Home Blog

Sony Hdr-Cx160: This is the Right HD Camcorder for You

sony hdr-cx160

Technology only keeps getting better. That means some camcorders have unbelievable features and capture imagery that would satisfy the biggest enthusiasts. With so many cameras on the market, it's difficult to discover which one is the best. Since we're in search of great cameras, we wanted to review a camcorder in detail to provide you with information of one of the most sophisticated camcorders on the market. Let's explore it in depth. 

The world of midrange HD camcorders can be hard to navigate. Tried-and-true classics like the Sony HDR-CX160 can make it easier.

I can remember a few times when I upgraded my gear and ended up wishing I’d gone for something with a bigger backing. Far too many times, I got something that either didn’t deliver as promised, or excelled in some way but did away with functions we all take for granted. With something as important as an HD camcorder, it’s wise to look at what many users have tried and recommended. That's definitely one of the best ways to get feedback about a product so that you can get a sense for it and determine if it's going to be worth your while.

No products found.

No products found.

This Sony Handycam is an entry-level HD camcorder. It’s small and comes at an affordable price. Compared to its older iterations, the Sony HDR-CX160 offers higher quality footage, better zoom, and a bigger display. The hardware is better in general, and the performance has improved a bit.

Technical specs


Depth:

4.5 in

Optical Sensor:

1/4” Exmor R CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MPEG-2 and AVCHD

Effective Video Resolution:

1.67 Megapixel

Optical Zoom:

30x

Digital zoom:

350x

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, S-Video, composite video/audio

Pretty good stats overall. For an entry-level camcorder of this era, Sony HDR-CX160 holds up well.

Performance


Entry-level camcorders tend to have a somewhat awkward, clunky design and mediocre handling. This isn’t the case with Sony HDR-CX160. It’s sleek, well-equipped, and durable.

The touchscreen is larger than before, which means it’s easier to use too. It’s clear and responsive. Thanks to the fast processor, it doesn’t lag as many affordable camcorders do. There aren’t a lot of controls, and the camcorder seems more geared toward auto mode users. One slight caveat here is that the auto mode button isn’t that conspicuous.

These auto features are effective and reliable. They’re quite impressive for this type of camcorder; the auto exposure function in particular. It’s fast to respond when you go from light to darkness and back. On the other hand, the autofocus isn’t the best that Sony has produced. This could be a trade-off for the long optical zoom lens. Unfortunately, it’s when you zoom in a lot that the autofocus begins to struggle. Other than that, it should be dependable.

You get a few different recording modes. First of all, you can toggle the 1080/60p (true HD) quality. There’s a low lux mode for shooting in the dark. There are also options for slow motion and time-lapse footage. Then there’s an oddly specific mode called Golf shot, which helps you analyze your golf swing. You can also take photos, and you can set it to detect smiles and snap automatic happy portraits. But it’s worth noting that these are 3-megapixel photos, which is lower quality than what modern cellphones can accomplish.

Recording quality


The Sony HDR-CX160 is so-so at audio recording, but it comes with a 3.5mm microphone jack for those times you need good sound. It lends itself well to long recording sessions, thanks to its long battery life, 16GB internal memory, and SD card slot.

As for the video quality, it’s about average for this category. The Sony HDR-CX160 captures a decent amount of detail in 1080p mode, the sharpness is good, and the motion smoothness is great. It’s not the clearest video, but it’s good for this price range. The optical stabilizer does a good job, and the zoom is impressive. But a deep zoom makes for a somewhat shaky result without a tripod.

Users like the smooth video and great battery life. Their main complaint is that the resolution could be better. They give 3.6 stars to the Sony HDR-CX160.

How the Sony HDR-CX160 Compares to Competition

With an abundance of entry-level camcorders on the market, you can only judge them next to each other. To get a better idea of how the Sony HDR-CX160 performs, let’s compare it to key competitors. We’ve chosen the Canon Vixia HF R800, Samsung HMX-F90, and the newer Sony HDR-CX160.

How we reviewed


These reviews are the result of extensive research and comparison of user experiences from across the web. The primary source is user comments from Amazon.

