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Compare the Best CamcordersMarch 2019

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique camcorders rating which considers: 7,100 UK prices • 31,000 expert & user reviews • 790 product comparisons • 210 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Kagoo Score
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Price
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Weight
Total Megapixels
Max Video Resolution
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#1

88

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Canon logo

Canon Legria HF R806

268 Reviews
gamerspotion.de - 8/10

£168.99

32x
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235g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
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Jan 2017
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HDMI
Full HD
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#2

88

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GoPro logo

GoPro Hero 6

649 Reviews
Digitaltrends.com - Editor's ChoiceTechradar - Best in ClassCNET.com - Editor's ChoicePhotographyBlog.com - Highly Recommended

£279.99

1x
Info
117g
Info
12MP
Info
3840 X 2160 (4K) pixels
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Oct 2016
Full HD
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#3

88

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Sony logo

Sony HDR‑CX405

710 Reviews

£132.99

30x
Info
190g
Info
9.2MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Info
Jan 2015
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HDMI
Full HD
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#4

88

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GoPro logo

GoPro Hero 7

119 Reviews
chip.pl - Chip Tiptek.no - Recommendedtechadvisor.co.uk - Recommended

£49.99

1x
Info
92g
Info
10MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Info
Apr 2017
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#5

88

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Sony logo

Sony HDR‑CX240

304 Reviews

£142.49

27x
Info
190g
Info
9.2MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Info
Jan 2014
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#6

87

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Ricoh THETA SC

45 Reviews
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£148.97

1x
Info
102g
Info
14MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Info
Oct 2016
Built-in
Light
Remote
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Full HD
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#7

87

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Sony HDR‑PJ410

203 Reviews

£139.99

30x
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235g
Info
2.29MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
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Jan 2015
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#8

86

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DJI Osmo+

356 Reviews
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£77.99

1x
Info
268g
Info
12MP
Info
3840 X 2160 (4K) pixels
Info
Info
Nov 2016
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Full HD
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#9

86

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Zoom Q2N

63 Reviews

£105.00

1x
Info
90g
Info
3MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Info
Jan 2017
HDMI
Full HD
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#10

86

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Canon LEGRIA HF R88

£298.99

32x
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240g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
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Jan 2017
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#11

86

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GoPro Hero 5

108 Reviews
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£149.99

1x
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74g
Info
12MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Info
Sep 2015
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#12

86

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Ricoh Theta V

69 Reviews
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£179.00

1x
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125g
Info
14MP
Info
3840 X 1920 pixels
Info
Info
Sep 2017
#13

86

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Xiaomi Yi 4K

96 Reviews
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£100.00

1x
Info
95g
Info
12MP
Info
3840 X 2160 (4K) pixels
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(Unknown)
Info
Oct 2016
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#14

86

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Canon LEGRIA HF R86

6 Reviews

£199.99

32x
Info
240g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
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Info
Jan 2017
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#15

85

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KitVision Escape HD5W

7 Reviews
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£35.00

1x
Info
58g
Info
12MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Oct 2016
Full HD
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#16

87

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KitVision Escape HD5

76 Reviews

£28.00

1x
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58g
Info
12MP
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
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(Unknown)
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Oct 2016
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#17

85

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Ricoh Theta S

323 Reviews
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£149.99

1x
Info
125g
Info
14MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Info
Oct 2015
HDMI
Built-in
Light
Remote
Operatio-
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Full HD
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#18

85

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Nikon Keymission 170

40 Reviews
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£134.88

1x
Info
134.5g
Info
8.3MP
Info
3840 X 2160 (4K) pixels
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Info
Oct 2016
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HDMI
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#19

86

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Canon 11

46 Reviews
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£474.00

20x
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745g
Info
3.09MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
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Sep 2017
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HDMI
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#20

85

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Sony HDR‑CX450

86 Reviews

£219.99

30x
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250g
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2.29MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
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Jan 2016
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What Are The Best Camcorder Brands?

We looked at the reviews for every camcorder and used this to calculate the average overall rating of each brand. The top rated camcorder brand is Canon with an average rating of 86%. Compare all award winning camcorders.

