If you like to shoot videos for making films professionally or casually, then a camcorder can be quite useful for you. Camcorders offer a wide range of advanced features that are meant for recording videos. These are mainly designed for portability, and effortless video recording.
You can find a wide range of camcorder options out there. But there are various things that you should consider before buying a camcorder which includes the following:
- Resolution: There are various standard resolutions out there when it comes to recording videos. This includes options like 720p HD, 1080p FHD, and even 2160p 4K UHD. While 1080p is more usual for casual usage, 2160p 4K is intended for professional usage.
- Optical Zoom: Apart from having an excellent sensor for recording high-quality videos, you also get an optical zoom option in a camcorder. And as you would expect, this can be quite useful for recording different kinds of videos. The zoom range is mentioned like up to 30x or 50x zoom.
- Battery Life: If you are recording long videos using your camcorder, then it can consume the battery quite a bit, especially at higher resolutions. So, if you do not want to carry multiple batteries with you, make sure to get a camcorder with a long battery life.
We have mentioned some of the best camcorders in India. This article also has their major features and options along with their differences. And you can easily choose the best camcorder for you by going through the Buying Guide and FAQ section present in this article. So, if you want a camcorder for yourself, make sure to go through this article until the end.
Best Camcorders in India 2020
|Camcorder||Sensor||Optical Zoom||Digital Zoom||Warranty||Buy Now|
|Sony Camcorder||2.29 MP CMOS||30x||350x||2 Year||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Panasonic HC-V270 Camcorder||2.5 MP BSI MOS||50x||3000x||2 Year||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Canon Camcorder||3.28 MP CMOS||---||57x||2 Year||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Sony Camcorder||2.2 MP Exmor R CMOS||30x||60x||2 Year||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Panasonic HC-V270 Camcorder||2.2 MP Live MOS||50x||90x||2 Year||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|XuBa Camcorder||2.1 MP||8x||16x||No Warranty||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Panasonic AG-UX90ED Camcorder||17.78 MP MOS||15x||---||2 Year||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Panasonic HC-MDH3GW Camcorder||6.03 MP Large MOS||20x||---||2 Year||CHECK ON AMAZON|
|Canon Camcorder||2.37 MP CMOS||10x||200x||2 Year||CHECK ON AMAZON|
Best Camcorders in India 2020 Reviews
1. Sony HDR-PJ410 Full HD Video Recording Handycam Camcorder
Sony makes all kinds of cameras for different applications and users. You can also find camcorders for beginners made by Sony. And these work as good as any other Sony product out there.
The Sony HDR-PJ410 is in the 1st position in this article as it is the perfect camcorder for beginners. Apart from being quite easy to use, you can find a wide range of features in this camera. And these allow you to make high quality videos using its 2.29 MP CMOS sensor.
Just like many other Sony cameras, this one also uses a Bionz X image processor. It allows you to record videos in upto Full HD resolution. And the whole camera is quite lightweight due to its 209g weight.
Sensor: You get a 2.29 MP CMOS Sensor in this Sony camcorder.
Zoom Range: It offers upto 30x optical zoom and 350x digital zoom.
- Inbuilt Projector
You need to connect most camcorders to a computer to play the videos recorded with it. But this Sony camera has an inbuilt projector which can be used to watch videos without any issues.
- Record Videos Continuously
With this Sony camcorder, you get long battery life. And it supports up to 64 GB card for storing all of the videos that you record. As a result, you can record using this camcorder without stopping for a long time.
- Intelligent Modes
Sony cameras are known for a great software experience due to all of the features that it offers. And you get various things like video modes; motion shot video, face detection, smile shutter, and much more with this Sony camcorder.
Warranty and Customer Support:
Sony is known for its excellent customer support they offer with a 2-year warranty on all of their camcorders. If you face any issues with your Sony camcorder, you can contact them using this link:
- Excellent picture quality.
- Bionz X image processor.
- Record upto 1080p videos
- 29 MP CMOS Sensor.
- Inbuilt Projector.
- Lightweight and easy to use.
- Various video modes are available.
- Does not have a night mode option.
