory / "hard" drive)
- battery life, the longer the better, would like at least an hour and ideally removable battery packs.
- Budget $400-500 give or take (pre tax)

At the moment I am looking at these:
- Canon VIXIA HF R20
- JVC GZ-HM650
- Sony HDR-CX130 (or 160)
- Panasonic HDC-TM80

Any there any interesting models I have overlooked? Has anyone tried any of the above and has comments or suggestions?

Personally I am looking at either the Canon or the Sony ones (I believe the only real difference between the 130 and 160, is the 160 can do 1080P).

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