Rank Brand Number of Camcorders Price Range Average Rating
#1
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Canon Camcorders 111 £36 - £6,899
86%
4,375 reviews
#2
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Sony Camcorders 146 £22 - £11,286
84%
5,548 reviews
#3
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ION Camcorders 28 £33 - £335
73%
73 reviews
#4
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Panasonic Camcorders 106 £139 - £4,779
70%
177 reviews
#5
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Samsung Camcorders 37 £80 - £120
67%
102 reviews
#6
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JVC Camcorders 85 £150 - £5,749
64%
32 reviews

Trending Camcorder Comparisons

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Sony
HXR-NX100
£1,108.99
£937 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Panasonic
AG-UX90
£2,045.95
19 months newer
Higher maximum
video
resolution
18% bigger
total
megapixels
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Panasonic
HC-VXF990
£375.00
£274 cheaper
38% lighter
A lot bigger
total
megapixels
VS
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Sony
FDR-AX53
£649.00
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
Better brand
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Sony
PXW-Z150
£2,599.00
£1,211 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
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Panasonic
AG-DVX200
£3,810.00
4096 x 2160
pixels pixels
resolution
Two months
newer
A bit bigger
optical zoom
loading image
Sony
PXW-Z150
£2,599.00
Better brand
VS
loading image
Panasonic
AG-UX180
£2,553.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Higher maximum
video
resolution
Newer by 10
months
loading image
Sony
PXW-X70
£1,199.00
£847 cheaper
Hugely lighter
Better brand
VS
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Panasonic
AG-UX90
£2,045.95
Better Kagoo
Score
Three years
newer
3840 x 2160
(4K) pixels
pixels
resolution
loading image
Sony
HDR-CX405
£132.99
£17 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
VS
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Panasonic
HC-V180
£149.95
Newer by 13
months
Bigger optical
zoom
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Canon
XF405
£2,399.00
Better brand
3x bigger
optical zoom
VS
loading image
Sony
PXWZ90V
£2,499.00
Better Kagoo
Score
5.91MP bigger
total
megapixels
loading image
Sony
PXW-Z150
£2,599.00
£1,211 cheaper
Better brand
VS
loading image
Panasonic
AG-DVX200
£3,810.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Higher maximum
video
resolution
Newer by two
months
loading image
Sony
PXW-X70
£1,199.00
£401 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
44% bigger
total
megapixels
VS
loading image
Canon
XA35
£1,599.99
Better brand
20 months newer
8x bigger
optical zoom
loading image
Sony
HDR-CX405
£132.99
£36 cheaper
More popular
Expert reviews
are a lot
better
VS
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Canon
Legria HF R806
£168.99
Better brand
One more award
Two years newer
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Panasonic
HC-VX980
£468.99
£180 cheaper
A lot lighter
Bigger total
megapixels
VS
loading image
Sony
FDR-AX53
£649.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Higher maximum
video
resolution
loading image
Canon
Legria HF G40
£949.00
Better brand
User reviews
are better
Overall reviews
are better
VS
loading image
Sony
FDR-AX53
£649.00
£300 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
5440 x 3056
pixels pixels
resolution
loading image
Sony
PXW-Z150
£2,599.00
Better brand
VS
loading image
Panasonic
AG-UX90
£2,045.95
£553 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by 13
months
loading image
Sony
HDR-CX240
£142.49
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
43% bigger
total
megapixels
VS
loading image
Panasonic
HC-V180
£149.95
Two years newer
A lot bigger
optical zoom
loading image
Sony
FDRAX33
£485.99
Better Kagoo
Score
One more award
Better brand
VS
loading image
Panasonic
HC-VX980
£468.99
A lot lighter
Newer by 13
months
34% bigger
optical zoom
loading image
Panasonic
HC-V180
£149.95
£19 cheaper
More popular
27% bigger
optical zoom
VS
loading image
Canon
Legria HF R806
£168.99
Better Kagoo
Score
One more award
Better brand
loading image
Panasonic
AG-UX90
£2,045.95
Bigger total
megapixels
3x bigger
optical zoom
VS
loading image
Sony
HXR-NX80
£2,099.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Newer by six
months
loading image
Canon
XF400
£1,699.99
£399 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Sony
HXR-NX80
£2,099.00
Bigger total
megapixels
Newer by one
month
loading image
Panasonic
HC-V380
£195.95
£24 cheaper
Bigger optical
zoom
9% bigger total
megapixels
VS
loading image
Sony
HDR-CX450
£219.99
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
Better brand
loading image
Panasonic
HC-X1000
£1,599.00
Two more awards
A lot bigger
optical zoom
20% bigger
total
megapixels
VS
loading image
Sony
HXR-NX100
£1,108.99
£490 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
More popular
All Camcorder Comparisons

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

QWhat is an 'action camcorder'?
AAn action camcorder is a very small recording device meant to be worn on clothing or attached to a helmet. It's normally used to film extreme sports or give a 'first person' view of what the subject sees.
QWhat's the difference between 'optical' and 'digital' zoom?
AOptical zoom uses the hardware of the camcorder to physically move the lenses, enlarging the captured picture. Digital zoom uses software to further enlarge the picture. This means digital zooms can go far beyond the range of optical zooms, but the quality is much worse, and degrades sharply as the image is zoomed in.
QWhat is an 'image stabiliser'?
AAn image stabiliser detects and compensates for small judders and shakes while filming, meaning the resulting video is far smoother and still.
QWhy is a big sensor size important?
AA larger optical sensor produces better quality videos, because more light can be brought into the lens at once, This leads to larger, more highly-detailed videos and photos.

