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Registered: ‎07-07-2009
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Canon vs. Panasonic vs. Sony camcorder

Hi, I am shopping for a new camcorder. Since HD is the way to go, I picked 3 models and don't know which one to pick. At first for a very long time I wanted the Canon but now I don't know.

Canon Vixia HF20
Panasonic HDC-HS250
Sony HDR-XR200V
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Registered: ‎09-29-2008

Re: Canon vs. Panasonic vs. Sony camcorder

Hi bmwlover,
 
I would suggest sticking with the Canon. My main reason is that the Canon stores your footage to a 32 GB internal flash drive rather than a 120 GB hard drive. The reason I personally prefer flash drive storage over hard drive storage is because there are no moving parts in a flash drive, and as in any consumer electronics the less moving parts the less likely you will encounter problems in the future. You will have less storage space on the Canon than the Panasonic or the Sony, but my personal philosophy on this is that I prefer stability and longevity over convenience when investing in my consumer electronics.
 
If you do need the extra storage space and you intend on using your camcorder to capture still images as well as videos I would then suggest getting the Panasonic since it records 8.3 megapixel still images, while the Canon only records 3.3 megapixel still images. Both the Canon and the Panasonic have gotten very good reviews from customers with the Panasonic getting slightly better reviews. I hope this helps you in your purchase!
 
Thanks,
Allan
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Allan|Senior Social Media Specialist | Best Buy® Corporate
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Posts: 3,445
Registered: ‎01-15-2009

Re: Canon vs. Panasonic vs. Sony camcorder

I'm not sure how much more the HF20 is than the HF200, but you may want to take a look at the cost difference between these vs. the cost of a 32GB flash card.

 

I don't know about the 200 vs. 20 vs separate 32GB flash, but when I bought my HF100, there was simply no reason to go for the HF10 - it was more than $100 price difference for 16GB of internal memory when 16GB cards were $35-40 depending on brand and speed rating.

 

I agree with Allan though that flash-based camcorders are the way to go.  Not only are they more rugged, but a common problem with camcorders is motor/tape noise picked up by the camera mic - It's worst for tape-based camcorders but still a potential problem for hard drive based camcorders.  Flash-based camcorders are immune to this problem.

 

Also, you should make sure that whatever unit you get has an external microphone input.  Even a relatively cheap external mic (The Audio-Technica PRO-24 CM is about $60-70) is a vast improvement over any builtin mic.

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*disclaimer* I am not now, nor have I ever been, an employee of Best Buy, Geek Squad, nor of any of their affiliate, parent, or subsidiary companies.
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Posts: 171
Registered: ‎12-03-2009

Re: Canon vs. Panasonic vs. Sony camcorder

The Panasonic is a hybrid and a better cam than either of the other 2 mentioned.  The HDD will likely last for many years.  If you drop it, the lens is just as likely to crack as the HDD is likely to break.  Either way your cam is dead so don't drop it.  SD has a limited number of reads/writes which no one ever mentions so don't think that will last forever either.  You can always toss in a 32GB SD card if you'd like into a HDD hybrid.  A Sandisk Ultra II (Class 6) 32GB card goes for about $85 online.

 

The Canon's cheap and loud zoom will be picked up by the camera mic just as much, if not more, than the Panasonic's HDD and fan.

 

If you are partial to Canon, the old models are a better bet in that price range, though they are just as poorly constructed.