Some say that camcorders aren’t what they used to be, but the fact of the matter is that using one is still a great way of creating memories with your friends and families. If you’re in the market for the best camcorder in 2017, you’re in the perfect place. After dozens of hours reading the customer reviews acquired by some of the popular choices out there, we’ve reached the inevitable conclusion that the Canon VIXIA HF G20 is the model you ought to take into account. This unit has it all; it comes with a Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization, and an innovative IS system. Plus, its internal memory enables you to store up to 32GB of footage, but the really neat thing about it is that it even comes with two card slots with the help of which you can increase the storage even more. If you have nothing against choosing the second-best, perhaps you ought to bear the Sony HDRCX405 in mind.
|Image||Product||Best Price||Ratings||Reviews||Where to Buy|
|Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro||€1079.99||Click Here!||Click Here!||Recommended Store|
|Sony HD Video Recording HDRCX405 Handycam Camcorder||€228||Click Here!||Click Here!||Recommended Store|
|Canon VIXIA HF R700 Camcorder (Black)||€268||Click Here!||Click Here!||Recommended Store|
|Panasonic HC-V770 HD Camcorder with Wireless Smartphone Twin Video Capture||€597.99||Click Here!||Click Here!||Recommended Store|
|Sony FDRAX53/B 4K HD Video Recording Camcorder (Black)||€898||Click Here!||Click Here!||Recommended Store|
|Hausbell 5052 HDMI 1080p Full HD Wifi Camcorder with 32G SD||€119.99||Click Here!||Click Here!||Recommended Store|
Are camcorders obsolete?
With the technological advancements of these days, where smartphones and other mobile devices are more than capable of capturing high-quality video with a single gesture on the part of the user, it’s safe to say that getting the best camcorder in 2017 shouldn’t be an option for some people. We’ve looked into the matter to realize whether these units are actually worth the money these days.
On many levels, camcorders far exceed the capabilities of any smartphone, regardless of how new it is or how many HD videos it can shoot. Sure, digital cameras might do the trick for some individuals who aren’t particularly picky about what they’re trying to capture. Even so, we’ve noticed that features such as the optical zoom, the manual focus, as well as various exposure controls can’t be found or customized with the camera of a cell phone. What’s more, the vast majority of the handheld models we’ve stumbled upon while doing our research support external microphones, which couldn’t be said about mobile devices nor many compact digital cameras.
Another reason you’re likely to analyze your options when it comes to getting the best camcorder of 2017 under $500 is durability. Let’s face it: tablets and the likes are pretty frail when you’re on a boat and trying to shoot part of your fishing expedition. The same goes for camcorders that have been specifically designed to withstand the harshness of windy or chilly weather conditions. If you’ve ever noticed that your smartphone freezes when it’s very cold outside and that the small and low-res camera in it just can’t raise up to par, you might be a potential prospective buyer of a camcorder.
Depending on the model, camcorders have close to unlimited space for storing the video you’ve shot. Obviously, this is not a benefit offered by digital cameras or smartphones.
Not all camcorders are created the same, and with the many options that are available in today’s marketplace, you might end up feeling just a tad baffled. Here’s where we come in and give you a helping hand. We have created a concise yet comprehensive guide that can finally help you to understand your needs and preferences and associate them with the characteristics and purpose of your future camcorder. Here’s what you need to know to make the right call.
What type do you want to get and what’s your budget?
Camcorders are getting smaller and capable of more performance with every minute that goes by. We couldn’t help noticing that the majority of the units out there can fit in the palm of your hand and many weigh in at less than one pound, which is why they’re so easy to use while you’re on vacation and trying to capture a memorable moment with your family or friends. There are two major types of units that you’re likely to analyze. Full-size alternatives are great as they can capture HD video, offer an optical zoom of at least 10x, and are very comfortable to hold. The second kind you might be interested in, particularly if you don’t want your hand to get tired anytime, is an action cam. Unfortunately, we’ve noticed that many action cams can be expensive or just exceed the budget of regular prospective buyers out there. We can’t argue with the fact that they’re convenient because you’ll be able to set them up in a fixed spot and thus video record your motorbike or fishing trip without needing to constantly touch the cam.