Camcorder Buying Guide

Although VHS players are long gone, everybody still wants to preserve their best memories. Pictures are great ways to do that, but for many occasions you really need a video to put yourself in the moment again. Or perhaps you are a film maker looking for a professional camera that is not too bulky? Do you post video diaries on YouTube during your trips? Whatever you like to do, there's a camcorder for that.

Of course, this isn't 1997 anymore, and your choices are not limited to Super 8 and VCR. Before buying a camcorder, you need to look at what kind of video camera and quality do you need, how often you will use it and how you plan to watch the videos.

By knowing your needs and matching them to the options available, you will be able to shoot your family videos, that great football match, the concert ever of your favourite band and your YouTube blog too!

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Key Camcorder Features

Resolution

The image resolution determines the number of pixels the image you shoot contains. In most cases, this is the most important factor to look at when choosing a camcorder. Today, a good camera will have a resolution between 1080p and 4K. These are also known as Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels) and Ultra High Definition (3840 x 2160 pixels). Although a 4K camera sounds attractive, it is only worth the higher cost if you have the ability to view the result on a 4K screen. TVs and monitors that work at 4K UHD are becoming more widely available and 4K recording will become more widespread in the future too.

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Sensor Size

The larger the resolution on a camera, the larger the sensor needs to be in order to capture the video in good quality. While most cameras with the same output resolution will have a similar sensor size, sometimes there are differences. Some 4K cameras for example use 1” sensors but others used 1/2.3” sensors. While a smaller sensor will work for average recording conditions, a larger sensor will show its worth in low-light scenes as it allows it to capture more light.

Bit Rate

In terms of image quality, the bit rate is usually the third item to look at when comparing two cameras that have the same resolution and sensor size. The bit rate describes the amount of data that is generated by the camera when it records. The more data it produces per second of film, the better the image quality will be. A difference between a 24 MBPS (megabytes per second) camera and a 28 MBPS one will be very subtle, but still noticeable. The bit rate is also important for another reason: file storage. At 25 MBPS it takes about one hour to fill up a 16GB card. Recording at a higher bit rate means your memory card will fill up more quickly.

When recording at a higher bit rate it is usually a good idea to invest in a memory card with higher capacity or download the content onto a computer at regular intervals.

Image Stabilisation

Unless you are filming from a tripod or have very steady hands, having a camera with good image stabilisation is essential to prevent your recordings turning blurry, particularly when using zoom. There are two main types: optical and digital image stabilisation.

Optical Image Stabilisation

Optical image stabilisation is the most effective type to keep your videos sharp. Small gyro-sensors inside the lens shift moveable glass elements to offset the motion of the camcorder.

Digital Image Stabilisation

Digital image stabilistaion uses software to calculate the best way to avoid shaky images. It might mean that only certain pixels of the camcorder’s sensor are used for the final image. Digital stabilisation is not as effective as optical stabilisations and it is worth checking the type used before buying a camcorder that id not specific about the stabilisation type it uses.

Zoom

A good optical zoom can make a big difference when you are recording. If you are shooting sports, wildlife, airplanes, concerts and anything else, which is a considerable distance away, a minimum of 25x optical zoom is recommended. Filming people only a few metres away can be done with 10x or even 5x zoom. Optical zoom is always preferred to digital zoom because it captures the full frame at the highest quality. Digital zoom simply crops and enlarges a portion of the image reducing the resolution of the result.

Aperture

This is especially important if you are going to shoot in low-light environments like concert halls, caves and at night. The aperture of a camera defines how big the opening in the camera lens is which allows light in. The larger the opening, the more light is allowed in and the higher the quality of a low-light image will be. Aperture is measured in f-stops, with a smaller number representing a larger opening. For example, f1.8 is great for low-light settings whereas f5.6 and higher might result in an image that is too dark.

Audio Quality

Good quality audio is essential to capture the atmosphere of a football match or the music of a concert. It is important to check the quality of the built in microphone when buying a camcorder. Most budget options will have a mono microphone, which records only one channel. This can make the audio feel lifeless and flat and a high quality stereo microphone will be a much better option. If you are after the highest sound quality, using an external microphone will give the best results.

