In our review, the best camcorder of all time is the Contour ROAM3 Waterproof HD Video Camera which can be a waterproof camcorder up to 30 feet. It is pretty much able to do single shot and has interval photo modes and it has resolutions up to 1080p. It is also available for 960p and 720p resolutions and has HD video capture that comes with a built-in microphone. Having a shot alignment technology using its built-in laser, it is equipped with a 170 degrees ultra wide angle lenses that can rotate up to 270 degrees.
The step-up pick on our review is the Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro and 32GB Internal Flash Memory. With this, you can record up to 12 hours of HD videos. It has an internal memory of 32 GB and can be inserted additional memory with 2 card slots. In addition, the video lens is 10x HD with 8-blade iris and it has an LCD that measures 3.5 inch and touch operated. The image sensor is Canon HD CMOS pro (1920 x 1080, 1/3 inch) and it has 9 built in filters to give you that cinema feel. The camcorder comes with optical image stabilization at a dynamic SuperRange technology and its performance in low light has been improved by 20 percent.
Our budget pick is the Besteker HD 720p 2.7 TFT LCD Rotation Digital Video Camcorder which is a a 16 MP camcorder that has a 2.7 in LCD screen that has a 270 degree rotation. It has up to 16x digital zoom, runs on lithium ion battery at 1,200 mAh and NP-120 and can support up to 32 GB of SD card (not included). Easily mounted on tripod, it can be connected to a computer and / or a T. It uses an LED fill lamp and you can choose between red and black colors.
Table of Contents
- A Little Background
- How we picked
- Our pick
- Who else likes it?
- Flaws but not dealbreakers
- Step-up Pick
- Budget Pick
- Best Camcorder Kit with Tripod and Other Accessories
- Best Sports Action Camcorder
- Camcorder with Sleek White Color Finish
- Best Waterproof Camcorder
- Convenient Portable Pocket Camcorder
- Best GoPro Camcorder
- Best Camcorder with Full Manual Control
- The Competition
- Other Frequently Asked Questions
- Wrapping it up
A Little Background
Camcorders are a little bit old nowadays, since we have tablets and smartphones to take pictures and videos. However, for serious film makers, documentaries and any other professional shooting needs, a camcorder is quite necessary to get that super high definition capture.
Nowadays, camcorders can be used on any of the following: making documentaries, producing news reports using actual on-site footage, shooting music videos, capturing sports events, exploring the world in full HD and making a vlog about it, and many more.
So if you ever think that camcorders are out of line, think again. Most film makers still depend on camcorders and some music video directors still use these handy-dandy high definition camcorders to record high quality videos with crisp and clear audio to boot.
How We Picked
We picked the best camcorder based from the following criteria:
Is it feature packed? If the camcorder features a lot of technical details that makes it feel like a DSLR then it is a worthy camcorder to buy. Most camcorders have adjustments for exposure, lenses, in-house filters, easy recording buttons, smart modes, etc.
What is the price? Camcorders are needless to say, more expensive because they are state of the art recorders. People who own smartphones and tablets might laugh at the idea but if they understand that camcorders provide a better capture quality for the videos then they will finally understand why they are priced like that.
What do the reviews say? If you see that most of the reviews and feedback for the camcorder are good then that means that this camcorder is worth trying and buying, especially if you have the need for an adventure camcorder to take with you outside in the wilderness.
How long can the battery last? Most camcorders are using lithium ion battery, which has no memory effect and is able to last for a very long time. It is important that you know how much the camcorder lasts so you will know if it is good for its price and features.
What video resolutions can it support? Most camcorders nowadays can support up to 1080p resolution and most HD formats, so there is no worry about backwards technology.
Is the battery replaceable? Most people complain about some models that do not have a detachable battery. A replaceable battery means you can upgrade to a bigger and better battery.
Does it have all the extra features such as good optical zoom, exposure adjustment, and others? These small but important manual settings can be helpful for the serious film maker. So if you are a bit too meticulous about the video quality then you should really have a camcorder with these options.