Canon Video 1960C002 Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder (Black)
  • 57x (32.5-1853Mm) advanced zoom/ 32x Optical / 1140x Digital and Super range OIS
  • Canon 3.28 Megapixel full HD CMOS image sensor. Signal level: -10 dBV (with 47 kΩ load)Frequency characteristic: 60 Hz...
  • Digic DV 4 image processor. Compatible with Canon Connect Station CS100 via USB

This is Canon’s low-cost HD camcorder with dual flash memory. It captures full HD 1080p video and offers special filters for a more pleasing look.

Depth:

4.6 “

Optical Sensor:

1/4.85” HD CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MPEG-4

Effective Video Resolution:

2.07 MP

Optical Zoom:

32x

Digital zoom:

1140 x

Corrections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

It has a higher overall build quality and performance than the HDR-CX160. Its video quality is also a bit higher.

Performance

Pricing

This entry-level camcorder by Samsung has somewhat different priorities. It doesn’t provide full HD video like the Sony HDR-CX160, but it excels in other aspects of performance and ease of use. It makes a better option for some hobbyists with different preferences.

Depth:

4.7 in

Optical Sensor:

1/3.2” CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MPEG-2

Effective Video Resolution:

0.92 MP

Optical Zoom:

52 x

Digital zoom:

130 x

Corrections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

The specs are lesser than those of Sony HDR-CX160 in general. However, it has certain advantages, especially for beginners.

Performance

Pricing

Sony HDR-CX405/B Full HD 60p Camcorder + 64GB Ultra MicroSDXC UHS-I...
  • SONY AUTHORIZED DEALER - Bundle Includes FULL SONY USA WARRANTY
  • Sony HDR-CX405/B Full HD 60p Camcorder (Black)
  • BUNDLE INCLUDES: Compact Deluxe Gadget Bag for Cameras/Camcorders

This is an upgraded version, building on the concept of the Sony HDR-CX160 but taking it further. The more modern design bumps up the video clarity a bit and allows for dual recording.

Depth:

5 in

Optical Sensor:

1/5.8” Exmor R CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MP4 and AVCHD

Effective Video Resolution:

2.29 MP

Optical Zoom:

30x

Digital zoom:

350x

Corrections:

Micro-HDMI, USB, Composite Audio/Video, Bravia Sync

The main thing that’s changed is the resolution. It’s increased by about 40 percent.

Performance

Pricing

Comparison Table

PRODUCT

DETAILS

No products found.

No products found.

No products found.

Rating:

Depth:

4.5 in

Optical Sensor:

1/4” Exmor R CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MPEG-2 and AVCHD

Effective Video Resolution:

1.67 Megapixel

Optical Zoom:

30x

Digital zoom:

350x

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, S-Video, composite video/audio

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Canon Video 1960C002 Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder (Black)

Rating:

Depth:

4.6 “

Optical Sensor:

1/4.85” HD CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MPEG-4

Effective Video Resolution:

2.07 MP

Optical Zoom:

32x

Digital zoom:

1140 x

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

PRODUCT

DETAILS

HMX-F90 - Camcorder - Black

Rating:

Depth:

4.7 in

Optical Sensor:

1/3.2” CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MPEG-2

Effective Video Resolution:

0.92 MP

Optical Zoom:

52 x

Digital zoom:

130 x

Connections:

HDMI, USB 2.0, composite video/audio

PRODUCT

DETAILS

Sony HDR-CX405/B Full HD 60p Camcorder + 64GB Ultra MicroSDXC UHS-I...

Rating:

Depth:

5 in

Optical Sensor:

1/5.8” Exmor R CMOS

Widescreen:

Yes

Digital Video Format:

MP4 and AVCHD

Effective Video Resolution:

2.29 MP

Optical Zoom:

30x

Digital zoom:

350x

Connections:

Micro-HDMI, USB, Composite Audio/Video, Bravia Sync

Pros and Cons

Are you confused by all that technical data? We can fix that with a summary of the best and worst aspects of the Sony HDR-CX160.

