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Comparison of Four 800,000-Pixel Camcorders

Conclusion: Which One To Buy?

The Hitachi DZ-MV350 is the most attractive camcorder in this group, given the originality of its design. Being able to watch your film on a friend's DVD player without having to lug the camcorder around is a rare privilege that most MiniDV camcorders don't offer. The Canon Elura 50 is appealing because of its appearance and small size. The Sony DCR-TRV22 has very good image quality at low cost, but we found its LCD touch screen a puzzle. Lastly, the JVC GR-DX95 will set you back $900 for a black and white viewfinder and rather un-intuitive ergonomics.

Canon Elura 50Sony DCR-TRV22JVC GR-DX95Hitachi DZ-MV350
FormatMiniDVMiniDVMiniDVDVD-R/ DVD-RAM
CCD capture800,000 pixels800,000 pixels800,000 pixels800,000 pixels
CCD surface1/6"1/4"1/6"1/4"
Lens diameter28 mm30 mm30.5 mm30.5 mm
Optical zoom10x10x16x10x
Digital zoom400x120x700x240x
35 mm conversion48 - 480 mm42 - 420 mm43.2 - 691.2 mm40.5 - 404 mm
Minimum apertureF 1.8F 1.7F 1.6F 1.8
Minimum illumination2.4 lux5 lux0.5 lux3 lux
Shutter speed1/50 - 1/20001/3 - 1/40001/50 - 1/40001/50 - 1/4000
Viewfindercolor, 113,000 pixelscolor, 113,000 pixelsblack & whitecolor, 110,000 pixels
LCD display2 inches, 130,000 pixels2.5 inches, 123,200 pixels3 inches, 200,000 pixels2.5 inches, 120,000 pixels
Wide screen mode (16:9)anamorphicanamorphicanamorphic/ letter boxanamorphic
Photo supportSD/ cassetteMemory Stick / cassetteSD/ cassetteSD/ DVD-RAM
Photo resolution1024x768, 640x480640x4801024x768, 640x480640x480
Loading tapesside loading, 15 secondsbottom loading, 10 secondsbottom loading, 20 secondstop loading, 25 seconds
DV in/ outyes/ yesyes/ yesyes/ yesUSB 2.0
A/V in/ outyes/ yesyes/ yesyes/ yesyes/ yes
S-video in/ outyes/ yesyes/ yesyes/ yesyes/ yes
Mic inyesyesnoyes
Headphone inyesyesnoyes
USB portyesyesyesyes
LANC inyesyesnono
Gripnoyesnoyes
Flash/Lightingno/ nono/ noyes/ nono
Battery chargerseparatein camerain cameraseparate
Manual focusdialtouch panelbuttonsbuttons
SoftwareDV MessengerZoomBrowserPhotoRecordImage BrowserPhotoStitchImagePixerUSB driverStudio 8USB driverMyDVDUSB driver
Weight without batteries380 g530 g450 g530 g
Dimensions5 x 11.1 x 8.9 cm7.1 x 9 x 11.2 cm9.6 x 10.2 x 5.5 cm5.7 x 8.9 x 13.2 cm
Price (US)$800$700$900$969
Price (Europe)1100 euros1000 euros1300 euros1300 euros