Is it easy to record, store and play back with this camcorder? Most people just want a camcorder that does not take too complicated to set up and record, and this is why they want a camcorder with easy to controls and more preferably, something that allows the person to easily store and share the videos he or she has recorded onto the SD card.
Can you use it for the great outdoors? Most camcorders nowadays are shock-proof and waterproof and this definitely helps them to be able to capture the most amazing videos that nature has to offer without the risk of getting their camera wet and not functional anymore.
Contour ROAM3 Waterproof HD Video Camera (Black)
As a waterproof camcorder up to 30 feet, we picked the Contour ROAM3 Waterproof Camcorder as our best camcorder. It is able to do single shot and has interval photo modes and it has awesome resolutions up to 1080p. In addition, it is also available for 960p and 720p resolutions.
This camcorder has a HD video capture that comes with a built-in microphone and added to that, it uses a shot alignment technology using its built-in laser. Being equipped with a 170 degrees ultra wide angle lenses that can rotate up to 270 degrees, it is a great camera.
This is a camera only package and coated in a sleek black finish. This camcorder runs on a lithium ion battery type in which the battery has an energy content of 1,040 mAh. It also has a quick photo mode with a push of a button and on its durability; its aluminum body makes it super waterproof and durable. It also has an Instant On-Record switch. A super versatile camcorder, it can be used for snorkeling or even snowboarding.
As an easy setup out of the box, this camcorder comes with an 8 GB MicroSD card for storage. The Contour ROAM3 Camcorder has a voltage of the battery is 3.7 V and is a 2013 model. The weight of the battery is 24.5 g. It has a 1x optical zoom, weighs 0.85 lbs (13.6 oz), has a shipping weight of 0.93 lbs (14.9 oz) with dimensions of 1 in x 5 in x 7 in.
Who Else Likes It?
The famous site CNET has reviewed the Contour ROAM3 Waterproof HD Video Camera (Black). It is praised for its good waterproof camcorder that can plunge up to 30 feet or 10 meters even without the housing. In addition, it was hailed because it has a standard mount for the tripod and the slider is very helpful when it comes to easy recording.
Another thing praised about this camcorder is that the rotating lens laser keeps the video alignment as straight as possible. However, the battery is not removable and has a rather long charge time and in addition, it does not have a screen for previewing. As far as the score breakdown, it scored 7 on image quality, 8 on performance, 7 on features and 8 on design.
According to What Wearable Tech, the Contour ROAM3 Waterproof HD Video Camera (Black) is the best helmet camcorder for adventures outdoors. It has received a total score of 8.6 out of 10. The camcorder’s waterproof design allows you to take it to the ocean even without a case. Having a high definition recording at 1080p, its 270 degree lens helps to get a perfect video footage.
One cooler thing is that the instant on-record switch helps for that easy and convenient recording mechanism. The camcorder scored 8 on video quality, 9 on durability, 8.5 on recording capacity, 8.5 on battery life and 9 on waterproof. The only con is that it has no screen and it has no Bluetooth or WiFi. Overall, it is best used as a helmet camcorder for high definition video capture.
This review from the famous site Gizmodo has judged the Contour ROAM3 Waterproof HD Video Camera (Black) with a good design for its one-touch switch that is easily lockable. The waterproof design that lets it submerge up to 30 feet deep without a case is a big game changer, compared to its previous model, the Roam2, which can only be submerged up to 3 feet. The only complaint is that it is a bit too heavy compared to GoPros.
The site Techmoan has a video review about the Contour ROAM3 Waterproof HD Video Camera (Black), which mostly praises that it is a good upgrade for its 30 feet deep waterproof capability.
Flaws but Not Dealbrakers
The only small flaws are that it has no preview screen and it is a bit too heavy compared to GoPros. Not much is said about this camcorder’s cons.
Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder
With the Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder, you can record up to 12 hours of HD videos because our step-up pick has an internal memory of 32 GB and in addition, it can be inserted additional memory with 2 card slots.
