Does what I am looking for exist?
I am going on holiday in a couple of weeks and while my main passion is stills photography, it has been three years since I shot a family holiday video and the family would like one this year.
My camcorder is a Panasonic SD-600 which I really cannot fault from a video quality perspective.
My camera gear is a Canon SLR, 3 lenses, flash, accessories etc etc.
I would like to be able to shoot a video which gives me at least the same quality as the SD-600, the choice of Full HD with 50i or 50p (I'm in the UK), a smooth zoom function which is not reliant on me manually twisting a lens, good optical stabilisation (like the SD-600) and preferably AVCHD .mts format but this isn't paramount. However I would also, in the absence of lugging around all my SLR gear, like to be able to take decent stills in the one device which the SD-600 does not.
Today I tried the new Sony RX100 and while in its own right it is very good, it is not, perhaps as you would expect, as good as the Panny SD-600 dedicated camcorder. This was mainly down to the speed of auto-focus, the smoothness of the zoom and the stabilisation when panning or zooming hand-held, all of which are superior on the Panny SD-600 as you might again expect.
I really don't mind if this achieved by a dedicated camcorder that takes very good stills, or a stills camera that take very good video with my requirements as above.
Does this exist or am I looking for the impossible and hence a market for both cameras and camcorders?