Panasonic PV-GS120 MiniDV Camera $699
While Sony and Canon are busy wowing us with the number of megapixels in their latest digital video camera releases (which is great for still photos and nothing else), Panasonic drops this bomb on the industry, placing 3-chip DV recording in the 1-chip price range. The number of chips the camera uses to capture color drastically impacts the quality of your final picture when shooting video. A 1-chip (1CCD) camera captures all RGB color information using a single chip (actually it captures one color and interprets the other two). With a 3-chip camera, color information is more accurate because each color value has its own chip dedicated to capture. Traditionally, 3CCD cameras have been scarce under $1000. The Panasonic PV-GS120 competes in the same range people commonly shop for home movie cameras. The PV-GS120 also sports a high-quality Leica Dicomar Lens, which are more commonly found on much more expensive camera gear.