- Cannot connect external microphones.
- Lacks an inbuilt speaker.
This Sony camcorder can be a great option if you are new to camcorders. You get a lot of useful and advanced features which are easily accessible. And this camcorder is priced very reasonably when you consider the features that it offers.
2. Panasonic HC-V270 Super Zoom Full HD Camcorder
Panasonic is yet another reputable camcorder brand that is available on Amazon. It offers a lot of useful features and options in its cameras. And most Panasonic cameras have an affordable price tag when compared to other options out there.
Panasonic’s HC-V270 is in the 2nd position in this article as it offers a lot of things for its given price. When compared to the previous Sony camera, this one has a long digital zoom range of 3000x. And you also get upto 50x digital zoom in this camcorder.
Apart from the zoom range, you also get a great BSI MOS Sensor in this camera which offers excellent videos. And it is one of the only camcorders with a 5 axis stabilization OIS feature. It makes your 1080p videos look quite smooth.
Sensor: It features a 2.5 MP BSI MOS Sensor.
Zoom Range: There is a zoom range of 50x optical and 3000x digital zoom in this camcorder.
- Connectivity Options
This Panasonic camcorder comes with Wi-Fi and NFC connectivity options. Thus, you can connect this camera with your smartphone. You can then use it to transfer files to your phone or use your smartphone as a viewfinder.
- External Microphone Port
The inbuilt microphone of most camcorders out there sounds terrible. Thankfully, that is not an issue with this Panasonic camcorder. You can connect any external microphone of your choice with this camera.
- Best in Class Stabilizations
Panasonic offers 5 axis stabilization in this camcorder. This results in very smooth footage which is much better than most of the cameras out there. And you can use this camera without any video shake even when you are using the zoom.
Warranty and Customer Support:
Just like Sony, Panasonic also offers a 2-year warranty with its camcorders. You can avail your Panasonic warranty by contacting them using this link:
- Value for money product.
- Best in class zoom range.
- Offers 5 axis stabilization
- Multiple connectivity options.
- Supports external microphones
- Decent sensor for 1080p videos.
- Large display and easy to use.
- Low light performance is poor.
- Average battery life.
If you want a feature-rich camcorder without paying a lot of it, then the Panasonic HC-V270 can be a great option. It offers best in class zoom range along with stabilization which allows you to zoom without a tripod. And you also get various connectivity options which make this camera quite practical.
3. Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder (White)
If you know anything about cameras in general, then you are most likely familiar with Canon. They are primarily known for making professional camera products. But we are here with an entry-level consumer-grade camcorder from Canon.
The Canon VIXIA HF R800 is in the 3rd position in this article due to its great image quality. In comparison to the Panasonic and Sony options mentioned earlier, this one has a much better sensor. Its 3.28 MP CMOS Sensor offers excellent results when combined with Canon’s great color science.
A great feature of this Canon camcorder camera is its Advanced Zoom range. It offers 57x digital zoom range without any loss in quality. And when combined with the Super Range OIS, this camera can record smooth videos quite easily.
Sensor: You get 3.28 MP CMOS Sensor in the Canon VIXIA HF R800 camcorder.
Zoom Range: This camcorder offers a combined 57x zoom range with its Advanced Zoom Range feature.
- Canon Color Science
One of the best things about buying Canon camcorder is that you get Canon’s excellent color science due to the Digic DV 4 image processor. This allows you to get great looking videos right from the camera. You do not have to color correct the video afterwards.
- Great Auto Focus
This camera has auto face detection because of its Digic DV 4 image processor. And this results in great autofocus. This makes using this camera quite easy while recording people around you.
- Lightweight and Compact
Canon offers a great camcorder in a very compact form factor with the VIXIA HF R800. This camera is also quite lightweight which makes it a great option for travelling. You can easily carry it with you wherever you go.
Warranty and Customer Support:
As you would expect, Canon offers a 2-year warranty with this camcorder. And this can be availed by contacting Canon India using this link:
- Excellent picture quality.
- Canon’s color science.
- Advanced lossless digital zoom.
- Decent stabilization options.