The camcorder’s video lens is 10x HD with 8-blade iris and it also has an LCD that measures 3.5 inch and touch operated. The camcorder’s image sensor is Canon HD CMOS pro (1920 x 1080, 1/3 inch) and what’s more, it has 9 built in filters to give you that cinema feel. The camcorder comes with optical image stabilization at a dynamic SuperRange technology.
With the performance in low light has been improved by 20 percent, the Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro and 32GB Internal Flash Memory is a standout. It uses lithium ion battery in which the camcorder’s battery’s energy content is 890 mAh and in addition, the weight of the battery is 46 g.
The Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder with HD CMOS Pro and 32GB Internal Flash Memory has a 10x optical zoom in which the resolution of the optical sensor is 2.37 MP and its optical sensor technology is CMOS. It also has a beautiful background blur filter while the gradation is enhanced along with its dynamic range.
Having overall dimensions of 3 in x 3 in x 8 in and being coated in sleek black finish, the Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder has a weight of 1.37 lbs and a shipping weight of 4.06. You are able to record in a variety of digital video formats, including SD, SDHC and SDXC. As a 2013 year model, it has a video capture resolution of 1080p HD in which the capture format is AVC HD. The recommended battery is a Canon BP-808, BP-809 or BP-819. This pro bundle includes the camera, headset, microphone, capture card, backdrop, lighting kit, tripod, mixer and the softbox.
Budget savers who want a 16 MP camcorder which has a 2.7 in LCD screen that has a 270 degree rotation will love the Besteker HD 720p 2.7 TFT LCD Rotation Digital Video Camcorder. With up to 16x digital zoom, it can be easily mounted on tripod.
As this runs on lithium ion battery at 1,200 mAh and NP-120, it can support up to 32 GB of SD card (not included) and in addition, it can be connected to a computer and / or a TV. It uses an LED fill lamp. Feel free to choose between red and black colors. It weighs only 0.66 lbs or 300 g, has dimensions of 4 in x 2 in x 2 in and can record from 2.5 to 3.5 hours while it charges at about 3 hours (8 hours on first use).
The Besteker HD 720p 2.7 TFT LCD Rotation Digital Video Camcorder has a built-in speaker and microphone, lightweight and easy to store and carry around and has a safety tether. It has a face capture function, able to automatically shut down, comes with a USB cable for connecting with computers and AV cable for connecting with TV and also has an electronic anti-shaking function.
It uses a CMOS sensor with 16 MP and has 4 ISO settings: 100, 200, 400 and automatic. The lens information: f=7.6 mm, F/3.2. With a normal focusing range of 1.2 m to infinity, the micro focusing range of 15 cm to 25 cm and it records images in 2M9HD JPEG format while it records movies in 1280 x 720. The LED fill lamp has less than 1 m and has white balance settings and exposure settings. It comes with the lithium battery 3.7 V 1,200 mAh NP-120B. It includes a user’s manual, camcorder bag, AV cable, USB cable and USB charger. It weighs 10.6 lbs, has a shipping weight of 1.1 lbs and dimensions of 4 in x 2 in x 2 in.
Best Camcorder Kit with Tripod and Other Accessories
Sony Handycam HDR-CX405 1080p HD Video Camera Camcorder
The Sony Handycam HDR-CX405 1080p HD Video Camera Camcorder has the Sony Handcam HD-CX405 and it includes a Transcend 64 GB MicroSDXC Card.
In addition, the battery is NP-BX1 lithium ion which comes with a charger. It also includes a MicroSD reader for SD, PD and SDHC, comes with a memory card case, includes LCD screen protectors, a tripod included is a PD 50 inch compact travel tripod and it comes with an LED video light with bracket. It includes a 5-piece complete cleaning kit in which the hard case is very heavy duty to contain all of the accessories.
This camcorder has image stabilization; optical sensor technology is CMOS and can zoom up to 30x. The video quality resolution is at 1080p and has a sleek black finish for the camcorder. It is able to make cinematic 1920 x 1080 resolution as well as 60p and 24p and can record up to 50 Mbps and up to 9.2 megapixels of still images. Aside from the optical zoom, it also has a clear image digital zoom of 60x, it uses 26.8 mm wide angle ZEISS Vario Sonnar lens. The camcorder is very light weight and weighs 8 lbs.
