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Camcorders for Capturing Holiday Magic

Hauling around a battered DSLR can be culturally enriching and snapping images on your smartphone's camera is always fun, but what's really cool is catching the world on video. After all is said and done, video is the medium that captures more senses, brings out life's actors, and has the power to overturn court rulings. So invite your favorite family member to indulge her cinematic side this holiday season and set them up with one of these shooting stars - all of which offer a little something extra.

JVC GC-PX10 ($900)

JVC GC-PX10 ($900)

Cinema-Quality Shooter A hybrid camera that shoots 12-megapixel stills and records 1080p HD video at an unusually high-quality 36 Mbps bit rate, the JVC GC-PX10 also possesses esoteric talents. We’re talking video capture at 250 fps for super slow-mo playback and full-resolution still capture at 25 fps. It sports a 3-inch tiltable touchscreen, manual controls, and an accessory shoe, too. www.jvc.com

Looxcie 2 ($149)

Looxcie 2 ($149)

Wearable Wonder A wearable camcorder that doubles as a Bluetooth headset and transforms a smartphone into a viewfinder, the Looxcie 2 shoots 320p or 480p video from his point of view. With the press of a button located by your ear, you can send a clip of whatever just happened before your eyes directly to your social networks when your smartphone is nearby. $149 (2 hours of video storage), $179 (10 hours of video storage model); www.looxcie.com

Panasonic HX-WA10 ($349)

Panasonic HX-WA10 ($349)

Underwater Action Waterproof to 10 feet below the surface, shockproof, and designed with a pistol grip that makes it easy to shoot with one hand while grasping his surfboard or ski pole in the other, the Panasonic HX-WA10 shoots 16-MP stills and HD video with a 5x zoom lens. It comes in sporty orange and blue versions, too. www.panasonic.com

Sony Bloggie FS3 3D ($249)

Sony Bloggie FS3 3D ($249)

From the 3rd Dimension Sony incorporates everything she needs for easy 3D still and video shooting into this affordable little 5-MP package. The Sony Bloggie FS3 3D includes 8GB of memory, a display that plays back 3D HD video with no need for glasses, an LED video light, online sharing software, and a USB connector for uploading and charging. www.sonystyle.com