Best Camcorders

Review & Comparison, Last Update March 16, 2017
If you’re one of those people who love posting videos on social websites, YouTube, etc. and do it the same moment after taking the footage, we recommend you to get one of the camcorders. Packed in a small box like this, the camcorder comprises all the needed features of digital videos cameras and can offer you even more. ...Read more ...Read less
BEST 2017
PROS
CONS
OUR VERDICT
SENSOR
LENS
ZOOM
STABILIZATION
RECORDING PARAMETERS
MEDIA TYPE
DISPLAY
SETTINGS
INTERFACES
AUDIO
BATTERY
SIZE
WARRANTY
 
PROS
This camcorder has a large memory capacity. Smart AUTO automatically detects and selects appropriate settings for 38 different scenes. The device has 2 memory card slots and a large sensor display.
CONS
The battery has quite a low capacity. The device is bigger than many other similar gadgets.
OUR VERDICT
This camcorder is designed to compete with professional-grade camcorders in terms of image quality. It has 9 special filters and provides a great video shooting quality in low-light conditions.
detailed parameters
SENSOR
1/3 " HD CMOS Pro 2.37 Megapixels
LENS
Genuine Canon Lens, Focal length: 4.25 - 42.5mm, Aperture: F1.8 - 2.8
ZOOM
10x Optical zoom, 200x Digital zoom
STABILIZATION
Optical and Intelligent IS automatically
RECORDING PARAMETERS
AVCHD / MPEG-4 1920 x 1080 pixels
MEDIA TYPE
32GB internal flash drive
DISPLAY
3.5" Touch Panel Widescreen Color LCD
SETTINGS
Manual Exposure Programmed AE Focusing System: Instant AF Medium AF, Face Priority AF TTL White Balance: Auto Minimum Illumination: NTSC Auto mode
INTERFACES
USB mini-B, 2 x SD/SDHC/SDXC, HDMI mini connector, Component/Composite, 3.5mm stereo mini-jack 3.5mm, 4 pole mini-jack
AUDIO
5.1 Channel, Razer microphone, Dolby Digital 2 Channel
BATTERY
Lithium Ion, 890 mAh
SIZE
3.0'' × 3.1'' × 6.3'', 1.4 lbs
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
There is a USB cable inside the strap. This Sony camcorder boasts the BIONZ X image rendering system. The HDRCX405 can film in two formats at a time and use one of 7 available effects. Sony's cutting-edge Face Detection function (with smile recognition) is supported.
CONS
A small sensor size. The image quality might seem disappointing in low-light conditions.
OUR VERDICT
This is a nice camcorder with a wide-angle lens and a smart filming mode. The gadget offers a wide choice of manual aperture and exposure settings owing to a special PlayMemories Home software.
detailed parameters
SENSOR
1/5.8 " Exmor R CMOS 2.29 Megapixels
LENS
Zeiss Vario-Tessar, Focal length: 1.9 - 57mm, Aperture: F1.8 - F4.0
ZOOM
30x Optical zoom, 350x Digital zoom
STABILIZATION
Optical SteadyShot
RECORDING PARAMETERS
AVCHD / MPEG-4 1920 x 1080 pixels
MEDIA TYPE
Memory Stick Micro, Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC
DISPLAY
2.64" Clear Photo LCD display
SETTINGS
Exposure Modes: Auto, Manual (Menu) White Balance: Auto Focus Mode: Auto, Manual (Menu) Scene Selection: Auto
INTERFACES
HDMI Terminal, SD/SDHC/SDXC slot, Composite Video Out
AUDIO
Microphone, Monaural Speaker, Dolby Digital 2 Stereo, Dolby Digital Creator
BATTERY
Lithium Ion, 1240 mAh
SIZE
2.13'' × 2.34'' × 5.04'', 0.47 lb
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
Panasonic HC-V770 boasts the premium image and sound recording quality. The gadget is capable of playing even High Dynamic Range (HDR) movies. Moreover, you can connect the device to a remote tilt cradle and control the camcorder from your smartphone.
CONS
It's impossible to quickly configure the sound recording settings.
OUR VERDICT
It's the optimal solution in terms of price, quality, and functionality. Perfect picture quality thanks to the efficient stabilization for shooting videos anywhere.