Memory

Most cameras will offer a certain amount of internal memory. Some camcorders used to have and internal hard disk drive (HDD) but this is now becoming less common as flash memory has become cheaper and takes up less space.

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The internal memory can be extended by inserting an SD card. If you use your camera for short scenes or are downloading files to your computer frequently, a relatively small SD card will be sufficient. To shoot hours of video at a time will require a large SD card or even multiple cards that can be exchanged when full.

WiFi

Being able to connect to your camcorder wirelessly opens up a lot of possibilities which you may or may not find useful. WiFi can allow some cameras to connect to a smartphone, which can then be used as a remote control.

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Battery Life

If you plan to record for a long time, or be outside and away from a plug, a long battery life is essential. Battery life can vary between camcorders so it is worth checking the manufacturer’s specifications before making your decision. Batteries can be replaced on some camcorder models allowing to extend recording times. You can replace the camcorder battery with a spare one when it runs out and continue recording straight away.

Camcorder Types Explained

After checking the specifications, you probably have an idea of what you need in a camera. This brings us to the next step: finding the type of camera that has all the features you need. Most camcorders fall into one of four categories:

Mainstream Camcorders

These are the workhorses of the family. Here you will find the camcorders that pack all the basic features, can record footage at good quality and will serve the regular home user very well. Examples here include the low-ends of the Canon VIXIA, Sony CX and Panasonic V ranges. Despite being relatively simple, most mainstream camcorders will work for sport events, concerts, family videos and much more while having a lower price tag than other options. These are the best choice unless you have more specific requirements.

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Advanced & Professional Camcorders

At some point the good old family camera may not make the grade, and then comes the time to look for models that pack in some high-end features. You will only be in this situation if you have specific requirements for which the good old mainstream camcorder wasn't made for. This includes very low light capture, 4K capability, image stabilisation, HD audio and other specific features. Each advanced camcorder has a different range of features, but most will give you high end results that can benefit both professional and demanding amateur users.

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Pocket Camcorders

These small camcorders allow you to take them with you wherever you go without having to take a bag, and they are usually very affordable too. One of the downsides are a usually a compromise in image quality. While you can still find good options in this range, there are physical limitations to the size of sensor that can be built into a small camera. For the usual blogger who just needs a basic camera with low-end HD options, this will do. If you need more options or features (including handles), look at mainstream camcorders instead.

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Wearable/Action Camcorders

If you are planning to attach your camera to something that will move, shake, turn or swim, you definitely need an action camera. The most popular and recognised camera in this niche is the GoPro series, but there are alternatives from Sony and other brands too. Most action cams are waterproof making them ideal for surfing, swimming, snowboading and diving.

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Finding the Right Camcorder for Every Situation

Home Videos

Taking home videos of your children and family can be done in reasonable quality with a less expensive camcorder but you might still prefer Full HD resolution to less detailed alternatives.

Sports

If you like filming sports, particularly ones played in arenas and other settings where lighting may not be ideal, a camcorder with a good low-light performance is crucial. Look for a long zoom lens and optical image stabilsation to make sure you can capture the action without losing focus.

Video Blogging

If you tend to record mostly at home, a pocket camcorder might be all you need. This is an inexpensive way to get started. You could even consider using a good quality webcam. If you plan to film outside you might require more features like a good optical zoom and image stabilisation.

Film & Documentaries

With YouTube, Vimeo and other online streaming services allowing Ultra High Definition Uploads, a 4K camcorder might be worth considering to make sure you achieve the highest possible quality and prepare for the future. For the best results, look for good image stabilisation, a big aperture and a large sensor that can handle low-light shots. A powerful zoom wouldn't go amiss either if the action is happening further out. Alternatively, if you are working on a set where you have the ability to adjust the lighting and prevent unexpected camera movement, a high-end 1080p camera on a stable mount might be adequate.

Camcorder Retailers, Prices and Features

Camcorder Prices

We currently list 185 video cameras ranging from £20 to £11,286. A new camcorder costs on average £1,119 and 80% of camcorders are priced between £49 and £2,899. The cheapest video camera that we found is the KitVision Escape HD5W at only £21, and the most expensive is the Sony FS7 II at £11,286.

Camcorder Brands - Price Range

The highest average video camera price out of all brands is Blackmagic Design camcorders with an average price of £2,977. Blackmagic Design camcorders start at £1,055 and their most expensive video camera costs £4,899.

