Camcorders have gained immense popularity for helping us unveil our inner Spielberg by creating music video styled family mosaics.
Rapid advancement of technology has helped even the low budget models offer high-definition video capture and playback at the frame rates of 1280×720, 1920×1080 and 3840×2160 pixels.
However, for getting the actual essence of such stellar video capabilities, it is imperative to view the same on an HDTV. HD models carry out video recording at 1080i which is the same resolution as that of HDTV programming. Some of them can even shoot in 1080p which is similar to the format used on Blu-ray discs.
Only a handful models can record in the alternative HD broadcast format of 720p. Compared to a standard-definition video, HD camcorders require more storage space.
Today we will take a look at ten best camcorders available in the market if you are on a moderate budget of under $500.
|Panasonic Full HD Camcorder HC-V770||1080p @ 120 fps |
|Sony FDRX3000/W||2160p @ 30 fps |
(4k Ultra HD)
|Canon VIXIA HF R700||1080p @ 60 fps |
|4K Ultra HD Camcorder||2160p @ 24 fps|
(4k Ultra HD)
|Sony HDRCX405||1080p @ 60 fps |
|Canon VIXIA HF R800||1080p @ 60 fps|
|Sony HDRCX440||1080p @ 60 fps |
|Panasonic HC-V180K||1080p @ 60 fps |
|Aitechny Camcorder||1080p @ 30 fps |
|CofunKool Video Camcorder||1080p @ 30 fps |
Now we will start the discussion by understanding the two main types of camcorders available in the market:
1. Panasonic Full HD Camcorder HC-V770
Take your video recording skills to a whole new level with the PanasonicHC-V770 camcorder which guarantees premium picture quality with the dual effects of its 4-drive lens system and 20X optical zoom.
Drive ranges are reduced by driving every lens group separately which ultimately leads to high-powered zooming and improved image quality.
The HDR Movie function helps the HC-V770 in capturing crystal clear shots having excellent detailing both in dark and bright areas.
This helps in shooting from a variety of angles or distance of your choice for various Picture-in-Picture images.
Its high-speed engine having noise reduction function paves the path for vibrantly coloured and crisp Full-HD images.
A variety of filter effects like Silent Movie, 8mm Movie, Miniature Effect and Time Lapse Recording can also be applied to the HC-V770 for proceeding with impressive video recordings which can match the shooting situation.
- You can easily focus on a distant scene coupled with its 20X long zoom.
- Has a focal length of 4.08-81.6 mm.
- You can enjoy a picture-in-picture video effect by connecting it with your smartphone’s video camera.
- Blocked shadows and blown highlights are supressed by its exclusive high-dynamic range feature which ultimately leads to clearer and crisper footages.
- Back Side Illumination Sensor can suppress noise even while recording in dimly lit environments.
- You can easily control your camcorder from a distance using the “Panasonic Image App” downloaded in your tablet or smartphone.
- Baby monitoring or real-time broadcasting gets enabled through its Wi-Fi functions.
- Might seem a bit complicated initially.
2. Sony FDRX3000/W Underwater Camcorder 4K
You can now impart a whole new meaning to POV action movies coupled with the Sony FDR-X3000. This rugged model brings along ultimate image stabilization by combining Balanced Optical SteadyShot feature with a brilliant 4k resolution and reducing the effects of camera shake internally.
You can thus shoot stable and clear images whether you are riding a bike down the dirt track or travelling on a speed boat. Its brand-new ZEISS Tessar lens diminishes lens distortion when compared to its predecessors while the dual power of the acclaimed BIONZ X processor and back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor ensures the consistency of video quality across various settings.
Coupled with freeze-proof and splash-proof attributes, the FDR-X3000 can take on heavy-duty usage to accompany you during snowboarding, skiing and dirt biking escapades.
You can choose your viewing angle from wide, medium or narrow and capture epic ultra-wide angle views using the Sony model which also helps in correcting barrel distortion.
The camera adjusts seamlessly up to 3x zoom mode thus enabling you to alter between various magnification levels while shooting mountain trails, ski slopes, swirling rapids and much more.