The primary advantage of the Sony HDR-CX160 is the built-in memory. You can record more, and you don’t always have to keep track of SD cards or tapes. It’s a very convenient camcorder in general.

The Sony Hdr-Cx160 has a so-so resolution for something that has HD printed on it. The Canon and the newer Sony both offer better video quality. But this one’s still detailed and a good choice if you need a basic HD camcorder.

Pros

  • Generous internal memory
  • Useful scene modes
  • Reliable stabilizer
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Only barely HD
  • Complicated file management

 Our Verdict

The Sony HDR-CX160 does well in most regards. The video is high-definition with smooth movement. It can zoom in far without quality loss. The display is big and clear and easy to use. Its internal memory really comes in handy when you’re shooting. The Sony HDR-CX160 is lightweight and easy to use in general.

Just like most products, this camcorder isn't perfect. It does have its drawbacks though. The video quality isn’t professional, that’s the main thing. But you can’t expect too much of an entry-level HD camcorder. Therefore, the Sony HDR-CX160 gets 3.6 stars.

We've provided quite a lot of information about this camcorder so that you can decide if it suits your needs. Let us know if there's anything that you still need to know or share your experience with this camera with us.

10 Best 4k Camcorder Choices For Serious Videographers

Floating camcorder

Are you looking to take your recording game to the next level? Then come along for the ride as we search the market for the best 4K camcorder. Read on, and you will find our reviews for 10 highly praised camcorders. We will parse out the advantages and disadvantages of each, seeing how they stack up against one another. By the end, you will have all the information you need to make the best purchase for your recording needs.

​Table

Product FAQ

a guy using a Sony camcorder

​Image Source: Pixabay

1. What Qualities Should I Look for in the Best 4K Camcorders?

The best 4K camcorders, first and foremost, capture video footage of the highest quality. For that, they require superior components from their lenses to their sensors. Additionally, the best 4K camcorders are resilient and capable of taking a hit or two. Many of them can even be used underwater.

Be sure to also consider the form factor. Think about your most likely recording situations. Will you need to have one hand free as you record? Will you need a camera that is easy to use while taking on other activities? Ask yourself these questions to find the best 4K camcorder for your specific lifestyle.

2. Where Can I Buy the Best 4K Camcorders?

You can find varying selections of 4K camcorders at most stores carrying electronic goods. However, for the easiest access to all of the best 4K camcorders, we recommend you take a look online on sites like Amazon.

How We Reviewed

We chose these ten camcorders because of their popularity and success on the market. Each of these camcorders is a strong contender for being the best 4K camcorder on the market. We want to ensure you have all the necessary information, so we reviewed them according to their features, their pros and cons, and their price. For your convenience, we have also included direct purchasing links in our reviews.

Overall Price Range

These camcorders range in price from $100 to $2,200. The main price determinants come down to the build quality, the quality of the components (such as the lens and sensor), and the additional features included, such as time-lapse video recording.

What We Reviewed

video camera and microphone

​Image Source: Pexels

  • ​RICOH waterproof action camera WG-M2
  • ​Veho Muvi K-Series K-2 Pro 4k Wi-Fi Handsfree Camera
  • ​SONY 4K video camera
  • ​Panasonic HC-X1000 1080p 4K Ultra High Definition Camcorder
  • ​Canon XC10 4K Professional Camcorder
  • ​GoPro HERO7 Black
  • ​JVC GY-HM170UA Camcorder
  • ​Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K Video Camera
  • ​PANASONIC HC-WXF991K 4K Cinema-Like Camcorder
  • ​Sony FDR-X1000V/W 4K Action Cam

RICOH Waterproof Action Camera WG-M2

RICOH Waterproof Action Camera WG-M2 4K Video Super-Wide-Angle 204...
  • File format (still image): JPEG (Exif 2.3), DCF2.0 compliance, PRINT Image Matching III correspondence / file format...

Features

The RICOH Waterproof Action Camera WG-M2 delivers versatile functionality in a highly compact, durable form. This camera is built to last through your wildest adventures and can definitely take a hit. It is fully waterproof with a rating of IPX8 and is able to get the job done even when submerged 20 meters deep in water as cold as -10 degrees Celsius. The RICOH WG-M2 is also dustproof with a rating of IPX6, and it can survive the impact of 2-meter falls.