- Small and compact form factor.
- Various advanced video settings.
- Supports external microphone.
- Great face recognition and autofocus.
- Build quality is average.
- The display could have been better.
For those of you who want great looking videos straight out of the camera, this Canon camcorder is perfect. It features the Digic DV 4 processor along with Canon’s color science. And you also get excellent zoom and autofocus capabilities in this camcorder.
4. Sony HDRCX405 9.2MP HD Handycam Camcorder
We have yet another camcorder from Sony which is quite affordable when compared to the previous. While it does not have all of the features as in the previous one, it is certainly quite easy to use. Thus it is a great potion for beginners.
Just like many other Sony camcorders out there, using this one is quite easy. You get various video features like face detection, noise reduction, voice enhancement, and much more. All of these allow you to easily record great looking 2.2 MP Full HD videos.
You also get Sony’s SteadyShot feature in this camera which allows you to make shake-free videos. Since this camera uses an Exmor R CMOS Sensor, the video quality is really good. The zoom range is also pretty decent without any loss in quality.
Sensor: This camcorder has a 2.2 MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor.
Zoom Range: You get upto 30x optical zoom and 60x digital zoom with this camcorder.
- Power and Data USB Port
It is one of the only camcorders out there that comes with a USB port. This allows you to easily transfer files from this camera. You can simply connect it to your computer using this port. And it can also be used for charging the camera.
- Excellent Value for Money
This is one of the cheapest camcorders present in this article. And it still offers 1080p 60 fps video recording. You also get a Sony Exmor R CMOS Sensor in it which results in great-looking video.
- Various Video Modes
Sony is known for a great software experience because of all the features that it offers. You get options like face detection, voice enhancement, and noise reduction. There are a total of 7 picture modes in this camera as well.
Warranty and Customer Support:
All Sony cameras offer a 2-year warranty along with great customer support on all of their camcorders. You can contact Sony in case of any issues using this link:
- Easy to use.
- Various video features.
- Great battery life.
- An inbuilt USB port for data and power.
- SteadyShot for smooth and stabilized videos.
- Exmor R CMOS Sensor for great video quality.
- No external microphone support.
- Low light performance could have been better.
This is one of the most affordable camcorders available out there and yet it offers a lot of features. All of the software features found in this Sony camera allow you to record great looking videos. And you can use this camera quite easily due to the user interface.
5. Panasonic HC-V270 Super Zoom Full HD Camcorder
Panasonic makes a lot of camcorders at different price tags. Thus, here is another camcorder from Panasonic which offers a lot of things for what you pay. And you can expect great image quality from it due to the great image processing offered by Panasonic.
Unlike the previous one, this comes with a 2.2 MP Live MOS Sensor which delivers great great-looking video. You can also use its long optical zoom range of 50x without losing any quality. When combined with the inbuilt stabilization, this zoom can be used without a tripod.
This camcorder also offers WiFi and NFC as connectivity options which can be quite handy. It allows you to connect the camera with your smartphone. And you can also find a microphone jack in this camcorder for connecting an external microphone. This can improve the audio quality of your videos by quite a lot.
Sensor: Panasonic offers a 2.2 MP Live MOS sensor in this camcorder.
Zoom Range: It comes with a zoom range of 50x optical zoom and 90x digital zoom.
- 5 Axis Stabilization
This camcorder offers great stabilization while recording videos even if you are zooming. It is able to do this using its 5 axis stabilization feature. You can use this feature to use the camera without a tripod in most cases.
- Multiple Video Modes
Panasonic offers various video modes in this camcorder. This includes things like miniature effect, time-lapse, 8mm movie, silent movie, and much more. All of these things allow you to be creative while recording videos using this camera.
- Small and Compact
Despite its great camera performance, this Panasonic camera is quite small and compact. You can easily take this camera wherever you go and record videos without any issues.
Warranty and Customer Support:
As mentioned earlier, Panasonic offers a 2-year warranty for most of its camcorders. If you are having any issues with your camcorder, you can contact Panasonic using this link:
- Small and compact.
- Various connectivity options.
