Best Camcorder

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HD CamcorderHigh-def recording has become the standard in the consumer camcorder market. With such incredible image quality, it is important you purchase a tool that will help you shoot video that lives up to the quality. The new features do everything from help you with color-correction, to allowing for low-light filming, to giving you an image-steady factor that eliminates camera shake when utilizing zoom. No matter what direction you go, be sure to think of what is most important to you. Sometimes you should choose based on price other times based on the portability of the camera. With this kind of variety you can cherry pick the options most important to you and edit perfect films for your family.

If you need something more capable than a consumer model but you’re not quite ready for a professional camcorder, prosumer camcorders provide an excellent compromise. When starting your own videography business or just getting into filming, prosumer cameras will help you learn all the features of the more complex camera while still helping you shoot quality video. Many of these prosumer devices help you decide how to use the dynamic features to get the exact image you are looking for. You can film everything from documentary footage to weddings to full length feature films on these cameras, all the while testing your skill and learning about how to properly use a camera for the most effective footage. With the new "ease of transfer" options you can be editing the very day you shoot, making your turnaround time nothing for polished, amazing HD footage.

Within the professional category, you will find a wide variety of prices, but all are quality camcorders that are utilized by professionals the world over. These cameras tend to be a bit heftier, providing both balance as well as durability to last over extensive time frames. Models in this area have the ability to use an extensive array of lenses giving you even more options when it comes to the look of your video. Please note that these cameras take a bit more hands on training to use properly, but isn't that the greatest thing about digital video? The learning curve isn't hampered by wasting film or losing time waiting on footage to be developed. In addition, camera houses now understand that new and experienced film makers want the features, but also the ability to be able to pick up the camera and shoot flawless HD video all while still in the initial learning period. Also, with the addition of many focus assistant features, these cameras will help you get used to filming HD video without ruining an event or wasting time.

Best HD Camcorder Overall:

High Definition camcorders are great for capturing any moment on the fly. With higher resolutions, advanced optics, and better compression, quality video recording is now accessible to even the most amateur home shooters thanks to these overall best HD camcorders we’ve listed here. These cameras all record crisp, exceptional audio, have full auto modes for the casual user to pick up and shoot right away, as well as special features like WiFi connectivity and live streaming capabilities. Anyone looking to record high quality HD home movies should find something to meet their needs on this list.

Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro and 32GB Internal Flash Memory

The Canon Vixia HD consumer cameras have consistently performed as high quality camcorders for the home video enthusiast. The G20 is no different and offers a plethora of options for both the casual and more experienced videographer. Read Full Review

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    Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro and 32GB Internal Flash Memory

    Panasonic HC-X920 3D Ready HD 3MOS Digital Camcorder with Wi-fi

    Panasonic’s high end consumer camcorder produces sharp HD images at a good price. With good low light performance and some manual controls, this camera has options for more advanced users to make the most of the camera’s capabilities. Read Full Review

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      Panasonic HC-X920 3D Ready HD 3MOS Digital Camcorder with Wi-fi

      JVC GC-PX100 Full HD Everio Camcorder

      As of late, JVC has been relegated to the broadcast camera world. With their PX100, they’ve created a very impressive camera for the high-end home videographer and athletic coaches alike. Read Full Review

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        JVC GC-PX100 Full HD Everio Camcorder

        Panasonic HC-W850 Digital HD Camcorder

        The Panasonic HC-W850 serves as an update to their W750 with a long list of added features including a second sensor and camera built in to the back of the LCD. Now you have the power to capture two things at once in full HD. Read Full Review

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          Panasonic HC-W850 Digital HD Camcorder

          Canon VIXIA HF R52 Digital Camcorder

          For users who want to get great looking videos with ease, the HF R52 can provide HD videos with just the touch of a button. While it sits on the lower budget end of the spectrum, it doesn’t have many downsides for the casual user. Read Full Review

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            Canon VIXIA HF R52 Digital Camcorder

            Best Budget Camcorder:

            With digital camera technology improving each year, video cameras are as inexpensive and accessible as ever. Since most people don’t need all the features included with higher end products, they can save money on budget models and still get the great images and ease of use defining modern HD cameras. The best budget camcorders on this list are all priced affordably under $500, feature HD quality video in a lightweight, portable format and are perfect for anyone looking to film high quality videos at a reasonable price.