Best Sports Action Camcorder
Stealth 2 Sports Action Camera
The Stealth 2 Sports Action Camera has a battery life of up to 3 hours. As a great POV camera, it has 40 percent less weight compared to its previous model.
The lens view is up to 137 degrees. It can record at 30 FPS and full HD at 1080p as it uses lithium ion battery at 3.7 V and at 6.29 Watt Hours. The charge time is about 10 hours (first use) and it can take up to 32 GB Micro SD card memory (SD card not included). It has an LCD display and an optical sensor resolution is at 12 MP. The battery weighs 110 oz and the body is coated in sleek black finish. It records videos up to 3 hours.
The camcorder is super durable but very light weight as the optical sensor technology is CMOS. It has rotating lens and includes a Wi-Fi app. It can zoom up to 1,920x and this makes it a very ideal sports camera in which the capture format is h.264. The video resolution is 1080p HD and is a 2014 year model. It is perfect for mounting on bikes, as a dashboard camera, a sports action camera or as a helmet camera, which weight of 0.82 lbs, has a shipping weight of 0.84 lbs and dimensions of 5 in x 1 in x 2 in. It is under a 1 year manufacturer’s warranty and comes with a user’s guide, micro USB cable, adhesive mounts, goggle mount and universal clip.
Camcorder with Sleek White Color Finish
Canon VIXIA HF R700 Camcorder
The Canon VIXIA HF R700 Camcorder (White) is available in base mode or the starter bundle and has a 3 inch touch panel LCD. This camcorder records at 1080p or 1920 x 1080 and it uses DIGIC DV 4 image processor.
It has up to 32x optical zoom and 1,140x digital zoom with a full HD image sensor CMOS at 3.28 MP. It has a 57x advanced zoom and you can take steady videos with its SuperRange optical image stabilizer It also uses intelligent IS technology for better image optimization and can be connected to an external microphone with a 1/8 inch jack. It is easily mounted on a regular tripod due to its 1/4 inch thread tripod socket.
In addition, it also has a Baby Mode for recording the earliest but important stages of your children’s lives. You can record directly to an SD card that is removable, with up to 28 Mbps recording on AVCHD progressive and 35 Mbps recording in Mp4 format. Choose from 5 cinema looking filters: cinema standard, sepia, cool, vivid and old movies. It weighs 0.52 lbs, has a shipping weight of 1.55 lbs, dimensions of 5 in x 5 in x 6 in and includes a power adapter, interface cable IFC-300PCU/S, HDMI cable and a battery pack BP-727.
Best Waterproof Camcorder
Indigi® WiFi Action Cam
The Indigi® WiFi Action Cam Sport DV Outdoor Video Recorder comes with a waterproof case – greatly used for water sports. It is able to plunge up to 30 meters, with 12 MP HD wide angle lens, saves in JPG image format and saves in MOV video format.
Its 170 degrees angle lens that is super wide. The CMOS image sensor is 12 MP and it records up to 1080p H.264 videos. In addition, it also includes a Wi-Fi connection feature for file sharing and previewing and it can support up to 32 GB of SD card (bought separately). The battery is detachable and replaceable and the LCD preview screen is at 1.5 inch high definition. It also includes an option for HDMI HD output and weighs 2 lbs.
Convenient Portable Pocket Camcorder
Conbrov® HD90 Hd Mini Portable Pocket Time Lapse Video Recorder
The Conbrov® HD90 Hd Mini Portable Pocket Time Lapse Camcorder is very portable and lightweight and has a 120 degree wide angle lens.
This camcorder includes 2 wearable camcorder clips and with up to 8 hours of recording time per full charge, its optical sensor technology uses CMOS which has 1x optical zoom. The screen size is 1.5 inches, the video format is AVI and compressed in MPEG-4 format and the video resolution is up to 1280 x 720 or 848 x 480, while the photo resolution is up to 2048 x 1536.
