The DCRHC21 matches Canon?s MV800i and JVC?s GR-D250 for features but comes at a higher $749 price. We found video quality on this one to be a mixed bag ? video was sharper than the Canon or JVC but noisier as well. If capturing video at night is your gig, the HC21?s full frame-rate infrared capture is the right option, offering 25fps video capture down to 0 Lux.

All other cameras at this price only offer low-frame-rate colour video (which should be called ?stills on video?). However, there are features missing here ? there?s no ADC and there?s no colour viewfinder. You do get a remote and S-video output and audio quality is good although as with any of the budget cameras, the internal mics can pick up the lens zoom motor so external mics are your best bet. All up, not a bad camera but not quite doing enough for the price.

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Ease of Use
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20X-optical zoom, full frame rate infra-red capture down to 0-Lux, remote.
No ADC, mono viewfinder, higher price tag.