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Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Optical Zoom
Weight
Total Megapixels
Max Video Resolution
Release Date
Voucher
#1

90

Canon Legria HF R806

268 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£169.99

32x
Info
235g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Jan 2017
The best scoring video camera under £500, with a very good spec and a very affordable price. This camcorder is excellent value for money, really quiet and easy to use.
Voucher
#2

89

GoPro Hero 5

846 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£34.95

1x
Info
74g
Info
12MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Sep 2015
An affordable and very popular 12MP 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) pixels resolution camcorder, with an Editor's Choice award from four expert review websites and 10 further awards from other expert sites. It has very a great picture quality, excellent features and it's very easy to use.
Save £15
#3

89

Panasonic HC‑V180

213 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£163.95

50x
Info
211g
Info
2.51MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Jan 2016
A giant optical zoom and best selling 211g, 2.51MP video camera, with a very affordable price and a very good spec.
#4

88

ACTIVEON CX GOLD PLUS

94 Reviews
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£139.93

1x
Info
50g
Info
16MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Sep 2015
The highest scoring water resistant camcorder available, with a great spec and a breathtakingly good price.
#5

88

Sony HDR‑CX240

547 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£170.37

27x
Info
190g
Info
9.2MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Oct 2014
A low cost and best selling 27x optical zoom, 190g video camera, with a great spec.
Voucher
#6

88

DJI Osmo+

75 Reviews
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£89.99

1x
Info
268g
Info
12MP
Info
3840 X 2160 (4K) pixels
Info
Nov 2016
A very popular and very good value for money 268g, 12MP video camera, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website and 8 further awards from other expert sites.
Voucher
#7

88

Ricoh THETA SC

44 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£119.90

1x
Info
102g
Info
14MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Oct 2016
An affordable and very popular 102g, 14MP video camera, with a good spec and exceptional user reviews. This video camera has really a great picture quality, it's very good value for money and really easy to use.
Voucher
#8

87

Ricoh Theta V

20 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£179.00

1x
Info
125g
Info
14MP
Info
3840 X 1920 pixels
Info
Sep 2017
A cheap and very popular 125g, 14MP camcorder, with user reviews and a good spec. It's very easy to use, brilliant value for money and really lightweight.
Voucher
#9

87

Sony HDR‑CX405

2,091 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£195.00

30x
Info
190g
Info
9.2MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Jan 2015
A critically acclaimed and very popular 30x optical zoom, 190g video camera, with a low price and a great spec. It has really a great picture quality, it's very easy to use and brilliant value for money.
Voucher
#10

87

Panasonic HC‑W580

69 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£259.00

50x
Info
264g
Info
2.51MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Jan 2016
An enormous optical zoom and best selling 264g, 2.51MP camcorder, with superb user reviews and an affordable price.
#11

87

GoPro Hero 4

4,824 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£150.00

1x
Info
110g
Info
12MP
Info
3840 X 2160 (4K) pixels
Info
Dec 2012
A multi award winning and best selling 110g, 12MP camcorder, with a very low price and a good spec.
#12

87

JVC GZ‑R435

50 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£172.77

40x
Info
290g
Info
2.51MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Apr 2017
A top-rated and giant optical zoom 290g, 2.51MP video camera, good for shooting underwater.
Save £51
#13

86

Ricoh Theta S

472 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£99.00

1x
Info
125g
Info
14MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Oct 2015
A best selling and top-value 125g, 14MP camcorder, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website and 5 further awards from other expert sites. This camcorder has a good video quality, has a great picture quality and it's very easy to use.
Voucher
#14

86

Panasonic HC‑X1000

24 Reviews
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£129.99

20x
Info
1.6kg
Info
18.91MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Sep 2014
The highest scoring shoulder camcorder on the market, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website and an additional award from another expert site.
#15

86

Polaroid Cube

369 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£39.00

1x
Info
59g
Info
8MP
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Sep 2015
An affordable and very popular 8MP video camera, with a good spec and one of the lightest weights around. It has a good video quality, it's very easy to use and good value for money.
Save £3,181
#16

86

GoPro Hero 3+

2,446 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£199.00

1x
Info
110g
Info
12MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Dec 2012
A top-value and very popular 110g, 12MP camcorder, with a good spec and multiple awards.
#17

86

KitVision Escape HD5

74 Reviews
 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£20.99

1x
Info
58g
Info
12MP
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
Oct 2016
The cheapest water resistant camcorder on the market, with a good spec.
#18

86

Xiaomi Yi 4K

103 Reviews
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 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£139.99

1x
Info
95g
Info
12MP
Info
3840 X 2160 (4K) pixels
Info
Oct 2016
A top-value and multi award winning 95g, 12MP video camera, with a good spec. This video camera has good features, a good video quality and it's good value for money.
Save £179
#19

86

Kodak SP360

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£120.00

1x
Info
102g
Info
16MP
Info
3264 X 3264 pixels
Info
Sep 2015
The highest scoring 4K camcorder around, good for shooting underwater. Is good for low-light recording, it has a good video quality and it's really easy to use.
Save £19
#20

86

Panasonic HC‑V380

 Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£199.99

50x
Info
252g
Info
2.51MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Jan 2016
A very popular and low cost 252g, 2.51MP video camera, with very good user reviews and one of the biggest optical zooms on the market. It has outstanding features, it's outstanding value for money and really easy to use.

