Mini reviewGoPro is the biggest name in action cams, but there are lots of alternatives, like this tiny Sony AZ1VR with its wrist-mounted remote.
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Just like its forerunner, the TG3, Sony's stylish new Full HD shooter is a camcorder with the 'wow' factor. The HDR-TG7 takes the pistol-grip camcorder design and refines it so that you get a trim, slim, easy-to-use model – with an intriguing twist being added by a built-in GPS receiver.
After years in the doldrums camcorders are looking dynamic again thanks to stellar high-def images, competitive prices and the unstinting rise of YouTube. Sony is taking advantage of this with the HDR-XR520, a Full HD (1920x1080) shooter that crams in a 3.2in touchscreen LCD, 240GB hard disk drive, 12x optical zoom – and just happens to be the world's first with built-in GPS.
The Sony HDR-TG3E is a tiny HD camcorder that comes with a stack of extras. It's the shape of the Sony that drives everything. You ﬂip and twist the LCD screen, which automatically turns on the power and then you hold the camcorder vertically like a six shooter.
Although the Mac OS is the platform of choice for editing video and rendering effects, it still lags behind Windows with its support for hard disk camcorders. HDD offers longer recording times, high-def recording and some better file handling efficiencies. However, few of these HDD units are fully Mac-compatible.
If Sony is looking for a heavyweight contender in the battle for semi-pro camcorder supremacy then the EX1 might well be it. Well, it would be if the battle could be won at the weigh-in. You see the first thing we noticed when removing this new cam from the box was its weight. At 2.8kg it is a bit of a back-breaker but further investigation revealed some nifty innovations that go some way to compensate.
Comfortably the smallest and lightest model in this roundup, the CX6 records all footage on to removable Memory Sticks.