            Sony HDRPJ340 Video Camera

            The Sony budget HD camcorder lets you use a built-in 13 lumen projector to share your movies with friends and family instantly. Take great full HD videos, turn off the lights, and watch your videos or project any video from your computer with the HDMI input. Read Full Review

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              Sony HDRPJ340 Video Camera

              Canon VIXIA HF R500 Digital Camcorder

              The Canon Vixia HF R500 is part of Canon’s low-end home video line but low-end doesn’t mean low quality. The HF R500 is essentially the base model of the series forgoing add-ons but keeping the same great HD video. Read Full Review

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                Canon VIXIA HF R500 Digital Camcorder

                Sony HDRCX330 Video Camera

                Sony updates its HDR series with the CX330, an easy to use, high definition camera which yields beautiful images with the touch of a button. Featuring high end tools like Intelligent Auto, the CX330 can produce great HD video at an affordable price. Read Full Review

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                  Sony HDRCX330 Video Camera

                  JVC Everio GZ-R10 Quad-Proof Full HD Camcorder

                  JVC is making a comeback in the consumer camera market with their HD camcorders like the GZ-R10. It’s a 1080p camera rugged as many action cameras but fully functional as a regular camcorder. Read Full Review

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                    JVC Everio GZ-R10 Quad-Proof Full HD Camcorder

                    Samsung F90 Black Camcorder

                    While it lacks shooting in full HD, the Samsung F90 replaces high quality images with the promise of simplicity. For those looking to simply press a few buttons and throw video on the internet, this is a camera worth checking out. Read Full Review

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                      Samsung F90 Black Camcorder

                      Best Pocket Camcorder:

                      Almost everyone has a camcorder-enabled smartphone in their pocket these days so pocket camcorders are becoming a rare breed; however, there are several models out there still worth grabbing. This list of best pocket camcorders are great for easily capturing moments with friends and family, recording discreetly, and can be taken anywhere. While these models vary in features and price range, they’re small/lightweight enough to comfortably fit in a coat pocket, all shoot high definition (HD) footage for crisp images, and they’re dedicated video recording devices versus using your smartphone.

                      Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount

                      The Blackmagic Design Pocket Cinema Camera is a high-end prosumer level camera trapped in a pocket camera body. While more expensive than most pocket cameras, it delivers professional-level technology for your money. Read Full Review

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                        Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount

                        GoPro HERO3: Silver Edition

                        GoPro cameras have been designed with action in mind, but their small, durable full HD capabilities, will serve any user as a good pocket camera. The mid-range GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition has the right amount of accessories and options for most users looking to shoot quick videos on the go. Read Full Review

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                          GoPro HERO3: Silver Edition

                          Panasonic HX-WA03 Dual Waterproof 16MP Digital Camcorder

                          Panasonic’s WA line of cameras have been built with durability in mind. The HX-WA03 marks the biggest improvement to this series yet, capturing full 1080p HD video while featuring a water/dust/freeze-proof design. Read Full Review

                          Panasonic HX-WA03 Dual Waterproof 16MP Digital Camcorder

                          Kodak PixPro SPZ1 Waterproof Digital Camcorder

                          The Kodak PIXPRO is a true pocket camera, providing a cheap and sturdy on-the-go HD camera with one-touch recording. It shoots full 1080p video and versatile enough for almost any occasion. Read Full Review

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                            Kodak PixPro SPZ1 Waterproof Digital Camcorder

                            Looxcie 3 Streaming and Recording POV Camera

                            The Looxcie 3 pocket camcorder is part of the new trend of wearable tech. The Looxcie 3 can Small enough to mount on a hat or necklace, this super-compact device captures 720p video wherever you go. Read Full Review

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                              Looxcie 3 Streaming and Recording POV Camera

                              Best Action Camcorder:

                              Camcorders capable of recording high quality video under harsh conditions have become hugely popular among extreme sports, outdoors enthusiasts, documentary filmmakers and television production teams for their portability, ease of use, and discretion.

