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Compare the Best CamcordersApril 2019

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What is the Kagoo Score? Our unique camcorders rating which considers: 2,400 US prices • 29,000 expert & user reviews • 780 product comparisons • 200 industry awards • Score breakdown
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Rank
Kagoo Score
Average Review Rating
Price
Optical Zoom
Weight
Total Megapixels
Max Video Resolution
Available Colours
Release Date
#1
 Compare  Shortlisted
Zoom logo

Zoom Q4

114 Reviews

$179.95

1x
Info
167g
Info
3MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Nov 2014
#2
 Compare  Shortlisted
Canon logo

Canon VIXIA Legria HF R700

46 Reviews

$200.00

32x
Info
240g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Nov 2016
#3
 Compare  Shortlisted
Canon logo

Canon Vixia HF R20

5 Reviews

$799.00

20x
Info
270g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Aug 2011
#4
 Compare  Shortlisted
Panasonic logo

Panasonic HC‑X920

60 Reviews
Trusted Reviews - Editor's ChoiceDigital Versus - 5 StarPocket Lint - RecommendedExpert Reviews - Best Buy

$813.27

12x
Info
417g
Info
38.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Jul 2013
#5
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Canon logo

Canon Legria HF R67

3 Reviews

$340.41

32x
Info
240g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
May 2015
#6
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Sony FDRAX53

172 Reviews

$798.00

20x
Info
635g
Info
8.29MP
Info
5440 X 3056 pixels
Info
Info
Jan 2016
#7
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Samsung Samsung Gear 360 (2017)

83 Reviews

$79.00

1x
Info
130g
Info
15MP
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Info
Nov 2015
#8
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Canon VIXIA Legria HF R82

$299.99

32x
Info
240g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Jan 2017
#9
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Sony HDRAS50

103 Reviews
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$133.31

1x
Info
58g
Info
11.1MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Oct 2016
#11
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JVC GC‑PX100

9 Reviews
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$1,719.80

10x
Info
500g
Info
12.8MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Apr 2013
#12
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Canon Vixia HF R62

193 Reviews

$290.69

32x
Info
240g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Feb 2015
#13
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Vivitar DVR936

3 Reviews

$89.05

1x
Info
50g
Info
8MP
Info
3840 X 2160
(4K)
Info
Info
Jul 2013
#14
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GoPro HERO6

716 Reviews
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$255.00

1x
Info
117g
Info
12MP
Info
3840 X 2160
(4K)
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Oct 2016
#15
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Sony FDR‑AX1

$4,564.04

20x
Info
2.4kg
Info
18.9MP
Info
3840 X 2160
(4K)
Info
Info
Sep 2013
#16
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Canon Legria HF R56

70 Reviews

$206.85

32x
Info
235g
Info
3.28MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Oct 2014
#17
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Panasonic HC‑W850

17 Reviews
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$1,020.99

20x
Info
360g
Info
12.76MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Mar 2014
#18
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Transcend DrivePro 200

236 Reviews
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$206.38

1x
Info
84g
Info
3MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Jul 2013
#19
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Veho MUVI Micro

360 Reviews

$69.95

1x
Info
55g
Info
2MP
Info
640 X 480 pixels
Info
(Unknown)
Info
Jul 2015
 Compare  Shortlisted
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Toshiba Camileo X400

89 Reviews

$110.00

23x
Info
295g
Info
5MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Feb 2012
 Compare  Shortlisted
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Panasonic HCX1000E

9 Reviews
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$1,695.09

20x
Info
1.6kg
Info
18.91MP
Info
1920 X 1080
(Full HD)
Info
Info
Sep 2014

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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 Sony with an average rating of 85%. Compare all award winning camcorders.

Rank Brand Number of Camcorders Price Range Average Rating
#1
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Sony Camcorders 144 $50 - $8,998
85%
5,675 reviews
#2
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Canon Camcorders 110 $113 - $6,999
82%
2,056 reviews
#3
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Samsung Camcorders 37 $59 - $90
72%
176 reviews
#4
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ION Camcorders 28 $27 - $316
71%
14 reviews
#5
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Panasonic Camcorders 106 $132 - $3,524
70%
165 reviews
#6
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JVC Camcorders 85 $166 - $3,912
64%
31 reviews