- Multiple video recording modes.
- Excellent stabilization for zooming.
- Decent zoom range and image quality.
- Great battery life.
- Inbuilt microphone is average.
- Lacks advanced video controls.
The Panasonic HC-V270 is a great camcorder option if you are looking for a camera for beginners. You get a lot of features which make this camera quite practical. And the price tag of this camera is also quite justified.
6. XuBa FHD 1080P Camera Camcorder UK Plug
Xuba is a fairly new brand which sells Camcorders on Amazon. As a result, while this brand is not popular at all, it certainly offers a lot for its price. It is the cheapest camcorder present in this article with a big difference.
The XuBa camcorder offers a 2.1 MP sensor which can record videos in 1080p. And you also get a 2.7-inch flip-able screen on the side. This can be used as a viewfinder as well as for controlling the camera. And this camera is quite beginner-friendly due to its user interface.
You also get DIS feature in this camera which essentially offers stabilization while recording videos. As a result, even if you are using the 8x optical zoom, the videos are not shaky at all. And it makes handheld shooting quite easy.
Sensor: You can find a 2.1 MP sensor in this camera.
Zoom Range: XuBa offers 8x optical and 16x digital zoom in this camera.
- 24 MP Stills
Most of the camcorders out there are made for taking videos. But this even allows you to take upto 24 MP photos if you want. As a result, this camera is quite flexible and can be used for various things.
- Face Detection
Even though this camera is quite affordable, it still offers face detection feature for recording video. This offers a great autofocus experience while recording people around you.
- Flip Screen
The 2.7 inch screen of this camera can be flipped if needed. It offers 270 degrees of movement which offers a lot of possible angles for using this camera. This can be useful while recording videos as well as changing camera settings.
Warranty and Customer Support:
Unfortunately, since XuBa camcorders are imported in India, they do not offer any warranty. But you do get 10 days return warranty from Amazon which can be useful if you get any manufacturing defects.
- Easy to Use.
- Most affordable camcorder.
- Records 1080p videos.
- Capture 24MP stills.
- Face Detection for autofocus.
- No manufacturer’s warranty.
- Build quality is poor.
- Lacks advanced video features.
If you just want to try out a camcorder without paying a lot for it, then the XuBa camera can be a viable option. It certainly does not offer any advanced video features to its users. But it is a lot cheaper even than most of the affordable camcorders out there.
7. Panasonic AG-UX90ED Professional Camcorder
Unlike the previous Panasonic cameras mentioned in this article, the AG-UX90ED is a professional grade camcorder. It offers various useful features which can be used in filmmaking.
This is the only camcorder in this article which records videos in 4K resolution. It is able to do this using its 17.78 MP MOS Sensor. And you also get 15x optical zoom in this camera which results in great video quality. It also has inbuilt LED lights for shooting in the dark.
As this is a professional grade camera, you get dual SD card slots in this camera. You can use this for either redundancy, relay recording, or for increasing the storage capacity. This feature is useful as the 4K resolution videos can fill your storage quite quickly.
Sensor: It offers a 17.78 MOS Sensor for 4K video support.
Zoom Range: This professional camera comes with 15x optical zoom range.
- Excellent Auto Focus
When compared to most camcorders out there, this camera offers excellent autofocus. It is quite fast and accurate especially when recording in 4K as it uses face tracking. This makes using this camera quite an easy task.
- Internal Microphone
Unlike most other camcorders, this one has a great internal microphone. It comes with a shotgun microphone mounted at the front. And this microphone records crisp audio directly in the camera. You can also connect external microphones if needed.
- Inbuilt ND Filter
You have to use external ND filters with most camcorders which are required when shooting in sunny environments. But this Panasonic camera comes with inbuilt ND filters. As a result, you do not have to switch out ND filters again and again.
Warranty and Customer Support:
You get a 2-year warranty with this professional Panasonic camcorder. You can avail this warranty in case of any issues by contacting Panasonic using this link:
- 1” 17.78 MP MOS Sensor.
- 15x optical zoom with OIS.
- Dual SD card slots.
- Excellent internal microphone.