                              These best action camcorders feature full HD recording and image stabilization, essential online connectivity and location identification options like WiFi and geotagging, as well as high frame rate recording for action-packed filming sequences. These cameras have a variety of strengths catering to different filming needs and are perfect for anyone looking to record solid video footage on the go under less than ideal conditions.

                              GoPro HERO3+: Black Edition

                              GoPro is the industry leader in action camcorders and their Hero 3+ has the best features on the market at a great value. Capture 1080p while riding your surfboard or shoot slow motion up to 120 fps. The Hero 3+ Black Edition gives you the best footage of any action cameras currently available. Read Full Review

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                                GoPro HERO3+: Black Edition

                                JVC Adixxion 2 - GC-XA2 Full HD Action Camera

                                A great HD action cam which can fit in the palm of your hand for under $300, the Adixxion is at the top of its class. It has great functionality and produces clean images for direct streaming to Ustream or upload right to YouTube. Read Full Review

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                                  JVC Adixxion 2 - GC-XA2 Full HD Action Camera

                                  Sony HDR-AS100VR POV Action Video Camera

                                  Sony’s second generation action camera is so small and light it can go anywhere, capturing solid images and sounds. An optional live view remote provides you an added bonus to aid in capturing your wild adventures. Read Full Review

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                                    Sony HDR-AS100VR POV Action Video Camera

                                    Drift Innovation HD Ghost-S Wi-Fi Waterproof Digital Video Action Camera Camcorder

                                    Drift has made a good action camera which handles daylight well and has impressive battery life to make shooting in remote areas easy. It may have a small sensor but it’s a big action camera allowing a lot of control when shooting. Read Full Review

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                                      Drift Innovation HD Ghost-S Wi-Fi Waterproof Digital Video Action Camera Camcorder

                                      Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera

                                      Garmins VIRB Elite takes some of the great technology they’ve applied elsewhere and put it into a camera allowing easy capture of the amazing sights around the world. While this action camcorder doesn’t have the best specs on this list, the image quality more than makes up for it. Read Full Review

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                                        Garmin Virb Elite Action Camera

                                        Best Prosumer Camcorder Overall:

                                        Prosumer cameras fall between professional and consumer grade in terms of quality, complexity, cost, and functionality. These best prosumer camcorders overall provide portable HD footage, built-in microphones and the capability to add professional mics using XLR inputs with the single-person crew in mind. They all allow fully manual operation with the option to set several functions to auto modes for ease of use. These types of cameras tend to be favored by the professional videographer for shooting documentary style work, weddings and other live events.

                                        Sony NEXVG900 Full Frame Interchangeable Lens Camcorder Video Camera

                                        Sony dominates the prosumer category and with their NEX-VG900, they’ve built a full frame HD camera with great color reproduction in a body not much bigger than a DSLR. It packs a powerful punch, giving the user options available on many of Sony’s professional grade cameras. Read Full Review

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                                          Sony NEXVG900 Full Frame Interchangeable Lens Camcorder Video Camera

                                          Sony FDRAX1 4K Camcorder Video Camera with 20x Optical Zoom with 3.5-Inch LCD

                                          One of the higher end prosumer cameras on our list, the specs on the AX1 are incredible. Sony’s first consumer 4K video camera delivers sharp images in a portable, easy to operate package. Read Full Review

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                                            Sony FDRAX1 4K Camcorder Video Camera with 20x Optical Zoom with 3.5-Inch LCD

                                            Canon XF300 HD Camcorder

                                            A hefty and conventional prosumer camera, the XF300 uses Canon’s great optics and broadcast quality recording to enable some very good looking shots. While a few years older than some other models on this list, the XF300 is one of the best cameras available in its price range. Read Full Review

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                                              Canon XF300 HD Camcorder

