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Smaller, Sleeker, Simpler Mini-Cams

Camcorders are no longer the cumbersome, complex equipment that parents everywhere lugged around to family events. Camcorders have downsized considerably in recent years. Now called mini-cams, they're sleek, simple, and the quality has never been better.

Holiday Gift Guide

Dads of today can rejoice -- your shoulder won't go numb carrying these around -- mini-cams typically weigh just 3.5 to six ounces. And the buttons aren't complicated; you just point the camera and push a single button, and you're rolling. Also, with prices falling considerably, you can get a great high-definition camcorder for around just $180.

Natali Del Conte, CNET-TV senior editor, highlighted some of the best and most inexpensive mini-camcorders options for holiday gift-giving on "The Early Show."

Flip MinoHD
Price: $150
Where to buy:
• Brushed metal body that is customizable
• Rounded edges
• Built-in trademarked flip-out USB connector
• 8 gigs of memory allows you to shoot 2 hours of HD video
• 2 hours of battery
• HDMI connector to send video to your TV
• 720p, not 1080p
• Built-in software

Kodak Zi8
Price: $150
Where to buy:
• HD model that does 1080p video quality (most pocket cams do 720p)
• Takes still images
• Nice 2.5-inch LCD wide-screen
• Rechargeable battery
• External mic jack for better audio capture
• Electronic image stabilization
• Comes in black, red, or aqua

Apple iPod Nano
Price: $149-179
Where to buy:
• VGA quality video
• 640x480 video resolution
• Can add effects to the video
• Comes in 8 and 16-gigabyte capacity
• Larger 2.2-inch screen
• FM radio
• Built-in pedometer

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