Over the past week, I have had two friends (both recently had their newborn baby) come to me asking my opinion on a good portable HD camera solution. Interestingly, both asked what my thoughts of the Flip HD were. Nothing against Flip cams (since I have the original cam and love their simple interface for youtube uploads), but I told both friends that I personally use my trusty Canon SD630 point-n-shoot for my all of my current video clip recording needs and if I were them, I'd consider the following point-n-shoots for their upgraded HD recording capabilities. My main argument is that this is a compact all around solution for stills and HD video. Both friends were surprised that HD recording is becoming more popular to point-n-shoots. I thought this would be post-worthy:
First Choice: Canon SD780is (on sale at Amazon for $249)
I've always had Canon for my point-n-shoot solution. I find their cameras the best for a portable solution, even out performing Nikon (which is my brand of choice for the full size DSLRs). In additional to amazing still images (even at higher ISO setting), this new SD780 features a 12.1 megapixel resolution and 720p HD recording (1280x720). This bad boy even comes with a mini-HDMI out for your big screen. The best part it, all for less than $280 (MSRP). It also comes in a black finish which is really cool! (bonus: if you want more manual control, Canons in general are popular amongst the hacking community to unlock professional features for free!)
Second Choice: Pansonic Lumix DMC-LX3 (Very hard to find: Amazon $639)
For those interested in more classic SLR control and wants to have a high quality Leica DC Vario-Summicron wide angle lens, step up to the popular Lumix LX series. The previous generation of the LX series (LX2) was a huge success amongst camera fanboys. The LX-3 has some improvement over the previous. I am not claiming to be a camera expert so I will leave the review of its features to the pros. This camera is a bit more costly than the Canon SD780is, so I feel like you'd have to be somewhat interested in photography to commit to this one. Never the less, its a great still and HD(720p) recording portable device. One thing to note is the LX series always take pictures and recording in 16:9 format, which in itself is kinda cool.