                                              Sony PMW100 One 1/2.9" Exmor CMOS XDCAM HD422 Handy Camcorder

                                              The Sony PMW100 is a camera for the working broadcast professional. It’s a fully loaded camera with features of many of their professional broadcast cameras in a simpler, more compact body. Read Full Review

                                              Sony PMW100 One 1/2.9" Exmor CMOS XDCAM HD422 Handy Camcorder

                                              Panasonic AG-HPX250PJ HD Handheld Video Camera

                                              While Sony now dominates this space, Panasonic once revolutionized prosumer cameras with their prosumer line built for the small scale professional shooter. Another one of the older cameras on our list, the HPX250 is still an affordable, robust camera with all of the functions you need to shoot on the fly. Read Full Review

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                                                Panasonic AG-HPX250PJ HD Handheld Video Camera

                                                Best Budget Prosumer Camcorder:

                                                Prosumer cameras are hybrid of professional and consumer grade cameras. This list of best budget prosumer camcorders presents great options for individuals looking for a good starter camera or for casual users seeking pro quality video and hone their craft all for under $2,500.

                                                These cameras are highly mobile to allow for ease of transportation and operation by a single person, while pairing high grade technology with consumer grade parts (or vice-versa). Best of all, they’re an affordable option for independent shooters and enthusiasts allowing users to shoot HD video and enjoy the full manual functionality a professional camera rig offers.

                                                Sony NEX-VG30H Handycam

                                                The Sony NEX-VG30 is an impressive and well-built camera which can function as a portable handycam. With an APS-C sized sensor and interchangeable lenses, the camera offers professional quality options at a lower price. Read Full Review

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                                                  Sony NEX-VG30H Handycam

                                                  Canon XA25 Professional Camcorder

                                                  Canon’s XA25 is a lightweight, compact, high-end prosumer camera perfect for great run-and-gun shooting. With great professional features for a camera of its size, you pick up and use this model without much camera experience. Read Full Review

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                                                    Canon XA25 Professional Camcorder

                                                    Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K Video Camera with 3.5-Inch LCD

                                                    With 4K displays being all the rage lately, the FDR-AX100 expands Sony’s family of cameras into high-end prosumer territory. With 4K resolution and a 1 CMOS sensor, this camera is a reasonable alternative to most other 4K units on the market. Read Full Review

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                                                      Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K Video Camera with 3.5-Inch LCD

                                                      Canon VIXIA HF G30 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro

                                                      Canon’s VIXIA series has been a staple of the consumer camera market since they were first introduced. The XA25’s little brother, the HF G30 has an impressive 20x optical zoom, pro-style manual controls, and built-in WiFi to directly upload and share your videos. Read Full Review

                                                      Canon VIXIA HF G30 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro

                                                      Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount

                                                      Blackmagic’s Cinema cameras took the industry by storm at NAB in 2013. The Pocket Cinema Camera records Full HD CinemaDNG RAW with a Super 16mm sized sensor making it an amazing value. Read Full Review

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                                                        Blackmagic Pocket Cinema Camera with Micro Four Thirds Lens Mount

                                                        Best Professional Camcorder Overall:

                                                        While many professionals still tend to rent their cameras, many of the top camera companies are creating incredibly affordable products worth the purchase for those looking to own high quality tools for recording everything from commercials to feature films. The products on this list represent the best professional cameras to own based on their technical specifications and value.

                                                        All of these cameras have high quality sensors capable of recording 4K and allow for manual control over functions like ISO, aperture, and color temperature (white balance). They’re built with the professional shooter in mind and while they can perform well right out of the box, many of these cameras have added costs to take full advantage of their true capabilities. This list is for those looking to own some of the best cameras on the market without paying over $20,000.

