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Save Up To £270 on Camcorders View Today's Best Deals
Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Optical Zoom
Weight
Total Megapixels
Max Video Resolution
Release Date
£45 Voucher
#1

90

Canon Legria HF R806

255 Reviews
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£195.99

32x
Info
235g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Jan 2017
The highest rated camcorder under £500, with great features and a very affordable price
£45 Voucher
#2

90

GoPro Hero 5

505 Reviews
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£169.99

1x
Info
74g
Info
12MP
Info
4200 X 2800 pixels
Info
Sep 2015
The highest scoring 4K camcorder on the market, with an Editor's Choice award from four expert review websites and 9 further awards from other expert sites
£45 Voucher
#3

89

Sony FDR‑AX53

360 Reviews
 Add to Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£711.49

20x
Info
635g
Info
8.29MP
Info
5440 X 3056 pixels
Info
Jan 2016
A top-rated and best selling 20x optical zoom, 8.29MP video camera, with features and a good price
Voucher
#4

88

GoPro Hero6

248 Reviews
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£292.01

1x
Info
117g
Info
12MP
Info
3840 X 2160 (4K) pixels
Info
Oct 2016
A good value for money and very highly rated 16MP, 290g camcorder, good for recording high-quality video
£45 Voucher
#5

88

Sony FDR‑AX33

810 Reviews
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£519.00

10x
Info
700g
Info
20.6MP
Info
3840 X 2160 (4K) pixels
Info
May 2015
A high image quality and best selling 10x optical zoom, 700g video camera, with very good features and a good price
£45 Voucher
#6

88

Sony HDR‑CX405

909 Reviews
 Add to Shortlist / Compare  Shortlisted

£194.23

30x
Info
190g
Info
9.2MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Jan 2015
A very popular and critically acclaimed 30x optical zoom, 9.2MP video camera, with very good features and a fair price
£45 Voucher
#7

88

DJI Osmo+

75 Reviews
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£90.00

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

87

Canon Legria HF R706

41 Reviews
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£170.90

32x
Info
235g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Apr 2016
A very good value for money and very highly rated 32x optical zoom, 3.28MP camcorder, with very good features
Save £224
#9

87

HP F‑500

300 Reviews
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£74.95

1x
Info
455g
Info
2.1MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Jul 2013
The highest scoring shoulder camcorder on the market, with great features
£45 Voucher
#10

87

Ricoh Theta S

423 Reviews
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£114.90

1x
Info
125g
Info
14MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Oct 2015
A best selling and top-value 14MP, 125g camcorder, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website and 5 further awards from other expert sites
£45 Voucher
#11

87

Ricoh Theta V

19 Reviews
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£179.00

1x
Info
235g
Info
14MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Sep 2017
A very popular and top-value 14MP, 125g video camera, with great user reviews and good features
Voucher
#12

87

Sony FDR‑AX100

673 Reviews
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£305.24

12x
Info
790g
Info
14.2MP
Info
3840 X 2160 (4K) pixels
Info
Jan 2014
A multi award winning and top of the range 12x optical zoom, 14.2MP video camera, with a low price
Save £55
#13

87

Sony HDR‑CX240

522 Reviews
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£129.99

27x
Info
190g
Info
9.2MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Jun 2014
A bargain price and best selling 27x optical zoom, 9.2MP video camera, with great features
£45 Voucher
#14

86

Canon LEGRIA HF R86

6 Reviews
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£229.00

32x
Info
240g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Jan 2017
A good value for money and fully featured 32x optical zoom, 3.28MP camcorder, with an industry award
#15

86

Transcend DrivePro 100

896 Reviews
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£101.99

1x
Info
72.6g
Info
3MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Jul 2013
An spectacularly light weight and top-value 3MP 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) pixels resolution camcorder, with good features and two industry awards
#16

86

GoPro Hero 4

943 Reviews
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£150.00

1x
Info
110g
Info
12MP
Info
3840 X 2160 (4K) pixels
Info
Dec 2012
A multi award winning and very popular 12MP, 110g camcorder, with an Editor's Choice award from one expert review website and 5 further awards from other expert sites
#17

86

Ricoh THETA SC

52 Reviews
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£168.99

1x
Info
102g
Info
14MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
Oct 2016
A bargain price and positively reviewed 14MP, 102g camcorder, with good features
#18

86

KitVision Escape HD5

74 Reviews
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£20.00

1x
Info
58g
Info
12MP
Info
1024 X 768 pixels
Info
Oct 2016
A top-value and excellently reviewed 12MP 1024 x 768 pixels resolution video camera, with good features and one of the lightest weights on the market
Save £52
#19

86

Samsung Samsung Gear 360 (2017)

