Lights! Action! Camcorders!
Constantly improving video cameras offer all the options, from super-high definition to instant DVDs
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Let's finish off with a unique tapeless video recorder, a device that lets you boldly shoot where you'd never consider shooting before. The Samsung SC-X105L ($599.99) is shockingly small at just 3.7'' x 2.3'' x 1.1'' and a barely there 5.1 ounces. Tuck it into a pocket or toss it in your bag and you're always ready to grab a video clip or a still, use the built-in voice recorder and even play back MP3 files. I rarely use the word "gadget" to describe the products I review with suitable reverence, but the word was created to describe digital all-in-ones like this. The basic camera is fun in its own right, producing decent if still sub-tape-quality video clips and mediocre stills (the 800 x 600 resolution isn't enough to make a decent print). But then there's the killer feature, the one that makes this a "sports camcorder"—a weather-resistant external lens that attaches to the camera via a thin wire and connects to your body via a headband, wristband or clip. Suddenly you can take hands-free video as you shred down the slopes, paraglide on thermals or do whatever else thin, attractive people do that looks cool in TV commercials. Since the camera's so light and the lens is so flexible, a world of possibilities for unusual video angles and opportunities present themselves. A pet-cam? Why not. A helium-balloon's-eye view of your home from above? Certainly feasible. And if you've been wondering what to give Paris Hilton for her upcoming nuptials, I think your problem is solved. v
Steve Morgenstern writes often on technology for Cigar Aficionado.