detailed parameters
SENSOR
1/2.3 " BSI MOS 12.76 Megapixels
LENS
Advanced Lens, Focal length: 4.08 - 81.6mm, Aperture: F1.8 - 3.6
ZOOM
20x Optical zoom, 1500x Digital zoom
STABILIZATION
HYBRID OIS
RECORDING PARAMETERS
AVCHD / MP4 1920 x 1080 pixels
MEDIA TYPE
SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card
DISPLAY
3" Wide LCD monitor
SETTINGS
Focus: Auto, Manual White Balance: Auto Iris: Auto, Manual
INTERFACES
AV, Wi-Fi, USB 2.0, HDMImicro, USB Charge, Headphone mini, Microphones mini
AUDIO
Stereo Microphone, Speaker Dynamic type, Dolby Digital 5.1ch/2ch
BATTERY
Lithium Ion, 1240 mAh
SIZE
2.55'' × 2.87'' × 5.47'', 0.77 lb
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor allows quick and quality video footage processing. The lens has the highest zoom value. There is also a high-capacity battery in the device.
CONS
No flash and a bulky battery.
OUR VERDICT
A worthy camcorder for a family use. The camcorder automatically sets the picture settings and stabilization with accordance to the lightning conditions.
detailed parameters
SENSOR
1/4.85 " CMOS 3.28 Megapixels
LENS
Canon Lens, Focal Length: 2.8 - 89.6mm, Aperture: F1.8 - 4.5
ZOOM
32x Optical zoom, 1140x Digital zoom
STABILIZATION
Optical System + Electronic stabilization
RECORDING PARAMETERS
AVCHD / MPEG-4 1920 x 1080 pixels
MEDIA TYPE
SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card
DISPLAY
3" Touch Panel Widescreen Color LCD
SETTINGS
Manual Exposure Programmed AE White Balance: Auto Custom WB Focusing System: TTL Minimum Focusing: Auto
INTERFACES
AV Mini, USB mini-B, Composite (output), HDMI Mini connector, SD/SDHC/SDXC slot, 3.5mm stereo mini-jack, 3.5mm 4 pole mini-jack
AUDIO
Microphone, AAC-LC (2ch), Dolby Digital (2ch)
BATTERY
Lithium Ion, 2685 mAh
SIZE
2.1'' × 2.3'' × 4.6'', 0.6 lb
WARRANTY
1 year
PROS
Two built-in microphones provide wide sound capture in 120-degree angle. High-quality recording even in low light. Wi-Fi connection technology allows instant uploading of the filmed footage on the Internet.
CONS
Insufficient zoom, no image stabilization.
OUR VERDICT
A perfect camcorder for traveling. The device has small dimensions, it is also good for recording musical performances. This is confirmed by high sound recording quality in different formats.
detailed parameters
SENSOR
1/2.3 " Exmor R CMOS 16.8 Megapixel
LENS
Zeiss Tessar Lens, Focal Length: 18.2mm, Aperture: F2.8
ZOOM
4x Optical zoom, N/A Digital zoom
STABILIZATION
No image stabilization
RECORDING PARAMETERS
MPEG-4 AVC/H.264 1920 x 1080 pixels
MEDIA TYPE
Memory Stick Micro, Micro SD/SDHC/SDXC
DISPLAY
2.64" Clear Photo LCD Wide
SETTINGS
Exposure: Auto, Manual Backlight Compensation: Auto, White Balance: Auto Scene Selection: Auto
INTERFACES
NFC, Wi-Fi, HDMI micro, Headphone Jack, Multi/Micro USB, Line Input (audio), Microphone Input, Memory Card Slot
AUDIO
Unidirectional, Microphone, Monaural Speaker
BATTERY
Lithium Ion, 1240 mAh
SIZE
4.5'' × 2.77'' × 1,06'', 0.3 lb
WARRANTY
1 year

What is a Camcorder

No matter what technologies you’re used to, using a record video camera (also called camcorder) can benefit you in many ways. Combining the functionality of a recorder and a video camera, it can help you shoot all types of videos in high resolution, recording people’s voices in all environments. Camcorders will come to liking to those users who’re used to taking pictures with a camera to the eyes, and basically, all the rest who need a simple, traditional and quality equipment. Most fitted with displays, they allow instant review and control of the footage and use of other accessories like lenses, tripods, etc. Take a look at our selection of the best camcorders and make your choice!