- Burst shooting mode helps in catching fast-moving action.
- Motion Shot features aids in capturing an entire action sequence in a single frame by creating a composite image of a subject in motion.
- Built-in stereo microphone with wind noise reduction improves overall audio quality.
- Speedometer and location tracking can be added to the video file coupled with the built-in GPS feature.
- Reduction in “fisheye” effect.
- Removable battery which lasts pretty long.
- Lag is expected while live viewing from phone.
- Image quality might distort when used in close proximity to vibrating engines or motors.
3. Canon VIXIA HF R700 Camcorder
The VIXIA HF R700 camcorder can be the perfect choice for any and every oneseeking out great-quality results coupled with its SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer and 7x Advanced Zoom. Thus, the videos retain its sharp and steadiness even when taken in handheld mode and while walking.
Dynamic Image Stabilization system helps in tackling the rotational camera shake in its vertical, horizontal and roll axis to provide you with distortion-free recordings.
Increased clarity is brought about by on-chip noise reduction which aids the video in retaining its vibrancy even when viewed on a large HDTV. The DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor paves the way for outstanding imaging performance by capturing more light even in low-light scenes.
The Canon model supports dual recording in easy-to-share MP4 and AVCHD formats. It also enables a built-in transcoding mechanism from AVCHD to MP4. The Full HD video gets recorded in the removable SD card which is available in a large array of capacities to serve your requirements.
VIXIA HF R700 also supports the usage of super-high capacity SDXC cards which have the same size as that of SD ones but come with a storage capacity of 2048 GB and ultra-fast data transfer.
- Intuitive LCD screen which retains its brightness even when used outdoors.
- Advanced Zoom feature which hikes up the camcorder’s telephoto power to 1853mm for imparting greater flexibility while shooting.
- 15 levels of Zoom speed settings offering better creative control over the videos.
- Colour balance is not up to the mark.
- Plenty of light is required for the Auto Focus to work properly.
4. 4K Ultra HD Camcorder – Ghost Hunting CameraADV1080p
This ghost hunting camcorder comes with a built-in IR light which can easily illuminate a 10×10 room. Featuring both 1080p and High definition modes which are frequently sought out by paranormal investigators, this camera has curved out a niche for itself.
It allows clicking of limited number of still pictures while recording a video which surely comes off as a great option if you suddenly spot something while walking down the staircase of the old bungalow.
The viewing screen can be of great help in toggling between settings while walking around in the dark. You can turn on the camcorder simply by opening the clam shell and it powers right up.
You can switch easily from IR to Full Spectrum simply by activating the menu from the touchscreen and swiping right or left unless you find the IR option.
- Comes with time-lapse function.
- Infrared camera with night-vision feature.
- Can maintain long distance focus.
- Records in AVI format which works easily in most of the devices.
- It can be mounted on a tri-pod.
- Functions brilliantly during daytime in spite of being a low-light specialist.
- Comes with dual slots for mini SD and SDXC cards.
- Video recorded can be played back in TV.
- Viewfinder screen can be flipped up to 270 degrees.
- Can be connected with a printer to get print outs of the frame captured.
- Camera emits its own Wi-Fi signal.
- Camcorder is not motion activated.
- Has fixed focal length and lacks optical zoom.
5. Sony HD Video Recording HDRCX405 Handycam Camcorder
Make memories last forever with the Sony HDRCX405 handycam which comes with some versatile qualities such as a wide-angle Carl Zeiss lens, 27X optical zoom and Steady Shot image stabilization.
Sony’s back-illuminated ExmorR CMOS sensor helps in creating stunning frames having improved image clarity and substantially reduced grain even in low-light conditions.
The innovative 3-Way Shake-Cancelling feature helps with smoother video capture courtesy its electronic roll stability. You can trust the camcorder to automatically distinguish between the faces of children and adults coupled with Sony’s Face Detection technology which can adjust the level of white balance, exposure and flash accordingly for delivering properly lit and crisp images on the go.
