Philips ESee camcorder range hands-on

With Flip out of the way, there's plenty of space for the other pocket camcorders in the market to flourish, and even room enough for a few new-comers to get in on the act. One such well-known brand to take steps into the video imaging world in 2011 is Philips with the launch of the Philips ESee range with not one but four pocket camcorders.

Top of the line is the Philips ESee Cam300 which with its pistol grip and twist out, vari-angle, 960x240px 3-inch screen styles. It shoots 1080p at 30fps and stills at 8-megapixels through an f/2.8, all of which gets recorded onto a microSD card (or a 128MB internal memory if you get really desperate).

Some of added features include anti-shake technology, LED flash, 3 second pre-record (so that you don't have to miss the action you've just witnessed) and a rather handy dual record mode which will save an e-mail/social network-friendly QWVGA resolution (240p) copy of each video file along with the Full HD version.

As with the rest of the ESee range, there's a flip out USB integrated into the chassis and HDMI port for HD playback on your TV as well.

Next on the list is the Philips ESee Cam110 - more of your traditional type pocket camcorder. Again, it's Full HD through the same lens with 10-megapixel stills this time. Storage, dual record, connectivity, pre-record and advanced anti-shake are all the same story but your screen drops to a 2-inch 480x234px LCD display. Fortunately, the sound recording is still with a directional stereo mic enhanced by wind-noise reduction

Naturally, no pocket camcorder range is complete without a rugged addition and, for that, it's the Philips ESee Cam150 that you'll be after. It's essentially the same creation as the 110 but toughened up a bit. There's still all the nice features but you can also kick it around, drop it from high places and take it down to a depth of 3m before it'll start to complain.

Probably the nicest touch of all though is that there are now 3 LED flash lights around the ring of the lens for getting a decent picture underwater and in the darkest of environments as well.

Finally, the baby of the bunch is the Philips ESee Cam102 and all the pretty colours it comes in (black, grey, silver, blue, dark green, light green, orange, purple, pink and red for the record). Even it will record HD for you at 30fps only this time at a slightly less standard 1440x1080 resolution.

Stills drop to 5-megapixel but it does retain the anti-shake, the microSD storage, integrated USB, HDMI-out and 2-inch LCD screen. Sadly, sound recording goes down to mono and there's no flash at all. On the plus side, the lens is still the same, aside the digital zoom dropping to 2x but you shouldn't really be using digital zoom anyway, so there.

All four of these are starting to creep out onto the shelves in one of the softer launches we've ever seen and they look to be ranging from around £89 up to just shy of the £200 mark. More one them as we track them down for review but, in the mean time, do take a look at our views on what the Pocket-lint labs have already decided on the pocket camcorders currently available.