                                                        Scarlet-x Red Dragon W/ Side SSD And Lens Mount

                                                        RED is an industry leader in the motion photography world and the Scarlet-X is their mid-level digital cinema camera. The images it produces are very similar to 35mm motion picture film and allow for soft skin detail, amazing dynamic range, and 6K RAW recording. Read Full Review

                                                        Scarlet-x Red Dragon W/ Side SSD And Lens Mount

                                                        Canon EOS C500 4K Digital Cinema Camera

                                                        Canon made its mark in digital imaging with its DSLRs but the C500 positions them very well in the digital cinema world. The C500 is portable and has amazing low light capabilities not to mention, it’s familiar to anyone who’s used a Canon camera before. Read Full Review

                                                        Canon EOS C500 4K Digital Cinema Camera

                                                        Sony NEX-FS700UK Super 35 Camcorder with 18-200mm Lens

                                                        With a large, Super 35mm sensor which works well in low light and super slow motion capabilities up to 960 fps, the FS700 is a great value for any indie filmmaker. As an added bonus, users can upgrade to 2K/4K RAW recording with external recorders for a reasonable price. Read Full Review

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                                                          Sony NEX-FS700UK Super 35 Camcorder with 18-200mm Lens

                                                          Sony PMW-F5 CineAlta Camera

                                                          Sony’s higher end cinema cameras have some of the best specs on the market at good value. The F5 features multiple codec support and internal 2K 4:2:2 recording making it the best of their cameras under $20,000. Read Full Review

                                                          Sony  PMW-F5 CineAlta Camera

                                                          Blackmagic URSA Camera

                                                          Blackmagic has broken into the digital cinema world in the last few years with their low-cost, high performance cameras. The URSA, an Ultra HD RAW camera, is their next step in creating a great camera with the professional in mind. Read Full Review

                                                          Blackmagic URSA Camera

                                                          Best Budget Professional Camcorder:

                                                          The products on this list represent the best budget professional camcorders (Also known as Digital Cinema Cameras) which produce high quality images but remain affordable at under $5,000. All of the cameras listed shoot HD quality (1080p) or greater and allow for interchangeable lenses. They also permit the user to maintain full control over settings like ISO, aperture, and color temperature (White balance). This list is made with the low-budget professional filmmaker in mind, but many of the cameras are cheap and portable enough to realistically replace the old handicam with a professional quality device.

                                                          Sony NEX-FS100UK Super 35 Camcorder

                                                          While these lines of cameras have been improved with some extra features in the FS700, the FS100 is still a reliable, affordable, and user friendly professional camera which will work well for almost any shoot. Read Full Review

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                                                            Sony NEX-FS100UK Super 35 Camcorder

                                                            Canon C100 Cinema EOS Camera

                                                            Canon is a go-to brand for many independent filmmakers because of their persistence in taking their tried and true history of still camera optics and adapting them for the digital age. Part of Canon’s digital cinema line, the C100 is a great run-and-gun camera for the independent shooter. Read Full Review

                                                            Canon C100 Cinema EOS Camera

                                                            Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video

                                                            While it looks like a DSLR, the GH4 is actually a mirrorless Micro Four Thirds digital camera which can shoot 4K right out of the box. Its sensor may be smaller than the others on the list, but overall image quality and affordability make it a great professional grade camera for filmmakers on a budget. Read Full Review

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                                                              Panasonic LUMIX DMC-GH4KBODY 16.05MP Digital Single Lens Mirrorless Camera with 4K Cinematic Video

                                                              Blackmagic Design Production Camera 4K

                                                              It’s hard to not mention a camera sporting 4K RAW shooting on a Super 35mm sensor, especially considering its $3,000 price tag. The Blackmagic boasts incredible detail and a global shutter that will curtail the infamous jello-cam effect created by traditional CMOS sensors. Read Full Review

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                                                                Blackmagic Design Production Camera 4K

                                                                Panasonic AVCCAM AG-AF100 Micro 4/3's Professional HD Camcorder

                                                                A little older and fewer frills, the AF100 is still a good value pick for a solid pro-level camera that gives you all the options you need. It serves up quality images on a level with higher-priced models but not the best low light camera. Read Full Review

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                                                                  Panasonic AVCCAM AG-AF100 Micro 4/3's Professional HD Camcorder
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