You can easily connect the camcorder with your computer through the built-in USB 2.0 cable which paves the way for high-speed file transfer and charging.
The Picture Effects can be of great help in adding a new dimension to photos and video by emphasizing certain attributes and heightening mood of ordinary portraits and landscapes. You can now make water-colour look like a painting and the focal point stand out with seven different available effects.
- Comes with an array of accessories in the form of an USB connection support cable, an AC adaptor, a rechargeable battery pack, an AC adaptor and an easy to understand operating guide.
- Has a shoulder strap for easy handling.
- Frame rate can be changed between 30p and 60p.
- Quality is not sacrificed while transferring through USB.
- Intelligent Auto mode analyses the shot and selects the appropriate settings automatically from ten distinct scene modes coupled with wind noise detection.
- Playback button is difficult to operate.
- Requires special software to extract the video from SD card.
- Navigation could have been more intuitive.
- Does not have external microphone input.
6. Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder
Make the most of precious moments of life with the versatile Canon VIXIS HF R800 which can add a dynamic flair to your videos whether you wish to create some candid or professional frames.
Its 57X Advanced Zoom hikes away the telephoto power of the device to impart amazing flexibility which gets accentuated by its 15 different levels of Zoom Speed settings.
Camera shake gets corrected quickly by its SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer so that you can retain the sharpness of handheld videos captured at long focal lengths.
This compact and lightweight camcorder features a 3.0-inch capacitive LCD panel having streamlined user interface to cater to the requirements of amateurs in tracking moving objects, choosing focal points and much more.
- Supports the usage of external microphone.
- Shoots in 1080p and 60fps which can also be reduced for improving recording times.
- Coupled with its built-in Wi-Fi, the Canon model can be used for live-streaming of video and sound.
- 270 degree rotating display.
- Camcorder can be attached to a standard tripod.
- Supports time-lapse functionality.
- BP-727 battery pack features intelligent technology to indicate the remaining time accurately.
- Improved Highlight Priority Mode to prevent loss of brightness and deliver realistic frames.
- Zoom Framing Assist helping in long-distance recording.
- File Lock function to prevent accidental dividing, deletion, copying, trimming, thumbnail changes and MP4 conversion.
- Does not have any microSD slot.
- You cannot continue with the same file after pausing the recording function.
7. Sony HD Video Recording HDRCX440 Handycam Camcorder
Capture the memories of life in crystal clear frames coupled with the Sony HDRCX440 camcorder which can assure you a top-notch cinematic experience every time you connect the same to your big HDTV.
Sony’s back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor drastically reduces grain while improving image clarity so that you can experience low-light sensitivity on the go.
Its 26.8mm wide-angle ZEISS Vario-Tessar lens is perfect for capturing grand landscapes and getting amazingly close-up footage coupled with its 60X Clear Image digital zoom and 30X Optical Zoom.
You can connect the camcorder easily over Wi-Fi with iOS and Android smart devices on downloading the PlayMemories Mobile application and engage in incessant transfer of photos and movies.
The adventure captured on lens can be live streamed via Ustream so that your friends and family can become a part of your adventure on the go.
- Camera can be controlled remotely using a remote commander or mobile device.
- Has an internal memory of 8GB.
- Can be used for live streaming of recorded contents.
- Focus setting can be changed to either manual or automatic depending upon preference.
- Can record high quality 9.2 MP still images and high definition 1920x1080p videos.
- Easy connectivity propelled by the high-speed USB 2.0 cable.
- Face Detection technology can distinguish automatically between adults and children for adjusting exposure, focus, flash and white balance accordingly.
- Does not have any input jack for external microphones.
- Does not have night shot feature.
- Memory carb compatibility limited up to 64 GB.
8. Panasonic HC-V180K Full HD Camcorder
The handheld camcorder from the house of Panasonic coupled with 90x intelligent zooming, super-long 50x optical zoom and 5-axis image stabilizer can bring a whole new meaning to high-resolution video capture.
Camera tilting gets detected and compensated automatically by its level shot function thus making the Panasonic HC-V180K the perfect companion for taking along on adventure activities.
