Especially if you're shooting one-person news style, you must be able to work all the controls easily as you cradle the camcorder in your hands, or rest it on your shoulder. You'll probably prefer camcorders that divide functions between your right and left hands—with all of them easy to reach, so that you don't have to take your attention from the eyepiece to make adjustments.
Camcorders vary considerably in the placement of their controls. As you hold the camcorder, note the location of the controls you'll use most frequently. Obviously, one of the most important ones is the Record Start/Stop button—usually bright red in color.
You won't know whether you're comfortable with the controls until you've done some ...