- Advanced video controls.
- Clear EVF.
- Inbuilt ND filters.
- Great autofocus.
- Multiple ports for connectivity.
- Size is a bit large.
- Battery life is average.
Panasonic AG-UX90ED is the most feature-rich camcorder present in this article. You get everything in this camera that you can ever need for making videos. While it is certainly not compact or cheap at all, it is a great option for professional filmmaking.
8. Panasonic HC-MDH3GW Professional Camcorder
We have another professional camcorder from Panasonic. While this one does not offer 4K video resolution, it offers a lot of the same features while being quite cheaper. And you get a lot of advanced controls since it is a professional grade camera.
You get 6.03 MP Large MOS Sensor in this camera which supports upto 1080p video recording. You also get a 20x optical zoom which is quite great to have. Unlike most other camcorders in this article, this one can also record slow-motion videos in upto 100 frames per second.
This camera also has an inbuilt LED light which is useful for recording videos in the dark. And you can also mount external lights using the hot shoe mount. The screen of this camera is decently large and offers great quality.
Sensor: You can find a 6.03 MP Large MOS Sensor in this camera.
Zoom Range: It offers a zoom range of upto 20x optical zoom.
- Super Slow Motion Video
This is one of the only camcorders out there which records slow-motion videos. You can record videos in upto 100 frames per second. Such a feature can be quite useful in professional filmmaking.
- Excellent Video Quality
The large MOS sensor of this camera offers great video quality even at 1080p. And the included 20x optical zoom makes this camera even more usable. Its video quality is the same in slow motion mode as well.
- Advanced Controls
As it is a professional camera, you can find a lot of advanced controls. These allow you to manually change a lot of things in this camcorder without going into the settings. This can save a lot of time while making professional films.
Warranty and Customer Support:
As mentioned earlier, this professional Panasonic camcorder offers a 2-year warranty. If you face any issues with the camera, you can avail this warranty by contacting Panasonic using this link:
- Manual controls for advanced video features.
- Great viewfinder screen for controlling the camera.
- Inbuilt LED lights.
- Support for an external microphone.
- Upto 20x optical zoom.
- Excellent image quality from the large MOS sensor.
- A bit on the heavy side.
- No digital zoom option.
This camcorder from Panasonic can be a great option if you want a value for money professional-grade camera. Even though it is not as cheap as consumer-grade cameras, it certainly offers a lot of things for its given price.
9. Canon XA10 Professional Camcorder with 64GB Internal Flash Memory
At last, we have a great professional camcorder from Canon which is a great alternative for the Panasonic options. Even though this camera lacks 4K recording, it is quite compact and small when compared to other professional camcorders.
The Canon XA10 is a perfect professional camera for taking with you due to its small size and long battery life. You also get 10x optical zoom and 200x digital zoom which can be quite handy. And the 2.37 MP CMOS sensor offers excellent image quality with Canon’s color science.
Despite its small size, you get a lot of connectivity and control options with this camera. You can easily connect XLR microphones with this camera which can improve your audio by a lot. And you can also find dual SD card ports in this camera which offer relay recording and redundancy options along with extended storage options.
Sensor: This camera offers a 2.37 MP CMOS Sensor.
Zoom Range: You get a zoom range of upto 10x optical and 200x digital zoom in this camera.
- Touch Display
This camcorder comes with a 3.5-inch screen which acts as a viewfinder. And it even has touch input support which can be quite handy. It allows you to change camera settings quite easily.
- Canon Color Science
The Canon Digic processor of this camera offers excellent color science. This means that you do not have to do any post-processing on your videos recorded from this camera. And these videos look quite good in terms of the quality as well.
- External XLR Input
You can find a total of two XLR input ports on this camcorder. And this allows you to connect upto two microphones to this camera at once. It even allows you to adjust the EQ settings of the microphones using the various dials present on the camera body.
Warranty and Customer Support:
Just like its consumer-grade cameras, this Canon professional camcorder comes with a 2-year warranty. You can avail this warranty by contacting Canon using this link:
- It offers an excellent sensor along with Canon’s color science.