If you need a gadget for filming under extreme conditions, including underwater, we can also recommend you to consider our review on the best action cameras.


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What Features to Compare

The Sensor

The major choice criterion when buying any photo shooting equipment is the sensor specs. The bigger the area a sensor can catch, the better the picture will come out. Physical sensor dimensions typically range from ¼ to ⅙ inches, though on some of the most cutting-edge models it can be equal to ⅓ inches. The modern market presents two sensor types: CCD that allow taking high-resolution images with little-to-none noise, and CMOS that consume considerably less energy and aren't as expensive. The bigger number of pixels will also mean a better footage in the end.

The Lens

Another parameter that you need to consider is the lens. Most often than not, camcorders are fitted with lenses of either the same manufacturer or alternative options by other popular brands such as Zeiss or Leica. The field of view of the picture is directly affected by the maximum zoom rate, which means, if it is bigger the picture will also be much more clear and precise. Continuing analyzing the lens, you should also consider its diaphragm to get an idea of the pictures and videos sharpness. The diaphragm is usually written the following way - f/8, where the number tells you of the ratio 1:8. Make sure to consider the stabilization specs. This parameter isn’t less important than any other else, for when holding a camera in hands, vibrations and trembling aren’t a rare occurrence.

Video Recording

You should also consider video parameters and decide on a camera that saves video in the way that suits you better - on built-in hardware or SD card. If you choose a camera with two options available that would work even better. Speaking of video specs, the best camcorders are those that can shoot video in AVCHD, though, if you aren’t as demanding and need a camera for occasional use, you can choose from less expensive models that shoot in Full HD and HD. Being inferior and cheaper to the advanced models, nonetheless, they please with the footage quality in most popular video formats.

Convenience of Use

Video recording camera should also be pretty straightforward in use, have a display, expandable memory and remote control if necessary. Being powered by built-in batteries camcorders may differ in autonomous operating time. In order to pick the one that would last longer, you should opt for a camera with battery of 2000 mAh the least. The weight of the camera might not be a deal-breaker factor, but still should be considered if you plan to travel with it and take videos on the go.

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Review of Canon HF G20 VIXIA Internal Flash Memory

Canon HF G20 VIXIA Internal Flash Memory

Canon HF G20 VIXIA Internal Flash Memory

Competing with Professionals

Studying the Canon VIXIA HF G20 camcorder, we naturally compared it with more expensive and also professional models. At half the price of professional equipment, it offers competitive functionality and performance and is no less popular with professional video shooters worldwide. This isn't that surprising seeing that it uses CANON HD CMOS Pro sensor, often found on professional video devices. We were also surprised with the 1/3" dimensions that easily bring the given camera on par with more advanced models. The lens installed is from the Canon manufacture and features 4.25-42.5 mm focal length and F1.8-2.8 aperture. All these features ensure that the footage comes out of professional quality and at wide viewing angles. The available modes the camera supports include the optical and intellectual ones. This peculiarity gives you the flexibility of recording video under different conditions. Video recording quality is determined by AVCHD resolution and 1920x1080p in MPEG-4 formats, allowing taking pictures of decent quality without granulation or noise. The Canon VIXIA HF G20 camcorder supports 32GM SD card, providing users with over than 3 hours of video recording in the highest resolution, and can be also expanded due to two more slots on the housing. As you can see, the Canon VIXIA HF G20 camcorder can easily compete with professional cameras and surpass many of them in terms of usability and price.

Review of Canon HF G20 VIXIA Internal Flash Memory

Unique Sensor

Quite recently Canon has announced the creation of a unique 250-megapixel image sensor. It's a small device that can be installed in an average DSLR camcorder. According to the Japanese manufacturer of cameras and camcorders, as well as lenses, the new sensor called APS-H CMOS is so precise and sensitive that it allows users to see the number on aircraft within an altitude of 18 km from the place of filming. In addition, the represented sensor has also an incredibly high speed of filming. The readout speed is equal to 1.25 bln. pixels per second, which means, it is capable of creating images in ultra-high resolution at a frequency of up to 5 frames per second. The bad news is, though, the current sensor isn't available for commercial market yet. The main purpose this sensor has been created for is measuring high-definition devices. 

