CamcorderInfo.com 2011 Select Awards

The eighth annual Select Awards have been selected. Find out what our staff selected as the best camcorders of 2011.

This year's awards represent the eighth year that CamcorderInfo has honored the best video recording products in the industry. After a few years of playing second fiddle to Panasonic's powerhouse lineup, Canon is back on top with a new sensor that crushed the competition in low light. Of course, there are plenty of other camcorders to choose from, and our awards highlight the camcorders that we would recommend not just to our readers, but to friends and family as well.

 **Camcorder of the Year**
 

**Canon Vixia HF G10 **- $1499 MSRP

Canon_HF_G10_Vanity.jpg

The Canon HF G10 is a bold, powerful, camcorder that produced excellent HD video in all of our tests. Canon's decision to go with a brand new image sensor on the HF G10 certainly paid off, as the camcorder captured crisp, clean video in bright light, while working wonders in low light situations as well. In addition to impressive video quality, the HF G10 is loaded with professional-grade controls and features, including a fantastic 24p record mode that will give your videos a cinematic look and feel. With all its controls and top-notch performance, the HF G10 skirts the line between professional and consumer, so the camcorder's $1500 price tag, while steep, is justified. This is a camcorder that demands respect, and we're more than willing to give it just that.

"**Read the Full Review**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-Vixia-HF-G10-Camcorder-Review.htm

 **Best Budget Camcorder** (under $250)
 

"**Samsung HMX-W200**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Samsung-HMX-W200-Camcorder-Review.htm - MSRP $159

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It's a rare occasion for a budget camcorder to truly impress us with good video performance, but that's exactly what happened when the Samsung HMX-W200 waltzed into our labs. Compared to other models in its price range, the W200 produced some of the sharpest video we've ever seen, and it's results in low light situations were equally as good. For a camcorder that retails for well under $200, the HMX-W200 is an excellent deal—it's compact, waterproof, records beautiful Full HD video, and it's easy to use.

"**Read the Full Review**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Samsung-HMX-W200-Camcorder-Review.htm

Runner-up: "**Sony Bloggie 3D MHS-FS3**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Sony-3D-Bloggie-Camcorder-Review.htm - MSRP $249

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The Sony Bloggie 3D MHS-FS3 isn't the cheapest camcorder in the budget category, nor is it the simplest to use, but it is definitely the most unique and interesting. As you can tell by its model name, the Bloggie 3D has the ability to record 3D video, and it does so with surprisingly good quality and relative ease. The camcorder is also stylish and flashy, fits in a pocket with ease, and has a larger LCD than most budget models. The only downside: the Bloggie 3D isn't waterproof and lacks a rugged design like much of the competition.

"**Read the Full Review**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Sony-3D-Bloggie-Camcorder-Review.htm

 **Best Entry-level Camcorder** (under $600)
 

"**Panasonic HDC-TM90**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-HDC-TM90-Camcorder-Review.htm - MSRP $549

Panasonic_HDC-TM90_Vanity_Prov.jpg

The Panasonic HDC-TM90 is a mid-range camcorder wrapped in the body of an entry-level model and graced with a budget-friendly price tag. The camcorder is loaded with features—including optical image stabilization and a 60p record mode—and had superior performance to everything else we tested in its price range.

"**Read the Full Review**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-HDC-TM90-Camcorder-Review.htm

Runner-up: "**Canon Vixia HF R21**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-HF-R21-Camcorder-Review.htm - MSRP $499 (original); now $449

Canon_HF_R21_Vanity.jpg

Canon has long been known for producing quality high-end camcorders, but with the Vixia HF R21, the company has added a terrific entry-level model to its resume. The HF R21's ability to record using 24p and 30p frame rates is just one of the features on this camcorder that sets it apart from the competition. The slick menus, solid handling, and 32GB of internal memory are a few others. The performance here didn't quite match that of the Panasonic TM90, but the HF R21 was still near the top of its class.

"**Read the Full Review**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-HF-R21-Camcorder-Review.htm

 **Best Mid-Range Camcorder** (under $1000)
 

"**Canon Vixia HF M40**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-HF-M40-Camcorder-Review.htm - $699 MSRP (original); now $599

Canon_HF_M40_Vanity.jpg

Canon's mid-range Vixia HF M40 uses the same new image sensor as the company's top-line HF G10 camcorder, which won our pick for Camcorder of the Year. It's safe to say the new sensor worked just as well in the M40 as it did in the G10, which means Canon's mid-range model captured professional-grade video in our test. The HF M40 has a decent set of controls and a user-friendly interface as well, but it's the excellent image quality that makes this the best camcorder in the sub-$1000 price range.