Action camcorders both lightweight and small and usually have the same features of full-size options, but since they’re less accessible with regard to the price, people still seem to prefer the typical best camcorder of 2017 under $300.
One important factor that you should base your decision on is how you’ll be storing the videos you’ll capture. Many units these days come with slots for flash memory that can be removed or replaced depending on how much video you’ve stored. Transferring the files to your laptop is also easy because it probably has a dedicated memory card slot and therefore, you don’t even have to use a connection cable.
Several models come with built-in nonremovable memories, where the capacity is limited. Whether you choose a model that has 8GB or 96GB of internal memory, you need to consider that you might run out of space at some point and thus not be able to record any other video. It all boils down to your budget and what you prefer. If you don’t like fidgeting with multiple SD or microSD/SDHC/SDXC cards, perhaps you’re a target market for a camcorder with an internal flash memory chip.
Depending on the year your camcorder was manufactured in, it may or may not have HD resolution. Pretty much all recent models have enough res for home users, but they differ among one another. You have your 4K camcorders of which the resolution is 3840 by 2160 pixels, closely followed by the HD camcorder with 1280 by 720 or 1920 by 1080 pixels. Standard and more affordable versions usually have a resolution of 720 by 480 pixels. 4K options may perhaps be too expensive for some people, but the fact of the matter is that the higher the resolution, the better.
Think of it this way: with an HD camcorder, you always have the freedom to lower the resolution so that you can store more video. When you feel like it, you can record in HD. The same convenience does not apply with standard camcorders, where the resolution is limited regardless of your momentary needs. HD recordings can be viewed on HDTVs, so if quality is what you’re after, this is what you should pick. Plus, the advantages of using an HD camcorder with remote control cannot be argued. If you’re feeling puzzled about the model you want to buy, just check some HD camcorder reviews in 2017.
The size and aspect ratio of the LCD matters when it comes to choosing the best camcorder 2017 under $200. A flip-out LCD is very useful because you won’t be forced to look through the viewfinder all the time. Since not all are the same, it might be a good idea to check whether the one belonging to the model you want to choose is easy to see in direct sunlight and if it takes a toll on the camcorder’s battery.
Chances are you plan to shoot steady images, so perhaps you’d be interested in whether or not the camcorder comes with a picture stabilizer or not. This is a rather mandatory feature these days, as unless you’ll be using a tripod, you won’t be able to stabilize the video unless you plan on using both of your hands all the time while you do the recording.
Other features you might have to take into account include full-auto switch, auto-focus, optical zoom range, and Wi-Fi capabilities. Few models have a built-in USB cord and for some people, this isn’t a must-have. As a final tip, check if the camcorder is waterproof so that you rest assured that you’ll be able to shoot videos even on rainy days.
Top 5 products
Canon VIXIA HF G20
The VIXIA HF G20 is one of the most versatile units in the line, which is why many users say that it’s the best camcorder in 2017. Having been built with superior components and packed with some of the most cutting-edge features out there, this model can assist you in shooting high-quality video with the push of a single button.
The neat thing about this option is that it comes with a Dynamic SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization, as well as an intelligent IS system which enables recordings to come out looking crisp and clear, with no exception.
Another reason to consider the VIXIA HF G20 consist of the fact that it comes with an internal memory totalizing 32GB and two additional card slots that you can utilize to further increase the capacity.
Therefore, you won’t be forced to transfer the files to your computer or laptop right after having shot the video.Click to see the price on Amazon!
Used by professionals, hobbyists, and YouTubers, the Sony HDRCX4a5 is another notable option for shooting great-looking video. With its 30X Optical and 60X Clear Image Zoom, this camcorder can let you shoot subjects even when they’re out of your reach.