As we've found out the real resolution of the new sensor is 19,580 x 12,600 pixels or 246.7 megapixels regardless that its dimensions haven't been changed much and make only 29.2 x 20.2 mm, which is only slightly bigger than the size of most conventional APS-C sensors installed in DSLR Nikon camcorders, mirrorless Canon and Sony cameras.

Today, it's hard to imagine that one day we will all have an option to buy and use a 250-megapixel camera. However, this is surely possible considering how fast technologies advance and how many products tech companies introduce to us every day.

Canon HF G20 VIXIA Internal Flash Memory in the use

Retaled Items Customers Usually Buy

A lot of customers who buy this camcorder search for a memory card to use with it. If you're looking for one too, we'd like to offer you to take a look at our other review on most popular memory cards present on the today's market.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Canon HF G20 VIXIA Internal Flash Memory
Canon HF G20 VIXIA Internal Flash Memory
 
Review of Sony HDRCX405 Exmor R

Sony HDRCX405 Exmor R

Sony HDRCX405 Exmor R

More Features. More Fun.

Sony HDRCX405 camcorder is distinguished by its great number of filming modes, additional features, and settings that all together facilitate the filming process and make it real fun. One of the most peculiar functions of the given camcorder is the Highlight Movie Maker tool that allows users to not only watch the recorded footage but also apply filters and effects to it and then share it with other users online. With the Highlight Movie Maker there’s no need to use any other editing software at all, for it’s got most of the tools and filters you could want to use to enhance the quality of your videos. The Motion Shot Video function is another great function with which you can combine the series of filmed frames at a desired interval. Speaking of the body of the camera, it’s designed to be ergonomic and comfortable to hold in hand, with a USB cable being fitted in a strap so that it couldn’t have been lost by any chance. The picture quality of the camera isn’t bad at all for the camera’s been equipped with ZEISS lens and Exmore R CMOS sensor and shot in Full HD.

Review of Sony HDRCX405 Exmor R

Interesting Fact

The first device that took a digital photo was found back in 1981 and produced by Sony under the name of Mavica (Magnetic Video Camera). At the time, that was a full-fledged digital mirror camera with removable lenses which ironically wasn’t even considered as a camera but a static camcorder. The resolution of the first camera was equal to 570 x 490 pixels only (0.28 megapixels) which today isn't a case even for the cheapest camera, but back then, these numbers were a real breakthrough. All footage recorded with the camera was saved on a floppy disk (remember this one?) that could hold no more than 50 photos.

Sony HDRCX405 Exmor R in the use

Accessories to Buy

To use your new camcorder on your trips in a more comfortable way, we suggest you consider using it together with one of the tripods that we've handpicked for you in this review.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Sony HDRCX405 Exmor R
Sony HDRCX405 Exmor R
 
Review of Panasonic HC-V770 Wi-Fi Functions

Panasonic HC-V770 Wi-Fi Functions

Panasonic HC-V770 Wi-Fi Functions

Prime Quality Even in Low Light

The strong point about the Panasonic HC-V770 camcorder is BSI MOS sensor that delivers the resolution of 12.76 megapixels at ½.3” dimensions and ensures great noise suppression, even with the video being taken under dim lighting conditions. What we also paid attention to is the Advanced Lens on the cam that allows for zooming the picture 20 times for the optical format and 1500 for the digital one. The unique HYBRID OIS image stabilization system is used here to correct the image along 5 axes, removing the blur of zoomed pictures. Like most other camcorders, this one has 8 special effects that you could apply to enhance the quality of your footage without using editing software.  

Review of Panasonic HC-V770 Wi-Fi Functions

When the Distance is not an Obstacle

Comparing Panasonic HC-V770 camcorder with its competitors, we’ve turned our attention to its wireless Wi-Fi technology that unlike most other cameras where it’s been employed allows for a much wider scope of application. On top of pretty much standard use when you can pair the cam with one of your digital gadgets and control it remotely in an app, the Panasonic HC-V770 can also be used as a baby monitor, set up to send you notifications on your baby’s activity and instantly respond to a baby’s cry.

Panasonic HC-V770 Wi-Fi Functions in the use

Olympic Support

The ceremony of opening the Olympic games was of great importance in all times. Each game has been broadcasted on TVs around the world and required high-quality video equipment. Interestingly enough, it was Panasonic company that was the first official partner who supplied the event with the required gear. Additionally, Panasonic introduced over 110 projectors, including light projectors, full-size projectors, etc.