3 Reviews
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£66.06

1x
Info
130g
Info
15MP
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Nov 2015
The cheapest 4K camcorder around, with a best buy award from one expert review website and 12 further awards from other expert sites
Save £29
#20

86

Panasonic HC‑VX870

21 Reviews
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£320.00

20x
Info
353g
Info
18.91MP
Info
1920 X 1080 (Full HD) pixels
Info
May 2016
An award winning and best selling 20x optical zoom, 18.91MP camcorder, with a reasonable price and one of the highest image qualities on the market

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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 107 £165 - £14,380
86%
3,826 reviews
#2
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Sony Camcorders 149 £91 - £16,980
85%
9,602 reviews
#3
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Panasonic Camcorders 109 £119 - £4,779
77%
692 reviews
#4
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ION Camcorders 29 £24 - £335
65%
20 reviews
#5
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Samsung Camcorders 36 £66 - £247
60%
235 reviews
#6
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JVC Camcorders 86 £160 - £5,748
42%
115 reviews

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£1,998.64
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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

Video Camera Prices

The price range of camcorders is from £20 to £16,980 and in total we found prices for 222 camcorders. The average price of a new video camera is £1,215 and 80% of video cameras are priced between £65 and £3,499. 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.

Video Camera Brands - Price Range

The average price of Sony camcorders is £2,413 which is the highest average price of all camcorder brands. Sony camcorders start at £91 and their most expensive camcorder costs £16,980.

The second highest average video camera price out of all brands is Canon camcorders with an average price of £1,763. Canon camcorders range in price from £165 to £14,380.

Blackmagic Design video cameras start at £789 and their most expensive video camera costs £2,196. The average price of Blackmagic Design video cameras is £1,480 which is the third highest average price of all video camera brands.

Camcorder Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 1,955 expert reviews and 20,690 user reviews for camcorders available online and used these reviews to determine the average rating for each brand of video camera. The top three video camera brands are Canon, Sony and Panasonic. Canon has an average rating of 86%, Sony has an average rating of 85% and Panasonic has an average rating of 77%.

Biggest Video Camera Retailers

The biggest camcorder retailer by number of products currently for sale is Amazon UK. We found 117 current camcorder offers from Amazon UK. The second biggest retailer is eBay with 87 offers. That means Amazon UK is significantly bigger than eBay when it comes to camcorders. Wex Photographic is the third biggest retailer with 59 current offers.

When Are Most New Camcorders Released?

We looked at the release dates for new camcorders over the last 3 years, but couldn't see any clear trend. January was the biggest month in 2017 for new video cameras, with 12 new video cameras released that month. The biggest month in 2016 for new camcorder releases was October, with 27 new camcorders released that month. In September 2015 27 new video cameras were released making it the biggest month that year for new camcorder releases.

How Fast Do Video Camera Prices Drop After Release?

New video cameras drop in price by an average of 5% in the first 6 months after they wer first released. That means a saving of £65 on a typical £1,197 new camcorder if you wait 6 months before buying.

Optical Zooms

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

The optical zooms of video cameras range from 1x to 78x. The optical zooms of most camcorders range from 1x to 7x. The Sony DCR-SX22E, which is on sale for £220.29, has the biggest optical zoom and is a 60x optical zoom video camera. The camcorder with the smallest optical zoom is the Tactus VRB001, which is a 1x optical zoom video camera and can be purchased for £169.99.

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 the majority of video cameras range from 0g to 400g. The JVC GY-HM890, which is on sale for £5,748.00, has the heaviest weight and is a 4.8kg video camera. The camcorder with the lightest weight is the Vivitar DVR936, which is a 50g video camera and is on sale 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 video cameras range from 0.3MP to 50MP. The total megapixels of the majority of camcorders range from 0MP to 3MP. The Sony PXW-X160, which currently retails for £3,799.00, has the biggest total megapixels and is a 50MP camcorder. The video camera with the smallest total megapixels is the VTech Kidizoom Action Cam 180, which is a 0.3MP video camera and sells for £30.00.

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.

1920 x 1080 (Full HD) pixels is the most frequently found max video resolution amongst new video cameras. We found 483 video cameras that are video cameras that have a resolution of 1920 x 1080 (Full HD) pixels. We found 56 camcorders that are video cameras that have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 (4K) pixels, making this the second most common max video resolution amongst new camcorders.

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 video cameras. 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. 58 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 video cameras by counting the number of cheapest prices for that retailer, makes the retailers that offer the greatest number of camcorder prices more likely to offer the greatest number of cheapest prices. The chart below considers the proportion of each retailer's camcorder prices that are the cheapest compared to other retailers. The cheapest retailer that we found using this approach was Amazon UK. 49.6% of their video camera prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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