The RICOH Waterproof Action Camera WG-M2 captures stunning 4K video footage at a super wide-angle. It comes with one rechargeable lithium-ion battery, a charging power adapter, a USB cable, a lens protector, a water lens protector, and a manual.

PROS

  • ​One of the best 4K camcorders in terms of affordability
  • ​Waterproof
  • ​Dust Proof
  • ​Sturdy build that can withstand impacts
  • ​impressive video quality
  • ​Great audio
  • ​Comes with free bonus accessories

CONS

  • ​Only 30 frames per second

Veho Muvi K-Series K-2 Pro 4k Wi-Fi Hands Free Camera

Veho Muvi K-Series K-2 Pro 4k Wi-Fi Handsfree Camera, 12MP
  • Ultra high-resolution video capture 4k @ 15fps and 2.7k @30fps and high definition 1080p @ 60fps and 720p @ 120fps
  • Super powerful XA-9 Hercules chipset improving the performance of the Muvi K-2 Pro compared to its predecessor XA-7...
  • Smart LCD touch screen to preview videos and photos and to easily navigate the menu to change settings and preferences

Features

The Veho Muvi K-Series K-2 Pro 4K Wi-Fi Hands Free Camera is built with the adventurer in mind and is designed to be compact and easy to use while multi-tasking. It offers fantastic video recording performance at an astonishingly affordable price. This camera records ultra high-resolution video at 4K with 15 frames per second, 2.7K at 30 frames per second, 1080p with 60 frames per second, and 720p with 120 frames per second.

The Veho Muvi K-Series K-2 Pro is equipped with the all-powerful XA-9 Hercules chipset which improves on the performance of its predecessor, the XA-7 Achilles. It also comes with a smart LCD touch screen that allows you to easily preview videos and photos and change settings and preferences through an intuitive menu system.

This camcorder can take 12MP single photos, time-lapse, and face bursts with up to 10 photos per second. It also features built-in Wi-Fi, so you can record, live view, and share your videos and photos on social media with the free Muvi K-Series smartphone app.

PROS

  • ​Can connect to Wi-Fi
  • ​Easy, Hand free recording
  • ​Has a detachable screen
  • ​One of the best 4K camcorders for someone on a tight budget
  • ​Excellent battery life
  • ​Accepts GoPro accessories

CONS

  • ​Somewhat bulky and inconvenient case
  • ​Somewhat counterintuitive user controls

SONY 4K Video Camera Handycam

Sony Handycam FDR-AX100 Wi-Fi 4K HD Video Camera Camcorder with 64GB...
  • KIT INCLUDES 11 PRODUCTS -- All BRAND NEW Items with all Manufacturer-supplied Accessories + Full USA Warranties:
  • [1] Sony Handycam FDR-AX100 Wi-Fi 4K HD Video Camera Camcorder + [2] Sony LCS-U21 Camera Case +
  • [3] SanDisk 64GB SDXC I U3 Card + [4] Spare NP-FV70 Battery + [5] Battery Charger +

Features

The SONY 4K Video Camera Handycam is a gorgeous device with a subdued bronze brown design that feels and looks great in the hand. This camcorder features 4K ultra HD (3840 x 2160) recording, a 1/2.5 type (7.20mm) back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS Sensor, and Balanced Optical SteadyShot with 5-axis Intelligent Active mode. It comes built with a 26.8mm wide-angle ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T* Lens, which delivers up to 20x optical zoom with 30x/40x (4K/HD) Clear Image Zoom. As an added bonus, this camcorder is capable of 4K time-lapse capture.

This camcorder also delivers exceptional audio recording quality with its new mic structure that captures sounds from five directions with approximately 40% less background noise.

The SONY 4K Handycam Video Camera is an ideal option for anyone looking to capture precise footage of quick-paced action. With its Fast Intelligence AF, it can autofocus at blazing fast speeds, producing crystal clear footage of your most action-packed adventures. It is perfect for recording sports, outdoor excursions, and more.