As is the case with other products on the market nowadays, this model comes with an Optical SteadyShot image stabilization that can assist you in recording clear and stable video even when you are moving.
It’s also worth noting that this Sony model features a Face Detection mode, as well as seven picture effects that you can take advantage of if you don’t have the time to edit the files with the help of software. Additionally, the 2.7-inch LCD display can let you see what you’re recording with ease.
The only drawback that we were able to track down on this model is that it doesn’t come with an external microphone input. Since it’s quite affordable, this Sony unit might just as well be the best camcorder under 500.Buy from Amazon.com for ($228)
Canon VIXIA HF R700
Packed with an incredible 3.28-megapixel Full HD CMOS image sensor and a cutting-edge image processor, the VIXIA HF R700 is another camcorder to give some thought to. It’s perfectly capable of serving its owners regardless of the circumstances as it can record excellent Full HD video and store it automatically on the SD memory card of your choice.
The 3-inch touch panel LCD allows you to browse through the user settings and select the right functions you’ll be able to find in the user-friendly interface.
One of the reasons this product has managed to gather some of the best camcorder reviews in 2017 is that it comes with four unique stabilizing modes that can give you the freedom and performance you might require for every recording circumstance.
A starter bundle and an extra battery pack are also available for this model, and they’re worth bearing in mind particularly if you have long shooting days ahead of you.Buy from Amazon.com for ($268)
If getting a compact and versatile unit is what’s on your mind, perhaps you ought to check out the specs of this Panasonic model. We couldn’t help noticing that it’s one of the preferred choices of people who regularly upload content to YouTube and other video social media networks.
Why’s that? There’s a simple answer to this question, and it consists of the fact that the Panasonic camcorder can be paired with a smartphone so that you’re able to utilize the video camera of your mobile device, as well, and therefore get a picture-in-picture effect.
This function is particularly useful for tutorials as viewers have a higher chance of understanding the instructions explained.
As for the audio quality of the video being shot, it seems to raise up to par as most of the people who have purchased the Panasonic HC-V7770 seem to have nothing but good things to say about it.Buy from Amazon.com for ($597.99)
One of the most impressive characteristics about the Sony FDRAX53/B is its Fast Intelligent AF. What this means for the end-user is that the model is capable of automatically improving its response, and minimizing lens motion, as well as predicting the AF range.
Whether your subject is moving or not, you’ll be able to shoot clear and perfectly balanced video as this camcorder comes with a world-known image stabilization system.
It goes without saying that the quality of the files will be more than satisfactory given that this model can shoot Full HD video and comes with a 26.8mm Zeiss lens and a 20X optical zoom.
What’s more, the FDRAX53/B has been equipped with a 5-directional mic that has been found to be three times more efficient compared to the built-in microphone of other products on the market nowadays. The audio reproductions in your video will be faithful, without a doubt, provided that you use this camcorder.Buy from Amazon.com for ($898)
Who makes the best camcorders?
Sony is one of the leading manufacturers in the industry of small and large electronics alike. The brand is well-known for developing high-quality mobile phones, smart TVs, DVD players and recorders, as well as many other products destined for the entertainment of home and professional users out there. What’s more, the company is behind the entire concept of Playstation, which remains, to this day, one of the most popular pastimes of teenagers and adults, as well.
Since the main purpose of Sony seems to be adopting new technologies so that it meets and exceeds the ever-growing requirements of prospective buyers, it’s safe to say that purchasing a camcorder from this brand is a bet you won’t regret. Even professionals prefer Sony products for what they can do in terms of capabilities and performance, and many video producers still opt for camcorders as they can utilize them during various weather conditions and other circumstances that do not allow them to use full-size video cameras.