"**Read the Full Review**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-HF-M40-Camcorder-Review.htm

Runner-up: Sony Handycam HDR-PJ30V - $949 MSRP

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The Sony Handycam HDR-PJ30V is an HD camcorder with a simple trick up its sleeve: it has a built-in video projector that can be used to watch your recorded videos in playback mode. The projector isn't perfect, but it can be fun to play around with and it works about as well as you'd expect from a tiny projector built into the side of a camcorder. But the PJ30V isn't just a gimmicky camcorder—it produced fine video in our performance tests and it handled well-enough that it's a camcorder we feel comfortable recommending to beginners.

"**Read the Full Review**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Sony-Handycam-HDR-PJ30-Camcorder-Review.htm

 **Best High-End Camcorder** (under $2000)
 

Canon Vixia HF G10 - $1499 MSRP

Canon_HF_G10_Vanity.jpg

The Canon HF G10 is a bold, powerful, camcorder that produced excellent HD video in all of our tests. Canon's decision to go with a brand new image sensor on the HF G10 certainly paid off, as the camcorder captured crisp, clean video in bright light, while working wonders in low light situations as well. In addition to impressive video quality, the HF G10 is loaded with professional-grade controls and features, including a fantastic 24p record mode that will give your videos a cinematic look and feel. With all its controls and top-notch performance, the HF G10 skirts the line between professional and consumer, so the camcorder's $1500 price tag, while steep, is justified. This is a camcorder that demands respect, and we're more than willing to give it just that.

"**Read the Full Review**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Canon-Vixia-HF-G10-Camcorder-Review.htm

Runner-up: "**Panasonic HDC-TM900**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-HDC-TM900-Camcorder-Review.htm - $1099 MSRP

Panasonic_HDC-TM900_Vanity.jpg

The Panasonic HDC-TM900 is a fantastic camcorder by all accounts. It offers excellent image quality, multiple frame rate recording options, and a small lens ring for adjusting manual controls. The camcorder even has the ability to shoot 3D video—with the purchase of an optional 3D conversion lens, of course. Despite all these excellent attributes, we were left a bit disappointed with the TM900 due to its lack of innovation. The camcorder offers little in the way of improvements or enhanced features over its predecessor, and as a result, the camcorder fell short of our expectations.

"**Read the Full Review**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-HDC-TM900-Camcorder-Review.htm

 **Best Value**
 

"**Panasonic HDC-TM90**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-HDC-TM90-Camcorder-Review.htm - $549 MSRP

Panasonic_HDC-TM90_Vanity_Prov.jpg

Dollar for dollar, the HDC-TM90 represents the best bargain of any camcorder we've reviewed this year. Sure, there are better camcorders out there, but finding one that outperforms the HDC-TM90 would likely run you close to $1000 bucks. The TM90, on the other hand, is available online for less than $500 dollars. That's a great deal for an excellent camcorder with a boatload of manual controls and 16GB of internal flash memory.

"**Read the Full Review**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Panasonic-HDC-TM90-Camcorder-Review.htm

Runner-up: "**Kodak PlayFull Ze1**":http://www.camcorderinfo.com/content/Kodak-PlayFull-Ze1-Camcorder-Review.htm - $129 MSRP

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The Kodak PlayFull Ze1 doesn't offer much in the way of features, and its performance in our testing was less than spectacular, but its compact size, simple interface, and cheap price tag are sure to impress shoppers on a budget. The PlayFull Ze1 carries an MSRP of $129, but the camcorder can easily be found for less than $100 online, making it one of the cheapest camcorders we've reviewed all year. The compact size of the PlayFull was frustrating at times, but the simple nature of the camcorder makes it the perfect fit for a child or someone brand new to the world of videography.

"**Read the Full Review**":

 **Best Camera for Video** (in conjunction w/ DigitalCameraInfo.com)
 

"**Canon EOS Rebel T3i**":http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/Canon-Rebel-T3i-First-Impressions-Review.htm - MSRP $899 (18-55mm kit)

Canon_t3i_vanity.jpg

The Canon Rebel T3i came away with this award thanks to its ability to capture crisp video in bright light, accurate colors in low light, and good video performance all-around. Like most DSLRs, the T3i had trouble with autofocus in video mode, but the rest of the camera's controls worked well when shooting video. We also enjoyed the articulated LCD on the back of the T3i, which made shooting video with the camera on a tripod a much easier task.

"**Read the Full Review**":http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/Canon-Rebel-T3i-First-Impressions-Review.htm

Runner-up: "**Olympus E-P3**":http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/Olympus-E-P3-Digital-Camera-Review.htm - MSRP $899 (14-42mm kit)

Olympus_e-p3_vanity.jpg

The Olympus E-P3 can't record video with the same quality as the Canon T3i, but it's compact design and suite of manual controls still make it a good choice for video enthusiasts. The E-P3 is small enough that you can use it to record video all day long without overexerting your arm muscles, and its results in our video performance tests were better than the other cameras in its size and price range.

"**Read the Full Review**":http://www.digitalcamerainfo.com/content/Olympus-E-P3-Digital-Camera-Review.htm

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