PROS

  • ​Lightweight and compact
  • ​Gorgeous video quality
  • ​Incredibly steady shots with 5-axis Intelligent Active mode
  • ​Comes with a high-quality lens
  • ​Can handle 4K time-lapse capture
  • ​Fantastic audio recording quality

CONS

  • ​Somewhat underwhelming battery life

Panasonic HC-X1000 1080p 4K Ultra High Definition Camcorder

Panasonic HC-X1000 1080p 4K Ultra High Definition Camcorder
  • This version is originally intended for sale outside the USA
  • Leica Dicomar 20x Optical Zoom Lens Switchable between NTSC and PAL
  • Individual Focus, Zoom & Iris Lens Rings Power O.I.S, & Hybrid O.I.S.

Features

The Panasonic HC-X1000 1080p 4K Ultra High Definition Camcorder is a professional-grade camcorder delivering the highest levels of quality. It shoots and records cinema 4K at 24p and UHD at broadcast compatible frame rates. It is built for versatility, allowing a seamless transition into your already established broadcast workflow.

The Panasonic HC-X1000 comes with a 1/2.3" MOS sensor that shoots at constant 4K resolution, as well as two built-in Venus processing engines that scale 4K images for full HD results. It also comes with a built-in 20x Leica Dicomar lens, featuring four lens groups and electronically linked geared iris rings that allow manual control.

This camera supports two optical stabilization modes: one for 4K and another for HD. It features two viewfinders, giving users the choice between the traditional tilt up color EVF or the pull out LCD high-resolution touchscreen. For a more natural viewing experience when shooting handheld, Panasonic has designed this camera with the LCD touchscreen placed above the lens.

The Panasonic HC-X1000 records in .mp4, .mov, or AVCHD codecs and comes with dual SD media card slots.

PROS

  • ​Allows for a great deal of user customization
  • Highly intuitive interface
  • ​Amazing picture and video quality
  • ​Up to 20x optical zoom
  • ​Comes with excellent lens
  • ​Wi-Fi and NFC compatible
  • ​Has Two SD card slots

CONS

  • ​Not the best 4K camcorder for someone on a budget
  • ​Not the most compact design

Canon XC10 4K Professional Camcorder

Canon XC10 4K Professional Camcorder Body Only
  • 4K wide-angle 10x zoom Lens with image stabilizer
  • 12 Megapixel one-inch 4k-compatible CMOS image sensor
  • XF-AVC Codec for 4K 30p and Full HD 60p

Features

The Canon XC10 4K Professional Camcorder comes in a sleek, lightweight, and versatile design, delivering 4K and full HD video shooting and 12MP digital still photography. This ergonomic camcorder handles a wide variety of video and still production tasks with ease, making it the ideal choice for professionals and enthusiasts alike.

The XC10 features a 4K imaging system made up of superior components, such as a Genuine Canon 10x Wide-Angle Zoom Lens with 2x Digital Teleconverter and Optical Image Stabilization. Its lens features a zoom ratio of 27.3-273mm for movies and 24.1-241mm for photos. Its specially designed Canon 12 Megapixel one-inch CMOS sensor offers 12 stops of exposure latitude. If that were not enough, it also comes with the new DIGIC DV5 signal processor that powers its blistering fast performance.

This 4K camcorder provides both slow and fast-motion recording, multiple custom picture settings, and interval shooting for time-lapse still photography. For still photography, it features a mechanical shutter to reduce rolling-shutter distortion, up to 2.8 fps performance, support for multiple aspect ratios, and compatibility with EOS accessories.

PROS

  • ​High frame rates (up to 120 fps at 720p)
  • ​Compact Design
  • ​Easy to use
  • ​Sturdy build

CONS

  • ​Could use frame ware update
  • ​No Detachable lens
  • ​Not the best 4K camcorder in terms of editing compatibility

GoPro HERO7 Black

GoPro HERO 7 Black
  • HyperSmooth video Stabilization Get gimbal like stabilization without the gimbal; Hero7 Black predicts Your movements...
  • Time Warp video Capture super stabilized Time lapse videos while you move about a scene; Increase the speed up to 30x to...
  • Super photo: Get the Best Photos Automatically; With Super photo, Hero7 Black intelligently applies HDR, local tone...

