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 50 Sony DCR-TRV22 JVC GR-DX95 Hitachi DZ-MV350
Format MiniDV MiniDV MiniDV DVD-R/ DVD-RAM
CCD capture 800,000 pixels 800,000 pixels 800,000 pixels 800,000 pixels
CCD surface 1/6" 1/4" 1/6" 1/4"
Lens diameter 28 mm 30 mm 30.5 mm 30.5 mm
Optical zoom 10x 10x 16x 10x
Digital zoom 400x 120x 700x 240x
35 mm conversion 48 - 480 mm 42 - 420 mm 43.2 - 691.2 mm 40.5 - 404 mm
Minimum aperture F 1.8 F 1.7 F 1.6 F 1.8
Minimum illumination 2.4 lux 5 lux 0.5 lux 3 lux
Shutter speed 1/50 - 1/2000 1/3 - 1/4000 1/50 - 1/4000 1/50 - 1/4000
Viewfinder color, 113,000 pixels color, 113,000 pixels black & white color, 110,000 pixels
LCD display 2 inches, 130,000 pixels 2.5 inches, 123,200 pixels 3 inches, 200,000 pixels 2.5 inches, 120,000 pixels
Wide screen mode (16:9) anamorphic anamorphic anamorphic/ letter box anamorphic
Photo support SD/ cassette Memory Stick / cassette SD/ cassette SD/ DVD-RAM
Photo resolution 1024x768, 640x480 640x480 1024x768, 640x480 640x480
Loading tapes side loading, 15 seconds bottom loading, 10 seconds bottom loading, 20 seconds top loading, 25 seconds
DV in/ out yes/ yes yes/ yes yes/ yes USB 2.0
A/V in/ out yes/ yes yes/ yes yes/ yes yes/ yes
S-video in/ out yes/ yes yes/ yes yes/ yes yes/ yes
Mic in yes yes no yes
Headphone in yes yes no yes
USB port yes yes yes yes
LANC in yes yes no no
Grip no yes no yes
Flash/Lighting no/ no no/ no yes/ no no
Battery charger separate in camera in camera separate
Manual focus dial touch panel buttons buttons
Software DV Messenger
ZoomBrowser
PhotoRecord
Image Browser
PhotoStitch
ImagePixer
USB driver
Studio 8
USB driver
MyDVD
USB driver
Weight without batteries 380 g 530 g 450 g 530 g
Dimensions 5 x 11.1 x 8.9 cm 7.1 x 9 x 11.2 cm 9.6 x 10.2 x 5.5 cm 5.7 x 8.9 x 13.2 cm
Price (US) $800 $700 $900 $969
Price (Europe) 1100 euros 1000 euros 1300 euros 1300 euros
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