When it comes to precision photography and video recordings, nothing seems to beat Canon. It’s one of the top choices of amateur and professional photographers and videographers out there and that doesn’t come as a surprise considering that this company has been around ever since the 1930s. With so much experience accumulated over the years, Canon has had enough resources to grow so that it eventually became a world-known brand, and one that will stand the test of time. To this date, many photographers seem to have two major choices when it comes to picking a digital camera: Canon or Nikon.
Aside from the innovative imaging technologies that they usually apply, the engineers at Canon have also worked towards designing high-quality units destined for office use. Some of the most critically acclaimed products developed by the brand in this area consist of multifunction devices, laser printers, inkjet printers, and multimedia projectors.
Unlike other electronics manufacturers, Panasonic is one of the leaders in Japan and abroad. The foundation was first created at the beginning of the 20th century, which means that it has a whole lot more experience compared to other brands. These days, the number of consolidated companies include the parent one is 475. What does this mean for the end-user? In a nutshell, Panasonic has many subsidiaries all over the world and in North America as well, so that in case you ever come up any issue, you can personally go to one of the brand’s offices.
It seems that Panasonic is resolute on improving the lives of global consumers by designing products that are easy to use and sacrifice nothing in terms of performance or comfort. While it might not present in areas such as mobile technologies and the likes, Panasonic has a long history of creating audio and video hardware that takes imaging viewing and recording to a whole new level.
If it were to compare the worldwide sales of Apple and Samsung, the second would probably be a winner. Although the two have been at it for years, Samsung seems to win the race when it comes to designing both mobile products and digital cameras and camcorders that speak to the needs of the modern user.
Some of the most popular units developed by the brand include interchangeable lens cameras, long zoom cameras, HD camcorders, as well as simple point and shoot cameras. Besides, most of the imaging models belonging to this company have a higher resolution compared to the ones of various other brands, as we couldn’t help noticing that most cameras created by Samsung have a minimum res of at least 12 megapixels. Additionally, many of these alternatives are Wi-Fi Enabled and fit to work with any other Samsung device you might already be the owner of.
Things you need to know about camcorders
When were camcorders invented?
The earliest prototype wouldn’t be very different from the ones that we employ these days. However, the main difference consists in the fact that older versions used videotapes instead of flash memories. Current camcorders, as we know them, were developed in the 1990s, when most brands started focusing their efforts on building digital alternatives.
Before camcorders were invented, people interested in capturing video were forced to use bulky video cameras such as the ones that are still employed in television. Sony and JVC used to be the two primary manufacturers of traditional video cameras up until the beginning of the 1980s, when Sony released the first consumer camcorder, the Betamax-based Betamovie BMC-100P.
Are camcorders still worth buying?
In spite of the fact that most of the mobile devices these days are capable of recording video, the fact of the matter is that camcorders are still noteworthy options for people who’d like to have their cake and eat it, too. For one, the resolution is higher, which translates into higher-quality images. Secondly, holding a smartphone in your hand for a longer time is a hassle you can do without, considering that camcorders are both easy to setup and utilize. Details such as image stabilization, a large and bright LCD, as well as auto-focus and the ability to save files on an SD or microSD card emphasize the fact that camcorders are still worth every penny even today.
Are camcorders good for YouTube?
The simple answer to this question would be yes. Professional YouTubers or people who are just starting out with their channel can considerably benefit from using a camcorder as many have different advantages with regard to creating and editing video files. For example, if you were to buy a camcorder manufactured by Canon, there’s a high chance that it comes with a dedicated software that allows you to use your laptop along with the cam while you shoot your clips.
Transferring the data onto your laptop can be done very easily when you’re using such a device. Plus, the quality of the video is significantly higher than the one you’d get with your iPhone or compact digital camera.
Can camcorders take still pictures?
