DemystifyingDigital: New & Easy Camcorders


DemystifyingDigital is a new feature written by Dan Havlik, editor of

If you’ve ever seen the return rate on digital camcorders at Best Buy you’d know that they are some of the most frustratingly difficult gadgets to use. That’s all beginning to change though with the growing popularity of new recording formats including DVD-based camcorders and camcorders that record to hard drives and memory cards. Below are some of our favorite new and easy digital camcorders with enough firepower to turn you into Steven Spielberg Jr.

Sanyo Xacti E1
Shooting video at the beach or pool this summer will be a breeze with the new waterproof Sanyo Xacti E1. Along with capturing video, the Exacti E1 can snap 6-megapixel photos, making this splash proof wonder a great two-in-one device. Perhaps the coolest thing about the Xacti E1 though is that it can actually record video clips while submerged in up to five feet underwater for as long as 30 minutes.

Canon DC230
The long-zooming Canon DC230 with its 35x optical lens has what it takes to get you close to the action. A smooth-zoom feature with three preset zoom speeds is especially helpful in eliminating the herky-jerky look that degrades quality during long zooms. The DC230 records to DVDs, one of the easiest camcorder formats to use.

Sony DCR-HC48
Remember camcorders that record to miniDV tape? Yes, they still make ’em and many users love the simplicity and affordability these models offer. One the Sony DCR-HC48’s best features is its 25x optical zoom that easily shoots across a soccer field. It also has an excellent image sensor, a simple-to-use 2.7-inch wide touch-screen LCD and includes a Handycam docking station for easy connection to your computer or TV.