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At the top end of the video camera market is the Panasonic HDC-HS700. Though it is on the heavy side and isn't a handy pocket-sized affair, it does provide some of the best image quality on the market (14 megapixel still photos) and a host of top notch features.
Not only are you able to manually control focus, shutter and iris, you can also record in Dolby 5.1 channel audio and high definition. The camera comes with a three-inch LCD display, separate viewfinder, optical image stabiliser and 240GB of built-in storage - essential for budding movie makers. You'll need deep pockets though, as it's priced at £840.
Though there is no zoom facility once the 3D lens is attached, the automatic mode makes shooting easy and there are scene types available if you want to get creative. And the SD card plugs easily into a plasma or LCD TV for playback purposes.
Admittedly it's £1,300 but then it might just be worth it to see family home videos in 3D.
If, however, you are a keen traveller looking to record the wonders of the world, it could be worth considering the Sony Handycam HDR-XR350VE.
With a built-in 160GB hard disk capable of holding up to 67 hours of footage, this high definition camcorder has the added and unusual bonus of its own GPS system. Not very useful for general family filming but it does allow you to tag clips with the exact location in which you record them - great for sharing your extensive travels with friends and relatives.
It also comes with a wide-angle lens for both still images and video so you can record those fabulous landscapes in all their glory. Costing somewhere in the region of £700 so you'll want to look after it if you're backpacking.
For those who aren't visiting every corner of the globe, however, Sony's HDR-CX115E will provide good quality HD footage for a more affordable £350.
But if you're looking for a seriously handy camcorder, the Flip Video is the one for you. These small, light cameras are simple to use and come with a built-in USB connector.
The newest addition to the Flip range is the UltraHD (third generation). Though there is no photo mode or memory card slot, the picture quality is good, it'll record up to two hours of high def recording on its 8GB internal memory and runs on just three AA batteries. Priced at around £180, the Flip UltraHD is an excellent choice for those looking for a neat, little device that's easy to use.
And for those of you who have the odd You've Been Framed moment, it's worth considering the Sanyo Xacti VPC-CA100 (around £280). It's a little bigger than the Flip models but it can take 14 megapixel still images, records in 1080p high definition, has an image stabiliser and... it'll stay waterproof up to three metres. Essential if you plan on messing about on the river!