- Supports the usage of two SD cards at once.
- Offers upto 200x digital and 10x optical zoom.
- You can connect two microphones at once.
- Touch display for viewfinder and controlling the camera.
- Battery life is average.
- Very few physical buttons.
If you want professional-grade camcorder features in a compact package, then this Canon camera can be a great option. It features Canon’s color science along with a great CMOS sensor. And despite its small size, you get various connectivity options.
Things to Look for While Buying a Camcorder
The digital camcorders have a lot of technical jargon, which makes them quite terrifying, especially when you are not good with technical terms. There are a plethora of newly added features like night vision, or in-built projectors. And do you know how vital the camcorder sensor is? And what is the function of an image stabilizer?
You will find all the answers as you keep reading. We have kept it simple and easy to understand all the way.
1. Flip-out LCD Display
An in-built LCD screen is common to every camcorder. It lets you see what you are recording and help to playback the recordings.
Like any other digital display, this also has its own screen size and resolution. Naturally bigger, the display size better is the view. The screen size can be as small as 1.5-inch to as large as 4-inches, measured diagonally.
Some have wide displays, usually 16:9 ratio with excellent picture resolution. Some higher-priced models even come with a touch-panel display.
The LCD is easier to examine and preview, but they often make it difficult to view under sunlight, especially if it glares too much. Also, an LCD screen drains the battery faster. Means, your recording time is lessened with the display on.
Usually, you get a view-finder along with the LCD screen. But some of the newest models have excluded this feature.
View-finder is a tiny LCD screen embedded into the camcorder. The viewfinder allows you to take a quick shot without opening the LCD screen. Or, it may come useful under bright light that washes out the LCD display. It also drains less battery extending your recoding time.
3. Zooming: Optical and Digital zoom
Every camcorder comes with two types of zoom—optical zoom and digital zoom. It’s typically a control dial, knob, or button that you press–one way to look closer and the other to move farther away.
- Optical zoom is a more valuable figure. It denotes the maximum zoom that the lens can perform. Even when you zoom the highest, the picture will be still clear. Most camcorders have an optical zoom of 10x, which is sufficient for general use. But the advanced one can have 50x optical zoom or even more.
- The digital zoom enlarges the picture further after fully extending the optical zoom. It typically works by magnifying each pixel, which becomes a bit more grainy and unclear compared to that of optical zoom.
Even at the highest end of the digital zoom, you may not clearly see what you are taping. However, it’s still better to have than totally missing out on something.
4. Image Stabilizer
Shaky hands while recording a video is normal. To minimize this unavoidable shaking of hands, camcorders have come up with in-built image stabilizers. Most image stabilizers are either electronic/digital or optical.
- Electronic or digital image stabilizers are software-based. They modify the signals coming from the image sensors to reduce shakiness. These can be a bit complicated. But the bottom line is they are less effective.
- On the flip side, optical stabilizers prevent the image shaking by physically shifting the lens to compensate for the external movement. Optical image stabilizers are measured by axis—this is the number of movements performed by your camcorder to eliminate unstable footage. Suppose, your camera says it has 5-axis image stabilization means it can stabilizer 5 types of motions. Whereas a camera with 3-axis image stabilization can only stabilizer 3 types of motions.
All in all, optical image stabilizers are better than electronic. (Mind that they are expensive too.) And electronic or digital stabilizers are better than having none.
Resolution means the pixel density. In short, higher the amounts of pixels better the clarity. Almost all new generation camcorders record high-definition videos, even the low-end models. Such videos look best when played on an HDTV. Only a few still records in standard definition.
Resolution of HD camcorder- 1920x1080p or 1280×720 p
Resolution of an SD camcorder- 720x480p
Almost all camcorders can record in 1080i (i=interlaced scan or high quality), same resolution as HDTVs. Even some can record in 1080p (progressive scan or highest quality) similar to the resolution of a Blue Ray disc.
Remember, HD recording needs more storage space than an SD recording. Some media formats can only play these HD videos on other HD compatible displays such as Blue Ray disc player.
