If you don't have a problem walking around with a camera sticking out of the side of your head, then you won't have a problem with the Looxcie ($200). This tiny cam shoots HVGA footage any time it's on, letting you record those memories you wish you would have been filming without even needing to think about it. Plus, it doubles as a Bluetooth headset, and lets you use most well-known Android handsets as a viewfinder and editor — as if wearing a camera on your ear wasn't dorky enough.
We'll be the first to admit that our Flips haven't been getting much of a workout since our iPhone 4s arrived, but if you're still in the market for a pocket video camera, check out the Samsung HMX-E10 Camera ($200). Available in black or cream, the E10 centers around the 270-degree swiveling lens, which is paired with a 1/3.2-inch CMOS sensor for recording 1080p video in H.264 or capturing eight megapixel stills. HDMI output, a flip-out USB connector, and 2.7-inch touchscreen round out this soon to be antiquated offering.
Not content to simply let its nearly pocket-sized NEX-5 Camera shoot 1080p video, Sony's taken the next step and built an actual camcorder around its 14.2 megapixel APS-C sensor. The result is the Sony NEX-VG10 Handycam ($2,000), which Sony claims is the "world's first consumer interchangeable lens camcorder." Powered by the aforementioned Exmor sensor, the VG10 sports a camcorder-like body, with a Quad Capsule Spatial Array Stereo Microphone, 3-inch LCD, dual accessory shoes, a high-res traditional viewfinder, Memory Stick and SDXC storage, and an included E-Mount 18-200mm Optical SteadyShot lens that's augmented by compatibility with all E-Mount lenses, as well as most A-mount glass via an optional adapter. Oh, and it also shoots full 14-megapixel stills, just in case you're wondering.
Shoot your own interplanetary human-like Smurf epic with the Panasonic Pro Twin-Lens 3D Camera (approx. $20,000). Capable of 30fps, 1080p 3D recording, the Pro Twin uses the AVCHD Pro video format, recorded in sync onto two SDHC memory cards, with other features like automatic left-eye/right-eye image deviation correction, a weight of roughly 6 lbs., a 3.2-inch side-mounted LCD, HDMI 1.4 and HD-SDI outputs, a built-in stereo microphone, an XLR audio input, a remote terminal, and an auto record function for control of an external recorder. Okay, so you might not have the effects budget for a CGI-filled extravaganza, but at least your kid's tee-ball games will look better than ever.
Sure, it costs as much as 47 Canon 5D MK IIs, but you'd need nearly that many — configured in some sort of crazy, Matrix-like setup — to match the unbelievable 1,052 fps high-speed 1080p recording of the Phantom HD Camera ($118,000). Other jaw-dropping specs include ISO 640 sensitivity, the ability to achieve 35mm depth-of-field, up to 32GB of in-camera memory with hot-swappable CineMag flash memory magazines up to 512GB, compatibility with 35mm accessories, an 11-stop dynamic range, 14-bit sensor depth, a maximum resolution of 2048x2048, and the ability to capture slow-motion gems like this and this.
Aiming to be the ultimate pocket cam for interviews, YouTube videos, and more, the Ion Twin Video ($TBA; Q2 2010) lets you record both what you see and your reaction to it. It pulls off this feat by packing two cameras — facing opposite directions — into its compact body, as well as a stereo microphone, live editing features that let you swap the picture being recorded, split the screen, or do PIP recording, and SDHC-compliant storage.
Create your own full HD movies both above and below the water with the Kodak Playsport ($150; April 2010). Designed for the adventurous user, the rugged Playsport offers 1080p video capture at 30 fps, 720p capture at up to 60 fps, electronic image stabilization, HDMI output, the ability to capture five megapixel, 16:9 stills, a two-inch LCD display for playback, a Li-ion rechargeable battery with in-camera charging, SDHC storage, and waterproofing good down to 10 feet.
We love our Flips, but the Kodak Zi8 ($180) has us ready to switch sides. Available in blue, red, or black, the Zi8 offers Flip-beating 1080p video, with built-in electronic image stabilization, a 2.5-inch LCD, 5 megapixel, 16:9 still pics, an external microphone jack, an SDHC card slot, and a swing-out USB arm for easy uploading to YouTube or Facebook. [via]
If the 720p video from your Flip Mino HD just isn't cutting it, or you find yourself filling up its storage faster than you can clear it off, check out the new Samsung HMX-R10 HD Camcorder ($500). It features a 5x zoom lens that's angled at 25 degrees for more natural shooting, Full HD 1080p recording to SDHC cards, a 2.7-inch, fold-out touch screen LCD, and the ability to shoot still photos at up to 9 megapixels. Alien beauty also included. [via]
Is that a high definition camcorder with a built-in GPS receiver and a 10x optical zoom in your pocket, or are you just happy to see us? That's right, the sleek, titanium encased Sony HDR-TG5V Handycam Camcorder ($1,000) is a diminutive but surprisingly full-featured HD camcorder. It records in 1920x1080 HD video using a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens onto 16GB of built-in storage, and accepts Memory Stick media for ever-expandable hybrid recording. With image stabilization, 120x digital zoom, and 10x optical zoom, you'll get high quality recording no matter the distance. Automatic geotagging means you'll never forget where you've been. The camcorder also doubles as a capable digital camera, with 4-megapixel still photograph capability and a built-in, self-adjusting flash.
The successor to the Flip-killing Kodak Zi6, this pocket-friendly, weather-resistant camera captures 720p HD video (at 60 or 30 fps) and has easy editing and YouTube uploading. The Kodak Zx1 ($150; April) sports an SD/SDHC slot for memory cards up to 32GB, an onboard HDMI connection, and a 2-inch LCD screen. The Zx1 will be available in five colors.
Need EXTREME resolution? Then check out the new line of RED Modular Cameras ($2,500 - $55,000; 2009-2010). Designed to let you choose a "brain" ranging from 3K to 28K in resolution and then add modules to create the ideal setup for you, these cameras take both video and stills, with modules for Canon and Nikon lens mounts, 1080p monitoring, inputs/ouputs, remote control, and more. In case you were wondering about that 28K thing above, that's 261 Megapixels in camera-speak, 28000 x 9334, or resolution so intense that it requires caps and italics to properly convey the severity.