The holiday season is a time of giving to loved ones and often to charities. There's a new way to give to both-a charity gift card. But Consumer Reports Money Adviser has a caution.
If you've got a budding Steven Spielberg, you may be considering a pocket camcorder for a gift.
Consumer Reports has the scoop on mini moviemakers.
Thirteen-year-old Jack Alexander loves to shoot home movies with his Flip Video Camera. He says it's more convenient than a regular camcorder.
"It's not like a really big thing you need to tug around with you. It fits right in your pocket." said Alexander.
Consumer Reports checked out 14 different pocket camcorders-all priced $200 and under.
Included were ones from Flip, Sony, and Kodak. Testers evaluated both video and audio quality.
"They don't compare well to full-size camcorders in terms of video quality, or even audio quality. But for their convenience and size, you can't beat them." said Elias Arias of Consumer Reports.
And then there's the newest iPod Nano that lets you shoot a video.
"Compared to other pocket camcorders, the iPod Nano's video is a good as the best we've seen in pocket camcorders. However, the audio begins to distort as it gets louder." said Arias.
Testers found all the devices make shooting videos nearly foolproof.
And once you're done shooting, you can easily connect the camcorder to your computer, where you can save, edit, and share videos.
Consumer Reports says the Pure Digital Flip Video Ultra HD for $200 had the best video quality and is the easiest to use.
Or consider the Kodak Zi8 for $180. Along with decent video quality, it has some great features, like image stabilization and an audio input that lets you adjust your recording levels.
If you like the small size of pocket camcorders but want a real video camera, for $250, Consumer Reports says consider the Sony Handy Cam DCRSX60.
It's still small enough to fit in your pocket.
And while it only shoots standard definition, the video quality is better than all of the high-definition pocket camcorders.
Plus, this camcorder has a zoom lens-unlike many pocket camcorders.