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1st Place: Panasonic HDC-TM700.For the second year running, Panasonic grabs the top spot, and for most of the same reasons as before. The TM700 offers a comprehensive range of manual controls and enthusiast features, the pinnacle of which is the lens ring. You also get essentials like a standard-sized accessory shoe and microphone input. However, it also has some novel features, chief amongst which are the ability to shoot Full HD at 50 progressive frames a second, and a powerful new image stabilisation mode. With super image quality, the TM700 is a potent package for the discerning enthusiast or semi-pro.
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2nd Place: Canon LEGRIA HF S21Although trumped by this year’s overall winner, Canon’s latest high-end LEGRIA still offers awesome performance and features. Image quality is on par with the best current models, and the control knob next to the lens provides easy access to manual controls. However, it’s not quite as flexible as a lens ring, the accessory shoe is Canon’s proprietary version, and the HF S21 is also more expensive than our number one choice for 2010.
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3rd Place: JVC Everio GZ-HM1JVC hasn’t always bothered with the semi-professional end of the camcorder market, but the GZ-HM1 is a very commendable re-entry. With excellent image quality, a control knob similar to Canon’s LEGRIA HF S21, 64GB of internal memory, a standard accessory shoe, and a price just over £800, the GZ-HM1 is more an equal second to Canon than a bronze medal contender.
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