Sometimes you aren’t too worried about having all the bleeding-edge features that expensive camcorders might come with, and an entry level camcorder will do the job just fine. Any digital camcorder is going to look really nice and take much better videos than a cell phone, so here’s how to capture those special memories on a budget.
Here’s a look at four different camcorders in the lower price ranges so that you can find the best budget camcorder for your needs!
Best Budget Camcorder with Great Battery Life
The Panasonic V100K has extremely positive reviews, especially when you take into consideration that this camera is at a very reasonable price point. This camera has been available on the market for a couple of years, so that’s why it is so affordable.
When it was first introduced, it was a premium camera with cutting edge features, and the quality still holds up today. Think of it this way, if you bought this camera two years ago you would still be using it and it would still be holding up – and now you can pick it up today for a fraction of the cost. The notable features of this camera are a great battery life, which comes in handy because some camera batteries will drain so quickly, which gets frustrating when you’re missing great opportunities to film.
This Panasonic camcorder is also able to film in full 1080p high definition to create brilliant crisp videos. The LCD display isn’t huge, but it’s good enough to get the job done. With advanced sensors, you’ll also be able to film in darker settings without having your picture quality look grainy.
Overall, this is a very solid starter camcorder and one of the best budget camcorders that you’ll come across. This camera accepts SD memory cards so you can expand the size of its storage indefinitely simply by carrying an extra card or two with you.
Best Budget Zoom Camcorder
The Samsung HMX-F80 is another budget camcorder that delivers quality well beyond its pay-grade. Unlike the previous budget camcorder we took a look at, this one records in a lower resolution of 720p. It’s still considered high definitely and your videos will still look brilliant on any HDTV or computer screen, but it’s worth noting the distinction. The positive side to this, however, is that the file size will be much smaller and you’ll be able to record much more video onto your memory cards before they’re full.
This camcorder also features a more powerful zoom, allowing you to zoom in up to 52x. This is great for filming sports, concerts, animals, or anything else where you might be stuck at a distance. Don’t worry about keeping a steady hand, this camcorder has integrated software to help stabilize your videos. This camera won’t perform as well in the dark, however, so if you plan on shooting a lot of videos in very low-light situations, you might want to look elsewhere.
Best Budget Camcorder with Retractable USB Cable
Only slightly higher priced than the other camcorders we’ve taken a look at so far, the Sony HDR-CX190 is a part of their famous Handycam line of camcorders. You’ll notice this is the 2012 model, which means you’re getting saving a lot of money. They want to clean out space and bring in the newer models, and this gives the frugal shopper a great opportunity to save a lot of money.
Price aside, this camcorder stacks up side-by-side against much pricier models. A 32gb memory card, which are readily available and getting less expensive by the day, will hold about 3 hours of video on the this HDR’s highest setting. Quality snobs will love the crisp video, and the ability to capture photos as well when that perfect moment arises.
This camcorder is slim, light, and easy to take with you so you’re always ready to capture a magical moment. The final unique feature we’ll take a look at is the retractable USB cable. You’ll never have to worry about losing it, it’s built right into the camera – smart move, Sony!
Best Budget Camcorder with Waterproof Feature
Samsung W190 is a pocket camcorder, meaning it’s considerably smaller than the other entries on this list and also much less expensive. So, what are you losing out on? For starters, this camcorder only has a 3x zoom which pales in comparison to a full-size camcorder with a bigger lens.
One thing that sets it apart from the crowd is the fact that the Samsung W190 is waterproof so you can take it with on an adventure and not have to worry about a little rain or lake water hitting it. Granted, it’s not the best bet to take for filming underwater, but it can handle the elements as long as you’re staying on land.
This camera can film in full 1080p high definition to preserve your memories and ensure they’re captures as crisply as possible. The microphone does a good job of capturing audio, as well. The colors are vibrant, and the camera films at 30fps which is standard for North America.
Hopefully you have found this list of some of the best budget camcorders to be useful on your search. Whether you’re looking to film your kid’s soccer games, to find a camera to take camping or to the lake, or just for a general camcorder to keep around for whenever it might be handy – there’s something on this list that will fit the bill, without breaking the bank!
Let’s face it – most people don’t use their camcorders too often anyways, is it really worth paying $500, $750 or even $1000+ for the one or two videos you might take every year? Not likely. These cameras are in a price range where you won’t feel like you need to keep them under lock and key, so you’ll get great usage out of any of them.