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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 87%. Compare all award winning camcorders.

Rank Brand Number of Camcorders Price Range Average Rating
#1
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Canon Camcorders 111 £130 - £14,980
87%
4,143 reviews
#2
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Sony Camcorders 147 £99 - £16,980
85%
13,354 reviews
#3
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Panasonic Camcorders 107 £130 - £4,779
82%
2,466 reviews
#4
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Samsung Camcorders 37 £60 - £247
76%
799 reviews
#5
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ION Camcorders 28 £40 - £335
70%
199 reviews
#6
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JVC Camcorders 85 £173 - £5,749
63%
357 reviews

Trending Camcorder Comparisons

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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

Camcorders range in price from £20 to £16,980 and in total we found prices for 202 camcorders. A new camcorder costs on average £1,250 and 80% of camcorders are priced between £50 and £3,699. The most expensive camcorder that we found is the Sony NEX-VG20 at £16,980, and the cheapest is the KitVision Escape HD5 at only £21.

Camcorder Brands - Price Range

Blackmagic Design video cameras range in price from £700 to £4,849, and the highest average camcorder price out of all brands is Blackmagic Design video cameras with an average price of £2,636.

The second highest average camcorder price out of all brands is Sony video cameras with an average price of £2,349. Sony video cameras range in price from £99 to £16,980.

Canon camcorders range in price from £130 to £14,980, and the average price of Canon camcorders is £2,233 which is the third highest average price of all video camera brands.

Camcorder Brands - Average Ratings

We have evaluated 2,761 expert reviews and 36,535 user reviews for video cameras from across the internet and used this data to evaluate the average rating for each brand of camcorder. The top rated video camera brand is Canon with an average rating of 87%. The second best brand is Sony with 85% and the third best brand is Panasonic with 82%.

Biggest Camcorder Retailers

The biggest camcorder retailer by number of products currently for sale is Amazon UK. We found 141 current camcorder offers from Amazon UK. The second biggest retailer is eBay with 86 offers. That means Amazon UK is much bigger than eBay when it comes to video cameras. Wex Photographic is the third biggest retailer with 68 current offers.

When Are Most New Video Cameras Released?

We couldn't see any evident pattern in the release dates for new camcorders over the last 3 years. The biggest month last year for new camcorder releases was January, with 12 new video cameras released that month. In October 2016 25 new video cameras were released making it the biggest month that year for new video camera releases. September was the biggest month in 2015 for new camcorders, with 27 new camcorders released that month.

How Fast Do Video Camera Prices Drop After Release?

New camcorders drop in price by an average of 5% in the first 6 months after they wer first released. On a typical new video camera costing £1,231, by waiting 6 months before buying you could save on average £62.

Optical Zooms

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

Comparing all video cameras, the optical zooms range from 1x to 78x. The optical zooms of the majority of camcorders range from 1x to 7x. The video camera with the biggest optical zoom is the Sony DCR-SX22E, which is a 60x optical zoom video camera and is on sale for £221.54. The video camera with the smallest optical zoom is the GoPro HERO7, which is a 1x optical zoom video camera and is priced at £179.00.

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.

Across the range of video cameras, the weights range from 50g to 7.4kg. The weights of most camcorders range from 0g to 400g. The camcorder with the heaviest weight is the Blackmagic Design URSA PL, which is a 7.4kg video camera and is priced at £4,299.00. The camcorder with the lightest weight is the Vivitar DVR936, which is a 50g video camera and can be purchased for £29.99.

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 most video cameras range from 0MP to 3MP. The Sony PXW-X160, which sells for £3,799.00, has the biggest total megapixels and is a 50MP camcorder. The video camera with the smallest total megapixels is the easypix Mx200, which is a 0.3MP video camera and is available at £44.99.

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.

We found 480 camcorders that are video cameras that have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) pixels, which makes 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) pixels the most common max video resolution amongst new camcorders. 3840 x 2160 (4K) pixels is the second most frequently found max video resolution amongst new camcorders. We found 59 camcorders 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 Camcorders?

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 Amazon UK. 68 of their camcorder prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

Proportion of Video Cameras for Which Each Retailer is Cheapest?

Assessing how cheap each retailer is for camcorders 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 Amazon UK. 48.2% of their video camera prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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