Compact camcorder full of surprises

The Life: For those aiming to capture those special moments at family functions, the Canon Legria HR48 delivers the goods in sharp quality.

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Thanks to multi-functioning smartphones, camcorders have become a rarity for the average person.

They are no longer a necessity to capture your child's first steps, birthday parties or school performances.

The trend is now quick bursts of footage captured on smartphones that have an inbuilt HD camera, which can easily be uploaded on to social networks to share with friends and family.

Bulky camcorders were always going to struggle to compete with that. But for those who want a "proper" video recording option, then the Canon Legria HR48 is a sensible device, particularly for amateur film-makers.

It has been a while since I last used a camcorder.

So long in fact that the small size of the Legria HR48 came as a shock.

Only slightly larger than the average palm, this nifty video camera packs a heap of features for its small size.

The compact full HD camcorder shoots in full 1080p with a 1/4.85in CMOS sensor. Picture quality is fantastic, both in daylight and lowlight conditions and with image stabilisation footage is smooth. It has 32x optical zoom which is extended to 53x with the digital zoom.

Sound quality is decent, with the ability to choose a particular "audio scene", depending on where and what you are filming.

With 32 GB of internal memory, you can shoot for hours without the need for a spare memory card.

Video can be shot simultaneously in AVCHD format, which is good for televisions, or in MP4 mode, best for online or computer projects. It even has a built-in Wi-Fi adaptor to enable users to upload videos on to the web, but more interestingly it lets you control the camera remotely through a smartphone app, useful if you're trying tobe discreet.

Most of the features are accessible through the 3-inch LCD touchscreen.

Battery life averages about 2 hours.