Its battery is a rechargeable lithium ion battery at 1600 mAh and supports up to 32 GB SD cards x 2. A one touch power button makes it convenient and it has 2 micro SD slots. You can also password protect your videos and settings, making it ideal for undercover work. With overall dimensions of 3 in x 4 in x 5 in, it weighs 0.55 lbs or 8.8 oz and includes charger, user manual, USB cable, rechargeable lithium ion battery and warning sticker with a 1 year warranty.
Best GoPro Camcorder
GoPro HERO3: Black Edition
The GoPro HERO3: Black Edition is the ultimate camcorder for pros and has a built-in Wi-Fi feature. It is super lightweight and small and its housing has been further protected from fogging. Having a lithium ion battery at 2 Watt hours 5 V and weighs 22.7 grams, it weighs 0.16 lbs with a shipping weight of 2.35 lbs.
The capture format is H.264 and the video resolution is 1080p HD. The12 MP optical sensor has a 1x optical zoom. This 2013 GoPro model’s display is through LCD. Having dimensions of 1 in x 2 in x 1 in, it allows for a USB port, micro HDMI port, AV adapter and 3.55mm stereo mic adapter, has improved low light performance and uses Protune technology for video mode and has a 35 Mbps data rate. It has an encoding log curve and the color profile is natural.
It includes Wi-Fi remote, J-hook buckle, 3-way pivot arm, rechargeable lithium ion battery, waterproof housing up to 197 feet or 60 m, adhesive mount for curved and flat, quick release buckle and assorted mounting hardware. The surf version has a surfboard mount and tether.
Best Camcorder with Full Manual Control
Canon XA10 Professional Camcorder
The Canon XA10 Professional Camcorder with 64GB Internal Flash Memory and Full Manual Control has up to 64 GB of internal memory. It uses the image processor Canon DIGIC DV III and it has a CMOS image censor with a native resolution of 1080p or 1920 x 1080. You can record HD video with its 8-blade iris and up to 10x optical zoom as it has a manual focus ring and has 2 SDXC compatible slots for SD memory card.
This camcorder uses Dynamic SuperRange OIS technology while the video recording system uses H.264 and MPEG-4 AVC. It uses a lithium ion battery 890 mAh and the battery weighs 46 g. Having a black finish, it allows for double slot recording and provides automatic backup, with an image stabilizer using lens shift and suppressing vibration. The auto focus is enhanced and you can choose from 9 cinematic filters: standard, dream, dramatic b&w, cool, memory, nostalgic, sepia, old movie and vivid.
It is capable of HDMI connection and the digital media format is SD, SDHC and SDXC. Its optical sensor resolution is 2.3 MP. With dimensions of 3 in x 3 in x 6 in, it weighs 1.7 lbs with a shipping weight of 4.8 lbs. A 2011 year model, it has 1 year warranty for parts and labors and support for up to 27 languages.
Other camcorders that sadly, did not make it to our list were mostly pricey ones. Others also did not make it because they lacked unique features such as being waterproof or having other meticulous camcorder high quality video stabilization features.
Other Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Why should buy a camcorder?
A: Consider a camcorder because of the high quality of the video and the high quality of the audio, as well as for shooting documentaries. Camcorders are easy to handle and they have good internal memory.
Q: Is having a camcorder still relevant to today’s technology?
A: According to CNET , it depends on your needs. A camcorder can have a lot of hassle compared to tablets and smartphones. However they have better optical zooms, exposure controls, good micrphones and others. For most basic shooting needs, camcorders may not be necessary but for high quality shooting documentaries and serious films, camcorders are necessary.
Q: How do you perform maintenance on a camcorder?
A: According to Video Maker , it should avoid dirt and water and you should protect it from crud. Prevent from damage by storing it properly in a cool place. Don’t forget to take care of the lens and wash the playback heads.
Wrapping It Up
As a whole, our best camcorder is the Contour ROAM3 Waterproof HD Video Camera because of its balanced price range, neat features and waterproof design even without a case.