Give the Gift of Video: Cameras for Every Lifestyle

Photo: Give the Gift of Video: Cameras for Every Lifestyle: From the Budding Paparazzo to the Serious Videographer, Four Gift Ideas

The hottest gift this holiday season is the gift of video.

With the advent of cheaper cameras, never before has it been easier to shoot, edit and share video.

From the super portable to the super premium, here are video cameras that make great holiday gifts.

Shoot and Share with the Flip HD Mino

Let's start with the shoot and share cameras. The Flip camera is the original in this category.

You'll pay roughly $200 for the Flip HD Mino and it's easy enough for anyone to use.

Just pick it up, press one button and start recording. In everyday settings, the high-definition video quality is incredibly good.

The base model will give you 60 minutes of recording time, while the $229.99 version will give you 120 minutes. For an extra personal touch, you can cover the camera with a decorative skin of your choice or even a photo you've taken.

Kodak's Camera Fits in Your Pocket

Kodak has also come out with an HD camera for under $200. The video quality is slightly inferior to the Flip, but on the upside, the Kodak has a jack for an external microphone.

Its newest model is $179.95 and records up to 10 hours of video.

IPod Nano with Video

Another option for a compact, inexpensive camcorder is the video camera that's built into Apple's new iPod Nano.

It's not high-definition, but the quality is pretty good, the positioning of the lens is a little awkward – your finger ends up in front of the lens a lot.

That said, the price is fantastic. For $149, you get a full media player that comes with a built-in FM radio and a pedometer.

Are You Serious? Consider a Full-Featured Camera

Finally, if you are really serious about video, you should consider a full-sized and a full-featured camcorder.

You'll pay a thousand dollars or more for a good camera, but if you need a powerful zoom to shoot nature scenes or sports – or you plan to conduct interviews – you'll want one of these cameras.

Some still use video tapes, but many cameras these days record straight to an internal hard drive.

To transfer files for editing and sharing, you connect the cameras to your computer.

In this category, the Canon Vixia, which retails for about $999 is the top of the line.

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