Five alternative pocket camcorders to the iPod touch

It's pretty clear by now that the next generations of iPods announced later this week are going to have built-in cameras. The leaked shots all over the web were one thing but the pod cases on show at IFA with lens shaped holes carefully sculpted into the back were just a dead giveaway. This will not be good news to those who've just invested in an iPod touch or nano but before you start cursing Apple and all who stand with them, let's just turn that anger into some positive action instead.

These cameras are probably not going to be amazing. At the best, we're probably looking at 5-megapixel stills and non-HD video footage. So, instead, put your old touch or nano in one pocket and buy one of these mini-camcorder to put in the other. We'll see who's laughing when you get your videos home.

Creative Vado HD

Resolution:
720p

Availability:
£180

Creative Vado HD
It was a toss up between the Vado and the Flip as to which was going to make this list because, on paper, they're a very similar package. Each has a typical pocket-sized 2x digital zoom, shoots at 720p, 2-inch screens and are very simple to use as you happily fill up their 8GB internal memories. Both now have USB connectors attached as well as HDMI-outs for TV playback. What separates the sheep from the goat in this instance, though, is that the Vado comes with an HDMI cable included and also has a wide angle lens. Both very useful additions even if at £180, the Vado is £20 dearer.

Kodak Zi8

Resolution:
Full HD

Availability:
Unknown - "Coming Soon"

Kodak Zi8
Neither the Flip nor the Vado will quite make up for a new pod, however, because you can't take stills on them. Which is where the Kodak Zi8 comes in. Kodak' s pocket camcorder has been upgraded to full 1080p HD and the digital zoom, although still digital, has popped up to 4x. It'll take 5-megapixel snaps on a CMOS sensor and you can look at the results on a generous 2.5-inch screen. There's USB charging, an HDMI port and one touch uploads to YouTube and Facebook. There's also a pitiful 128MB of internal memory but it's expandable with SD cards. The only real downside is that, for all the features, it has put on a touch more weight at 110g.

Samsung HMX-U10

Resolution:
Full HD

Availability:
Out on 25th September 2009

Samsung HMX-U10
A slight step up is Samsung's entry to the party. Like the Zi8, it's not out just yet but with this one we have a better idea than just "coming soon". This Full HD camcorder, which takes 10-megapixel shots and weighs just 95g, is out to buy from 25th September - i.e a couple of weeks. Again, there's one touch upload to YouTube, it can also be charged via USB and has space for SD cards. The mooted price is around $200 but not too much else is known on the finer details.

Toshiba Camileo S20

Resolution:
Full HD

Availability:
£120 in Q4 2009

Toshiba Camileo S20
Tosh rather stunned the world when the company announced the S10 at the beginning of the year which offers 1080p resolution for under £100. If you can bear to part with 20 quid more then there's an upgrade due in just a few months which'll take 5-megapixel stills, has a 4x digital zoom and, unlike the others, is a super slim pistol style camcorder which means you get a bigger, rotating 3-inch screen to use and a much better idea of what you're actually recording.

Medion Life S47000

Resolution:
720p

Availability:
£95

Medion S47000
Probably the biggest life saver for this instance will be the Medion Life S47000 as just shown off at IFA. At £99, it's one of the cheapest but there are a couple of steps down to deal with. 720p resolution is as good as you get and it only captures 1-megapixel photos, which is fairly poor, but it's just 85g, has both HDMI and USB ports and it also has an MP3 player too, so you needn't bother with an iPod at all. Just 90MB of on board memory but it takes SD/SDHC and the S47000 has the added bonus that it's waterproof and generally ruggedised up so you can bash it about to your heart's content.