- 4K resolution
Just a few years back, the confusion was between SD and HD. But now there’s another on the list, and probably the best—4K. 4K resolution means it has around 4000 pixels, which is about 4 times than the resolution of an HD.
While 4K is a significant step-up over the HD quality, the footage should be enjoyed on a 4K screen. Otherwise, a 4K video looks like regular HD footage on an HD TV. YouTube allows 4K videos, and if you own a 4K TV, you can make the best out of a 4K camcorder. But in case you don’t think about it twice.
6. Camcorder Sensor
The sensor holds the most critical part of a camcorder. What a sensor actually does is it takes the lights and turns them, processes them, and converts them into digital signals, which are saved as video recordings. Apart from the sensor type, you also need to consider the effective pixel count and the sensor size if you want the best out of your camcorder.
There are mainly two types of camcorder sensors. Those are Charged Coupled Device or CCD and Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor or CMOS.
- CCD: CCD is the oldest form of image transforming sensors. And perhaps they offer the highest quality image compared to CMOS and MOS with a better dynamic range. Their high power consumption is what led the manufacturers to develop CMOS sensors for the next generation camcorders. However, they are still prevalent in budget models.
- CMOS: CMOS used to be called inferior to CCD sensors. But now they are so advanced they surpass the quality offered by a CCD. They are a lot more efficient. They consume less power and works great under low-light situations.
- MOS: MOS is actually a trademark for the sensors used by brands like Panasonic, Olympus, and Leica. These sensors are a combination of both CCD and CMOS. But MOS usually dissipates more battery compared to CMOS.
7. Effective Pixel Count
If you have noticed, you will find two sets of the number mentioned on the details of the sensor—the gross pixel count and the effective pixel count. The gross pixel stands for the total pixel number on the sensor, while the effective pixel is the number of pixels that are actually present in a picture or a video clip. Simply put, you need to find out the effective pixel count.
Gross pixel count can be marketing hype. For example, the product description tells you it takes 10-megapixel photos. But, when you actually look at the sensor, it says it has a 4-megapixel sensor. So how did it make a 10-megapixel photo?
It does it by interpolation. And it is a general rule not to consider the picture quality modified by interpolation. Instead, an effective pixel-count tells you the actual resolution of your picture.
8. Sensor Size
Bigger is better. Yes, if you are between two models with the same resolution, choose the one that has the larger sensor size.
A large size sensor always takes a better picture compared to a smaller one. Because it can capture more light, even if it has lesser pixel count, the pixels will be larger in size and will gather more light. This also means it will take better pictures in limited lighting.
4K camcorders use a 1-inch large camera. While other mainstream camcorders have a 1/ 2.3-inch sensor, which is good enough for casual recordings.
9. Auto camcorder and Autofocus
The majority of the consumer-grade camcorders are fully automatic. This is because it’s difficult to adjust the settings each time you think of recording a video. A fully automatic camcorder adjusts the color, aperture, focus, shutter speed.
The professional-grade camcorders are also fully automatic, but the pricier ones may let you change the settings manually. For example, you can adjust the focus manually in problematic conditions like low-light, glare where autofocus cannot function properly.
10. In-built Projectors
Some camcorders now include an in-built projector. Mainly Sony is the brand that builds HD camcorders with projectors. With this tiny projector—embedded on the outside of the LCD screen—you can project your videos onto a wall or screen of up to 100 inches.
11. Still Photography
Most camcorders can take still photographs along with video recording. Some mention the image quality in megapixels. But the quality varies with each model. But don’t expect the image quality with that of a digital camera. Mainly, if you are interested in videos and occasionally photography, then it may come useful. Otherwise, it’s better to get a dedicated digital camera.
12. Night Mode
Quite a few camcorders can make equally good films in extremely low-light conditions. It can use infrared light (videos like wildfire at night), an advanced slow-shutter mode (maximize the ambient lighting), or an in-built illuminator in the form of LED or flashlights. Some models may include three of the methods for an ultimate night vision. This can be very helpful while recording videos on a night camp, capturing night creatures, or at times when the weather fails you.