Features

The GoPro HERO7 Black is an Amazon's Choice camcorder that is also available in silver and white designs. This camera is specially designed to accommodate the demands of recording a highly active lifestyle. With its rugged build that is waterproof to 33 feet, it can handle whatever journey you embark on.

It comes with a wide variety of features that any adventurer will quickly fall in love with. It has HyperSmooth Video Stabilization that mimics the quality found with a gimble - without a gimble. This camera predicts your movements and automatically corrects for camera shake to provide you with silky smooth footage. It is also capable of time warp video, allowing you to control the speed and even ramp it up to 30x to condense long activities into bite-sized videos. You can go the other way, as well, with up to 8x slow-motion video recording.

The GoPro HERO7 gets you not only the best videos but the best photos as well. It comes with a highly sophisticated Super Photo function that automatically applies HDR, local tone mapping, and noise reduction to optimize your shots.

This camera also features incredibly convenient voice control functionality. The HERO7 is easy to use hands-free due to voice commands like, "GoPro, take a photo." Capturing your brightest moments has never been easier.

PROS

  • ​Amazing 4K 60 fps video
  • ​Incredibly effective hyperstabilization
  • ​Performs well in low light

CONS

  • ​Cannot live stream and record in 4K (1080p at most)
  • ​Disappointing battery life
  • ​Prone to overheating

JVC GY-HM170UA Camcorder

JVC GY-HM170UA 4KCAM Compact Professional Camcorder with Top Handle...
  • The PixelConnection Is an Authorized JVC USA Dealer
  • JVC GY-HM170UA 4KCAM Compact Professional Camcorder with Top Handle Audio Unit
  • BNV-F823 Replacement Lithium Ion Battery

Features

The JVC GY-HM170UA Camcorder is an ideal choice for creatives at all levels. Whether you are a professional or an amateur, this camcorder is designed to meet your needs.

This camera records 3840 x 2180 UHD 4K in 24 or 30p at a bit rate of 150 Mb/s, encoded in an .MOV-wrapped H.264 codec file. It can also record 1080p at up to 60 fps in an 8-bit 4:2:2 50 Mb/s .MOV file or in AVCHD for compatibility with consumer editing software.

The JVC GY-HM170 features both a viewfinder and a flip-out LCD, giving you room for flexibility. Its 3.5" LCD panel has a resolution of 920,000 pixels, and its 0.24" viewfinder has a resolution of 1.56 million pixels. Whichever display you use, you have the option to enable a focus assist overlay that ensures critical focus.

This camcorder comes with 12x optical zoom and 24x dynamic zoom, offering a seamless transition between the two with minimal quality loss. It also has a two-position ND filter that helps reduce light to allow the use of a slower shutter speed for more natural motion blur. This filter allows users to choose between two settings: 1/4 and 1/16.

The GY-HM170UA is designed to give users plenty of freedom. It has nine user-assignable buttons, letting you program the camera in a way that saves you time and lets you get your recordings up and running as quickly as possible.

PROS

  • ​Very good image quality from the lens
  • ​Smooth Zooming
  • ​Nine user-assignable buttons
  • ​Has viewfinder and flip-out LCD
  • ​Programmable zoom speed
  • ​Detachable handle with built-in audio mixer

CONS

  • ​Disappointing battery life
  • ​Tiny volume knobs
  • ​not great in low light

Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K Video Camera

Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K Video Camera with 3.5-Inch LCD (Black)
  • Capture 4k/30p video that far exceeds HD resolution, High-frame-rate shooting at 120p
  • 1" Exmor R CMOS sensor with Direct Pixel Read Out
  • 14MP resolution video and 20MP still image capture

Features

The Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K Video Camera is an Amazon's Choice camcorder that has the distinction of being a 2014 Honoree of the International CES Innovations Design and Engineering Awards.