- Lightweight and easy to use camera.
- Intelligent digital zoon options
- Battery lasts pretty long to keep you covered during those long hiking trips.
- Microphone functions pretty well in recording audio even in harsh external environments with strong winds blowing.
- Screen can be closed while recording to bring along battery savings.
- Footage recorded can be live streamed over social networking sites.
- Handycam features a built-in memory system.
- Camcorder has date and time stamp features.
- You can select the recording mode from the available options such as black and white, sepia and much more.
- Can be hooked to a tripod.
- Features night vision capability termed as Night Scenery.
- Camcorder starts functioning within just 5 seconds.
- Can also be used as a web cam.
- Does not accept external mic input unlike its competitors.
- Lacks a proper carrying case which can prove to be essential while taking your handycam on a biking trip.
- Small icons and inferior touch screen quality makes it difficult to hit the right button with accuracy.
- Plastic exterior might not be durable enough.
- Video quality is accompanied with a lot of noise.
- Unit lacks 4K capabilities.
- Lacks infrared night vision.
9. Aitechny Camcorder
If you are on the lookout for a decently priced video camcorder which can record in Full HD mode, then the Aitechny model can serve as your perfect choice.
The camera comes equipped with infrared night vision function so that you can shoot equally brilliant footages even at night.
This portable and lightweight camcorder which comes with a separate carrying case can be tagged along easily to all your outdoor escapades as it requires just bare minimum space in your backpack.
This vlogging camera can be charged while recording thus adding up to its diverse set of possibilities.
The sensitive and noise cancelling microphone of the Aitechny camcorder helps in evicting all sound interferences so that you can capture crystal clear audio output.
So, take it along and let this versatile camcorder capture those precious moments of life with its smart features like Beauty-face, Face detection and Smile capture.
- LCD screen supports 270 degree of rotation for capturing self-videos and pictures.
- Zoom feature is extremely easy to use.
- It is accompanied with a high-end microphone which can carry out impressive voice recording.
- It comes with a carrying case for easy storage while not in use.
- Supports good touchscreen responsiveness.
- SD card has to be purchased separately.
- User manual is not very detailed.
10. CofunKool Video Camcorder
The professional grade camcorder from CofunKool features highly powerful Pana CMOS image sensor and Intel CPU which assists it in clicking pictures with a crystal-clear resolution of 24.0MP and 30fps videos at 1080P.
Its accompanying stereo microphone does an excellent job of filtering out all sound interferences so that you can enjoy clear audio supporting your captured frames.
Coupled with such attributes, this camcorder is ideal for being used in a symposium, conference as well as media interview.
Loop recording is supported by the CofunKool model for automatically overwriting the oldest one with newest recordings once the memory card gets filled up.
The motion detection functionalities of this camcorder can start recording automatically on detecting moving objects within its radar.
You can easily use this digital camera as that of a webcam for communicating with your near and dear ones over internet. Its 3.0-inchtouchscreen supports 270-degree rotation so that you can click self-footages and make alteration in settings without having to pause recording.
- Lightweight camera which can capture high-end videos.
- Wide angle lens help in capturing the tiny details present in its landscaping.
- The quality of audio recording gets highly improved by the external microphone.
- Night vision mode helps in capturing frames with equal brilliance in low light scenarios.
- SD card has to be separately purchased for using this camcorder.
Flash memory is the standard storage format. Most camcorders store video on memory cards, such as Secure Digital (SD, SDHC, SDXC), micro Secure Digital (microSD, microSDHC, microSDXC), Memory Stick, and Memory Stick Micro memory cards.
The amount of video you can record on a camcorder at the highest quality depends on the card’s capacity, which can range from 4GB to 128GB or more.
Some camcorders include an internal, nonremovable flash memory chip—capacity for internal flash storage can range from 8GB to 96GB. Some models include both a memory card and internal flash memory.
No matter which type of camcorder you buy, after you capture your video you’ll need to transfer your video to your computer’s hard drive, where you can store or edit it.