Detailed review of Panasonic HC-V770 Wi-Fi Functions

Related Items Customers Usually Buy

When buying a camera, a camera backpack is one of the first accessories customers are looking for. We offer you to choose one of the bags from our selection where we've brought and compared 5 best models as of today. 

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Panasonic HC-V770 Wi-Fi Functions
Panasonic HC-V770 Wi-Fi Functions
 
Review of Canon HF R700 VIXIA SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer

Canon HF R700 VIXIA SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer

Canon HF R700 VIXIA SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer

Best Bang For Your Buck

This Canon VIXIA HF R700 camcorder can be your best bang for the buck, considering its video specs and price. Fitted with CMOS panel and 3.28 MP, the camera can record outstanding footage, capturing the slightest details of the moving objects. What’s untypical for camcorders within the same price range is the Baby mode that can help you take shots and videos of your growing baby, all face features and movements being recorded with high precision. For your convenience, the Canon VIXIA HF R700 features a big size LCD control panel where you can find the menu to navigate and configure the settings. The option to record videos right onto an SD card shouldn’t be underestimated too, especially when using camcorder on travel trips where there are so many things that you could take pictures of.  

Review of Canon HF R700 VIXIA SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer

Personal Cloud

It’s no secret Canon is one of the leading companies producing audio and video equipment. Yet, we daresay, only few of you know that it also employs its own unique software so that its users could get not only quality product but also great service. One of the recent projects Canon can boast of is its IRISTA cloud storage, a flexible service allowing users to create their own  photo albums right there, connect and stream video from Canon cameras online, etc. Today, IRISTA cloud storage is available for users of both Android and iOS based devices and also compatible with Adobe Lightroom where you could also edit your footage and sync it with IRISTA. Once you register, you’ll get 15Gb of free cloud storage with the option to upgrade it up to 500Gb.

Canon HF R700 VIXIA SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer in the use

More Products to Consider

Being smaller in size than any conventional camera, action cameras offer you much more freedom of movement and allow for taking videos and pictures under extreme conditions. Action cameras can be mounted on a handlebar of your bike, to your belt, etc. to give you the best view.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Canon HF R700 VIXIA SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer
Canon HF R700 VIXIA SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer
 
Review of Sony HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder

Sony HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder

Sony HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder

The Specs that are worth attention

The Sony HDR-MV1 camcorder is peculiar for its excellent sounding specs. With the mics being located on the front, the camera can catch the slightest voice vibrations and reproduce high-quality sound without distortion. It’s also capable of recording the exact sounding of different music instruments at astonishing 48 kHz/128 kbps rate, which allows seamless streaming of the footage on the Internet. What definitely adds to the advantages of the HDR-MV1 is that a user can share all recorded media via social websites and mobile gadgets online too, due to the NFC and Wi-Fi technologies used. Speaking of the video specs, the HDR-MV1 doesn’t tail more expensive models and offers outstanding sensitivity, taking a high-detail picture even in dim light. The Sony HDR-MV1 camcorder has been fitted with Zeiss Tessar Lens that provides 18.2mm focus distance, allowing capturing beautiful backgrounds, while the wide viewing angles enable much higher contrast and brightness of the picture.

Review of Sony HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder

Funny Inventions

One of the most exciting inventions by SONY has become a unique accessory designed to be attached to the body of a pet for holding a cam. Not surprisingly, this holder soon became highly demanded by pet owners across America and Europe. Designed to suit all breeds of dogs, this universal accessory can add much more fun to your everyday strolls, allowing you to see the world from the same view as your dog sees it. 

What Else You May Need

To use the whole potential of the HDR-MV1, we recommend you to use it together with a capacious and fast microSD. You won't go wrong if you choose one here.

Additional Info

User Manual     Manufacturer


Sony HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder
Sony HDR-MV1 Music Video Recorder
 

Sources:

1. Jim Martin How to choose your next camcorder, PC ADVISOR. February 28, 2012.

2. David Elrich CAMCORDER BUYING GUIDEDigital Trends. June 1, 2012.

3. How to Choose a Digital Video Camera, wikiHow.

4. Best Camcorder Buying Guide, Consumer Reports. May 2016.

5. Meredith Krebs Finding the right camcorder, Crutchfield.

6. Digital Camcorders Have Advantages, Streetdirectory