Most models can be used just like small digital cameras. In many cases, all you have to do is refer to the interface and menu of the product so that you are able to discover the photo mode. Needless to say, you should have a high-quality lens in your camcorder to be able to take good pictures, and the resolution matters just as much. While various people argue that taking a still with a camcorder will result in a lower quality image than if you were to use a digital camera, we’d say that these users were probably not using their models appropriately. Otherwise, they would have gotten great results.
How do digital camcorders work?
When it comes to the way they do their job, camcorders somewhat resemble the basic concept of other digital cameras. They need to have a lens so that they’re able to capture the light from a scene. The sensor in a camcorder, also known as CCD, is probably the most important part of the product as it’s the core structure that measures the amount of light received. Unlike classic video cameras, camcorders are able to convert the data recorded into bytes instead of taping it. This is what makes them so convenient and versatile and it’s the reason they’re able to store data on internal or flash memory.
Do camcorders have night vision?
Not all models are the same, so if you’re looking for night vision, you probably have to go through an extensive research and consult many sources before finally choosing one. The main difference between a regular camcorder lacking this feature and one that comes with night vision is that the second is equipped with a special light that makes it possible for the lens to capture infrared lighting and thus record nighttime images appropriately. Professional units in this line are very expensive, and we’ve seen that night vision cams destined for home users can cost around five to seven hundred dollars.
Do camcorders use SD cards?
Not all models you’ll come across use SD or microSD cards. Some are able to record video and images on external cards such as the ones mentioned above, but other units come with an internal memory that is limited. Whether we’re talking about 16GB or 72GB, with a product that comes with built-in memory, you’ll sooner or later run out of space.
In other words, many users seem to prefer getting a model with an SD card these days as it gives them the freedom to stop, replace the card, and continue shooting. In theory, you’d need to have two camcorders to be able to continue recording if the internal memory of one is full.
Are camcorders good for making movies?
If what you have in mind is a project for your school or college, camcorders are excellent choices when it comes to making movies. Professionals don’t use cams that are destined for home use mostly because they’re aware of the many adjustments they can perform with a high-end alternative. Since amateurs rarely take advantage of these customizations, the interface of more affordable options has been greatly simplified. However, depending on the resolution, camcorders can do a great job at making movies. A 4K unit, if you have the budget for it, is just the thing you need, in this case.
How long does a camcorder battery last?
The battery life varies largely and may be anything from two and a half hours to eight hours. There are many kinds of batteries accepted for camcorders, some of which have a longer or a shorter life. If you plan to shoot a lot in a day, we recommend getting a second battery that’s compatible with your camcorder. If, on the other hand, you’re a YouTuber, there are various power cables that can be adapted so that you’re able to record using your cam while it’s plugged in a power source. Keep in mind that must have camcorder accessories should always be compatible with your model.
The best tips for using a camcorder
Learn to know your camcorder
Many modern owners often forget the importance of a user manual. The fact of the matter is that, believe it or not, the booklet you might have received along with the product contains a set of useful tips and tricks that can let you learn how to operate the unit as efficiently as possible. It’s only by going through the instructions that you’ll be able to find out just what button does what depending on the time you choose to push it.
Steady as she goes
Image stabilization should be one of your crucial concerns when starting to use a camcorder. If you’re an absolute beginner, you’ll probably try to use the auto mode. That’s not a problem, considering that you’re likely to not have enough experience for the time being. Even so, it might be worth noting that moving around a lot while you’re doing your shooting definitely doesn’t help with reducing motion. If you can’t seem to be able to hold the cam properly, at least find a spot that can support your hand and that you can use to lean against, such as a wall.
Learn the basics of composition
There’s a myriad of sources out there that can assist you with taking an apparently boring image to a whole new level, simply by adjusting your technique. Most amateurs will start out by shooting their subjects so that they’re right in the center of the screen, which can become tedious after a while. Try to include as much detail as possible in your shots and use different angles to make the recording a bit more enjoyable. There is no right and wrong way of shooting video, but it sure wouldn’t hurt if you tested out various techniques and tried out as many features of the camera as possible.