Trending Camcorder Comparisons

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Sony
HXR-NX100
$1,498.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Panasonic
AG-UX90
$132.40
$1,366 cheaper
19 months newer
Higher maximum
video
resolution
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Sony
PXW-Z150
$176.21
$3,086 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Panasonic
AG-DVX200
$3,262.49
4096 x 2160
pixels pixels
resolution
Two months
newer
A bit bigger
optical zoom
loading image
Sony
PXW-Z150
$176.21
$2,519 cheaper
Better brand
VS
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Panasonic
AG-UX180
$2,695.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Higher maximum
video
resolution
Newer by 10
months
loading image
Sony
PXW-X70
$1,798.00
Hugely lighter
Better brand
VS
loading image
Panasonic
AG-UX90
$132.40
$1,666 cheaper
Three years
newer
Better Kagoo
Score
loading image
Sony
HDR-CX405
$169.00
$29 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Panasonic
HC-V180
$197.99
Newer by one
year
Bigger optical
zoom
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Canon
XF405
$2,894.09
3x bigger
optical zoom
VS
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Sony
PXWZ90V
$2,598.00
$296 cheaper
Better brand
5.91MP bigger
total
megapixels
loading image
Sony
PXW-Z150
$176.21
$3,086 cheaper
Better brand
VS
loading image
Panasonic
AG-DVX200
$3,262.49
Better Kagoo
Score
Higher maximum
video
resolution
Newer by two
months
loading image
Sony
PXW-X70
$1,798.00
$222 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Canon
XA35
$2,019.99
20 months newer
8x bigger
optical zoom
15% lighter
loading image
Sony
PXW-X70
$1,798.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
A lot bigger
total
megapixels
VS
loading image
Canon
XA30
$1,469.99
$328 cheaper
15 months newer
8x bigger
optical zoom
loading image
Sony
HDR-CX405
$169.00
$99 cheaper
More popular
More customers
recommend it
VS
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Canon
Legria HF R806
$268.37
Two years newer
One more award
2x bigger
optical zoom
loading image
Sony
PXW-Z150
$176.21
Better brand
VS
loading image
Panasonic
AG-UX90
$132.40
$44 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by one
year
loading image
Panasonic
HC-V180
$197.99
$70 cheaper
More popular
27% bigger
optical zoom
VS
loading image
Canon
Legria HF R806
$268.37
Better Kagoo
Score
One more award
Better brand
loading image
Sony
HDR-CX240
$135.99
$62 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Panasonic
HC-V180
$197.99
Two years newer
More popular
A lot bigger
optical zoom
loading image
Sony
HDR-CX405
$169.00
$26 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
User reviews
are better
VS
loading image
Canon
Vixia HF R800
$195.00
Newer by two
years
Better brand
6% bigger
optical zoom
loading image
Sony
PXW-Z150
$176.21
$2,718 cheaper
Better brand
VS
loading image
Canon
XF405
$2,894.09
18 months newer
Better Kagoo
Score
Bigger optical
zoom
loading image
Panasonic
AG-UX90
$132.40
$28 cheaper
Bigger total
megapixels
3x bigger
optical zoom
VS
loading image
Sony
HXR-NX80
$159.95
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
Newer by five
months
loading image
Canon
XF400
$2,207.90
Better Kagoo
Score
3x bigger
optical zoom
VS
loading image
Sony
HXR-NX80
$159.95
$2,048 cheaper
Better brand
Bigger total
megapixels
loading image
Panasonic
HC-X1000
$1,694.99
Two more awards
A lot bigger
optical zoom
20% bigger
total
megapixels
VS
loading image
Sony
HXR-NX100
$1,498.00
$197 cheaper
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
loading image
Canon
XA30
$1,469.99
Lighter
Better Kagoo
Score
Better brand
VS
loading image
Sony
HXR-NX100
$1,498.00
44% bigger
total
megapixels
loading image
Panasonic
HC-X1000
$1,694.99
$103 cheaper
Two more awards
29% bigger
optical zoom
VS
loading image
Sony
FDR-AX700
$1,798.00
Better Kagoo
Score
Newer by three
years
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 179 video cameras ranging from $26 to $8,998. The average price of a new video camera is $1,087 and the 80% of video cameras are priced between $59 and $3,158. The Sony PXWFS7 is the most expensive video camera that we found at $8,998, and the ION SnapCam Lite is the cheapest at only $27.

Video Camera Brands - Price Range

The average price of Blackmagic Design camcorders is $2,124 which is the highest average price of all video camera brands. Blackmagic Design camcorders range in price from $722 to $3,285.

Sony video cameras start at $50 and their most expensive camcorder costs $8,998. The second highest average camcorder price out of all brands is Sony video cameras with an average price of $1,895.

The average price of JVC video cameras is $1,488 which is the third highest average price of all camcorder brands. JVC video cameras range in price from $166 to $3,912.

Video Camera Brands - Average Ratings

We have analysed 2,302 expert reviews and 12,197 user reviews for video cameras and used this information to calculate the average rating for each brand of camcorder. Sony is the top rated camcorder brand with an average rating of 85%. Canon is the second best brand with 82% and Samsung is the third best brand with 72%.

Biggest Video Camera Retailers

We found 129 current offers for camcorders from eBay making it the biggest camcorder retailer. That is significantly bigger than the second biggest retailer, Adorama for whom we found 91 current offers for camcorders. The third biggest retailer is Walmart with 64 current camcorder offers.

When Are Most New Camcorders Released?

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

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. If you are prepared to wait then you could save an average of $55 on a typical $1,087 new video camera 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 video cameras, the optical zooms range from 1x to 78x. The optical zooms of the majority of video cameras range from 1x to 7x. The camcorder with the biggest optical zoom is the Samsung HMXF90WNXAA, which is a 52x optical zoom video camera and is priced at $90.00. The camcorder with the smallest optical zoom is the Zoom Q4, which is a 1x optical zoom camcorder and currently retails for $179.95.

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 camcorders, the weights range from 50g to 7.4kg. The weights of most video cameras range from 0g to 400g. The Panasonic HCX1, which is on sale for $2,799.00, has the heaviest weight and is a 4.4kg video camera. The ION SnapCam Lite, which is on sale for $26.95, 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 PXWX160, which is on sale for $3,789.97, 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 camcorder and is priced at $39.95.

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 474 video cameras 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 frequently found max video resolution amongst new video cameras. We found 62 camcorders that are video cameras that have a resolution of 3840 x 2160 (4K) pixels, making 3840 x 2160 (4K) pixels the second most popular 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 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. 116 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 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. 89.9% of their video camera prices were the cheapest that could be found anywhere.

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