13. Wi-Fi and Other Connectivity
- Wi-Fi: The most straightforward way of transferring videos to your computer is obviously Wi-Fi. The number of camcorders with Wi-Fi is increasing. But they can be one of the pricier models. The second best wireless option would be Bluetooth. And Bluetooth is offered by too many camcorders.
- USB Port: In general, all camcorders come with a USB port so that you can quickly transfer your data into your PC or connect it to any other USB enabled display.
- HDMI: HDMI ports are today’s standard to watch your videos on your HD TVs. They usually have a 19-pin cable that connects to the TV and plays both audio and video. Some might have mini or micro HDMI connectors.
- Apart from these, some camcorders have external ports to connect microphones and headphones. Some even have ports for lighting attachments. If you are a professional videographer, an extra port for a microphone is a must.
14. Battery Life
All camcorders are powered by rechargeable batteries, and they are useless without their batteries. You will be using a fully charged battery, but in case of an important event, you might want to carry an extra piece of battery. So, that you never miss out on a thing because of a power failure.
Most of the consumer-grade camcorders use AA or AAA cells. If you have plans on going somewhere where there is no option for charging, carrying a stand-by cell is a must. Moreover, most of the batteries are rechargeable and come with an AC adapter. So you don’t have to worry about repurchasing them again and again.
15. Video Storage
Digital camcorders can record videos in many ways. Like Digital 8, MiniDV, HDD, Flash memory card, DVD, etc. The digital tape and DVD camcorders are almost out of the market. Some brands like Sony still use them, but they are rare.
The two most commonly used storage formats are Flash Memory Cards and Hard Disc Drives.
- Flash Memory card: Flash memory cards are used by most of the camcorders these days. The two most popular Flash Memory Cards formats are SD and SDHC. They are small and compact, don’t occupy much space. So the camcorder is also lighter and smaller. The storage capacity can range from 4GB to 128 GB or more. However, they can store less amount of videos, which is usually sufficient in general use. For example, an 8GB SD card can record 2 hours of video.
- Hard Disc Drive (HDD): Hard disc drives have the highest storage capacity compared to any. They store the videos directly onto the internal hard drive of the camcorder. You can save hours and hours of videos without worrying about transferring the data. You can also delete and store the recordings on your computer. The only disadvantage is that they drain a lot of battery. And these make the camcorders quite heavy. Usually, they have 4 to 128 GB capacity.
- Digital Tape: Digital tapes have become unpopular with the rise of SD cards.Two widely used variants of digital tapes are—Digital 8 and MiniDV. Digital 8 records videos into 8mm style tape. MiniDV records in small cassettes. These are cheaper than other types, but they are less convenient. For example, a 1-hour video takes 1 hour to transfer.
- DVD Camcorders: DVD camcorders store videos into small DVD discs. They have limited recording time. They use a lot of battery power and are quite heavy.
When we say buying the best we mean, buying the best for you. A camcorder for family use won’t be the same as a camcorder intended for shooting sports or professional videography. And for this, you need to understand the power of sensors, zoom, and image stability. You must have a budget in your mind that will help you further narrow down your choices.
However, if you ever find it challenging to choose from various options, here are our 3 best recommendations for you.
- The Sony HDR-PJ410 is an excellent choice for anyone. It comes with a 30x optical zoom and CMOS sensor along with an optical image stabilizer and a 16; 9 huge LCD display. The best part is the in-built projector. All this and the price is still reasonable, keeping your budget in mind.
- If you are looking for the best budget camcorder on the market, we think you should think of Panasonic HC-V270. It has 50 x optical zoom, optical image stabilizer, and MOS sensor. It also has extra slots for microphone output. And the price is a terrific deal.
- Canon has always made some excellent quality lenses and sensors. And if your budget allows you, and you want to experience something exceptional, you might like the Canon VIXIA HF R800 it It comes with a 3.8 MP Full-HD CMOS image sensor, 50xoptical zoom and optical image stabilizer, touch panel LCD. Most importantly, you can take it out anywhere, as it is rugged and super lightweight.Make sure to share your thoughts in the comments section. You can also post any questions down there if you have any!