The FDR-AX100/B delivers 4K and 30p video with high frame-rate shooting at up to 120p. It features a 1" Exmor R CMOS sensor with Direct Pixel Read Out. It captures 14MP resolution video and 20MP still images, and with its advanced BIONZ X image procession engine, it does all this at unrivaled speeds and topnotch quality.

This camera is equipped with a new Carl Zeiss Vario-Sonnar T* lens. This 29mm wide-angle lens is perfect for capturing breathtaking footage of large landscapes. Paired with Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization with Intelligent Active Mode, there is nothing this camera cannot handle.

PROS

  • ​Can connect to Wi-Fi and NFC
  • ​Fantastic Image Stabilization
  • ​Performs well in low light
  • ​Great Image and video quality

CONS

  • ​Not the most compact design
  • ​Lens could be wider
  • ​Average battery life

 PANASONIC HC-WXF991K 4K Cinema-Like Camcorder

Panasonic 4K Cinema-Like Video Camera Camcorder HC-WXF991K, 20X Leica...
  • Ultra sharp 4K Ultra HD recording, plus in Camera editing for 1080p Displays
  • Electronic Viewfinder EVF emulates a semi Professional recording Experience; Dedicated HDR button enables Quick mode...
  • LEICA Decoma Lens optical 20x zoom, 5 axis hybrid optical image stabilization; Image Sensor 1/2.3 inch BSI MOS Sensor;...

Features

The Panasonic HC-WXF991K 4K Cinema-Like Camcorder is an Amazon's Choice product that captures razor-sharp, 4K, Ultra HD video. It comes with an electronic viewfinder that simulates a semi-professional recording experience and allows easy transitioning with a dedicated HDR button. It also comes with the LEICA Decoma Lens with 20x optical zooming and 5-axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization. To top it off, it is built with a 1/2.3-inch BSI MOS Sensor that takes its performance to the highest levels.

This camera can handle a wide variety of recording tasks but is especially well-suited for capturing scenes with quick, intense motions, such as sporting events.

PROS

  • ​Max frame rate of 240
  • ​Accepts external microphones
  • ​Great for sports
  • ​Excellent picture quality
  • ​Can link to multiple smartphones
  • ​Can do a time-lapse video
  • ​Can even be used as a baby monitor

CONS

  • ​Has a bit of a learning curve to use

Sony FDR-X1000V/W 4K Action Cam

Sony FDR-X1000V/W 4K Action Cam
  • Professional 4K (3840 x 2160) video recording with up to 240p HD / 120p HD
  • SteadyShot image stabilization works from bikes to aerial shot and more
  • Control up to 5 Action Cam via phone1 or LiveView Remote (Sold Separately)

Features

The Sony FDR-X1000V/W 4K Action Cam comes in an elegant, minimalist, white design. It captures professional-quality, 4K (3840 x 2160) video recording with up to 240p HD and 120p HD. It features SteadyShot image stabilization, allowing you to record high-quality footage from on top of a bike or even while up in the air. It comes in a splash-proof body, making it ideal for outdoor use.

The Sony FDR-X1000V/W 4K Action Cam uses an ultra-wide angle professional ZEISS lens that provides a viewing angle of up to 170 degrees. Its aperture is f/2.8, allowing you to capture stunning details in low light.

PROS

  • ​Great for underwater recording
  • ​Easy to use
  • ​Compact design
  • ​Wide field of view
  • ​Great microphone

CONS

  • ​Subpar battery life
  • ​Prone to overheating

The Verdict: The Best 4K Camcorders

a videographer taking video on a woman playing a violin

​Image Source: Pexels

After reviewing these ten products extensively, we decided that the two best 4K camcorders are the Panasonic HC-WXF991K Cinema-Like Camcorder and the Panasonic HC-X1000.

The HC-WXF991K is the more affordable option between the two. This camcorder is a multi-functional giant. It can handle a wide variety of recording tasks, including time-lapse video. It can even be used as a baby monitor with smart alerts and two-way communication with a smartphone. Its video quality is fantastic, and it takes great photos as well. If you are looking for a high-quality camcorder at an accessible price, this is an excellent choice.

