Best Pocket HD Internet Camcorders
Pocket Internet camcorders can't be judged by the same criteria as regular models. They aim for idiot-proof simplicity and have virtually no settings to configure, but integrate software onboard alongside a USB plug so you don't have to carry around any cables to upload to a computer or the Internet. With far fewer features than other camcorder categories, there's less to differentiate pocket Internet models, too. But the Creative Vado HD just manages to put its head above other camcorders in its class.
Now that mobile phones are increasingly capable at shooting video, devices in this category need to be an improvement. The Vado HD not only shoots 720p video but copes surprisingly well with low light - exactly what you need for a camcorder you might whip out at a party. The Vado HD comes with 8GB of memory on board and no slot for upgrading. However, even at the top HD+ setting this is enough for two hours of footage, or four hours in basic HD mode, although this reduces quality noticeably.
The software Creative supplies with the Vado HD is not as fully featured as the Flip's. You can perform some basic editing functions, but the main feature is uploading to YouTube, Photobucket and Box.net. However, the Vado HD can now be had for under £100. So if you do want a little pocket camcorder for uploading HD video to the Web, it's a bargain. There are even cables for HDMI and USB extension plus a silicone sheath included in the box.
The Flip almost single-handedly created the pocket Internet category of camcorder, and the Ultra HD is another well thought-out device. It comes with rechargeable batteries, but these are AA in size so you can use regular cells if they run out on the road. Video quality is similar to Creative's Vado HD, and 8GB of onboard memory is supplied, but the Flip Video UltraHD costs more and doesn't come with an HDMI cable, making it worse value.
The Kodak Zi6 was one of the first pocket Internet camcorders to offer 720p HD video. It was quite a bargain when released, and still is. However, you need to supply your own SDHC card as only 128MB of memory is available on the unit, and video quality isn't as good as the Creative Vado HD or Flip Video UltraHD, particularly in low light.