Sony video cameras start at £22 and their most expensive video camera costs £11,286. The average price of Sony video cameras is £2,233 which is the second highest average price of all video camera brands.

JVC camcorders start at £150 and their most expensive video camera costs £5,749. The average price of JVC camcorders is £1,814 which is the third highest average price of all video camera brands.

Camcorder Brands - Average Ratings

We have checked 2,308 expert reviews and 13,844 user reviews for video cameras and used these reviews to evaluate the average rating for each brand of camcorder. Canon is the top rated video camera brand with an average rating of 86%. Sony is the second best brand with 84% and ION is the third best brand with 73%.

Biggest Video Camera Retailers

The biggest camcorder retailer by number of products currently for sale is eBay. We found 89 current camcorder offers from eBay. The second biggest retailer is Wex Photo Video with 75 offers. That means eBay is slightly bigger than Wex Photo Video when it comes to video cameras. Amazon UK is the third biggest retailer with 65 current offers.

When Are Most New Camcorders Released?

Over the last 3 years we couldn't see any obvious pattern in the release month for new camcorders. In 2018 most new camcorders were released in May, with six new camcorders released that month. In January 2017, 13 new video cameras were released making it the biggest month that year for new video camera releases. October was the biggest month in 2016 for new video cameras, with 24 new video cameras released that month.

How Fast Do Camcorder Prices Drop After Release?

On average, in the first 6 months after release, camcorders drop in price by 5%. That means that on a typical camcorder costing £1,101 you could save on average £52 by waiting 6 months before buying.

Optical Zooms

An optical zoom lets you enlarge the subject without having to move closer to it.

Across the range of camcorders, the optical zooms range from 1x to 78x. The optical zooms of most video cameras range from 1x to 7x. The video camera with the biggest optical zoom is the Panasonic HC-V180, which is a 50x optical zoom video camera and is priced at £138.99. The camcorder with the smallest optical zoom is the Zoom Q2N, which is a 1x optical zoom camcorder and is on sale for £105.00.

An optical zoom lets you zoom without loosing image quality. Digital zooms will simply enlarge the pixels and make the image look blurry.

Weights

'Weight' denotes the weight of the camcorder, including battery.

Comparing all video cameras, the weights range from 50g to 7.4kg. The weights of most camcorders range from 0g to 400g. The JVC GY-HM890, which can be purchased for £5,749.00, has the heaviest weight and is a 4.8kg camcorder. The ION SnapCam LE, which currently retails for £54.96, has the lightest weight and is a 50g video camera.

A lighter camcorder is easier to handle when recording and to carry when travelling.

Total Megapixels

A megapixel (MP or Mpx) is one million pixels, and is a term used not only for the number of pixels in an image, but also to express the number of image sensor elements of digital cameras or the number of display elements of digital displays. For example, a camera that makes a 2048 1536 pixel image typically uses a few extra rows and columns of sensor elements and is commonly said to have "3.2 megapixels" or "3.4 megapixels", depending on whether the number reported is the "effective" or the "total" pixel count (as opposed to the 2048 1536 = 3,145,728 finished image pixels).

The total megapixels of camcorders range from 0.3MP to 50MP. The total megapixels of the majority of camcorders range from 0MP to 3MP. The Sony PXW-X160, which is priced at £3,799.00, has the biggest total megapixels and is a 50MP video camera. The VTech Kidizoom Action Cam 180, which is available at £32.50, has the smallest total megapixels and is a 0.3MP video camera.

A larger number of megapixels increases the sharpness of images and video.

Max Video Resolutions

Video resolution is the amount of pixels that make up each frame of the recorded video.

The most frequently found max video resolution amongst new video cameras is 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) pixels. We found 475 video cameras that are camcorders that have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) pixels. 3840 x 2160 (4K) pixels is the second most popular max video resolution amongst new video cameras. We found 62 video cameras that are video cameras that have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 (4K) pixels.

A higher video resolution means that each frame will be more detailed and sharper, with less blurring or smudging. This leads to a far higher quality video.

Which Are the Cheapest Retailers for Video Cameras?

The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying video cameras. For each retailer it shows the total number of video cameras where they currently have a market leading price. The chart below helps you decide which retailer is normally cheapest for buying camcorders. For each retailer we took all of their prices and looked at what proportion of those prices where the cheapest on the market. The cheapest retailer that we found was eBay. 65 of their camcorder prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of Camcorders for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Assessing how cheap each retailer is for video cameras by counting the number of cheapest prices for that retailer, makes the retailers that offer the greatest number of video camera prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's video camera prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers. The cheapest retailer that we found using this approach was eBay. 73% of their camcorder prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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