You can buy an HD camcorder for less than $100. The DXG-567V and Kodak Zx1 are both priced less than $150. The new Flip UltraHD, which went on sale today in both black and white versions, is nearly identical to these DXG and Kodak slab camcorders, but is priced at $200.
All these cheap… um, excuse me, inexpensive, HD cams use H.264 compression to shoot 720p HD video, all have a 2-inch LCD screen and all run on either rechargeable batteries or a pair of common AA alkalines.
But instead of an SD card slot (which admittedly adds to the cost of the Kodak and DXG models), the new UltraHD has 8GB of built-in flash memory, enough storage for around two hours of footage, and probably accounts for the higher price. Personally, I like having a separate SD card. It allows more flexibility in getting your video into your PC, plus you won't be under pressure to erase old footage to make room for new. But I guess some folks like not having to worry about forgetting to load in a card.
Flip's previous HD camcorder, the MinoHD, has been the best-selling HD camcorder over the past few months, so maybe the market knows better than I do.