I recently purchased a new HC-V250K camcorder and it is awesome. The zoom on this thing is better than I imagined. I compared this to my digital camera that had a 12x optical zoom and a total of around 30x digital zoom and am blown away. This camera will go out to 90x optical zoom and you can change a setting where it will go out to 3000X digital zoom. The only thing I have not liked about this camera is the fact that aftermarket batteries are not currently available. I solved the problem (for me at least) and you can read about it on this post.
Now I considered getting the HC-V550K camcorder. There are only a few difference in these two cameras except for the approximately $100 change in price. First off this camera is slightly bigger and has a bigger screen. The larger screen equates to slightly higher power draw which would mean a little less battery life. This camera does have a few more options as far as image stabilization, but the zoom and the recording modes (quality) are the exact same on these two cameras. So the extra $100 gets you a little less battery life, a larger screen that I didn’t need and some image stabilization. If you buy a small tripod do you really need this? I can easily shoot some quality video at 120x zoom by leaning against something to stabilize my arm.
The HC-V750 camcorder comes with a lot more options that the HC-V550 and HC-V250. The sensor is much bigger and it is packed with more image stabilization options. The self leveling option would be nice but you must remember these options cost battery life. This costs you $300 more than the HC-V250. If you notice though it shoots in the exact same format as the HC-V250, so you might get a little better video but probably not much. There are a lot more still shot options, but a camcorder only takes mediocre still shots anyways. If you want good still shots you need to be looking at a pricy. You gain 5.1 audio on this camera, but you loose a considerable amount of your zoom. This camcorder uses the same batteries as metnioned above, and the power draw is about 50 to 70% more than the other two.
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