The HC-X1000 is a lot higher up on the price range, but its overall performance merits its price tag. This camcorder is built to provide professional levels of quality. It comes with a fantastic lens and is extremely user-friendly, allowing for high levels of customization.

Either of these camcorders would make a great addition to your arsenal of recording tools. We are confident you will have an amazing experience working with either.

​Featured Image Source: Pixabay

Best HD Camcorder Selections for Unrivaled Footage

lady holding a HD camcorder

Camcorders have come a long way since the old VHS days. The digital revolution has not only done away with tapes and discs for recording, but it also brought high-quality resolution camcorders to the consumer market.

In less than a decade, the average price for a high-definition camcorder has dropped exponentially, making it possible for anyone to document their world in stunning HD. For this article, we will look at some options for the best HD camcorder you can get today.

Comparioson Table

Product FAQ

Before we break down our ten choices for the best HD camcorder on the market, we want to answer some of the most common questions people have when shopping for them.

The technology can be intimidating for newer users, but it doesn't have to be. The following crash course will help you make an informed and confident decision when choosing the best HD camcorder for your particular needs.

sony camcorder

Image via Pixabay

1. What Does High Definition Mean?

In general terms, high definition refers to the resolution of recorded video. HD video recordings will have a screen resolution higher than 1080p as opposed to traditional standard definition, or SD.

1080 refers to the pixel count in the video, and the higher the count, the higher the resolution. Simply put, more pixels means you can record more color, light, and detail from the scene.

2. Are There Different Types of High Definition?

Yes, there are. Though the lower-quality video is called “standard definition,” it's not the current industry standard. Most handheld camcorders offer a 1080p resolution, but that's the bare minimum for being considered HD.

Some models that made the list of best HD camcorder go far beyond 1080p by shooting in high definition 4K. There are even some television shows that are being filmed in 4K, even though that resolution is beyond most household TVs' capabilities.

3. Does HD Mean More Than Just Higher Resolution?

HD may specifically refer to the shooting resolution of the camcorder, but for the items on this list, it means much more. High definition camcorders arrived on the back of the digital revolution.

Tape and CD recording were fine for SD, but they can't handle the informational load needed to record in true high definition. Camcorders needed to adopt a faster, cleaner, more digitized system of recording video.

This means the traditional camcorder was overhauled for the HD age, making them smaller, faster, and easier to shoot with.

hand holding a camcorder - best hd camcorder

Image via Pixabay

4. How Is Recording in HD Different From SD?

Old video camcorders were notoriously difficult to shoot with, requiring you to do things like color correction or white balancing. Lower resolutions looked better with higher light levels, so getting the hot spots right in a scene was critical to getting a good shot.

One positive outcome of working with HD video is the need for less key lighting. The higher resolution and faster frame rate mean light goes further in exposing the subject.

Scenes are easier to record, and the colors remain consistent as you move around a subject in the same space.

5. How Is HD Video Stored on the Camcorder?

Even though we've moved away from CDs and tapes, that doesn't mean there's no more “removable media” in the world of camcorders.

Most of the items that made the list of best HD camcorder use a USB or SD card (and that's a different type of SD) to store the video. Some higher-end models we looked at even use an external Solid State Drive to store the video data.

There's a surprising amount of flexibility when it comes to the method of storage, so be sure to check what the capacity is for each model before making your final decision.

The Best HD Camcorder - How We Reviewed

icon image of camcorder best hd camcorder

Image via Pixabay

We looked at the most popular HD camcorders currently on the market and judged them on video quality, the suite of features, ease of use, hardware durability, and even the included accessories.

We used these metrics to determine which models would make our list for the best HD camcorder you can buy today. 

Each model has its own strengths that cater to different needs, be it a casual recording of family events, documenting an important game, or even filming professional quality commercials.

Overall Price Range

The range of prices we found for the best HD camcorder was about $300 to $2,600. The prices were heavily influenced by the total suite of features on each camcorder and the included list of accessories and peripheral attachments.

The mid-range of prices had some of the best values based on the current pricing.

Canon VIXIA HF R82

Canon VIXIA HF R82 Camcorder (Black)
  • 57x (32.5-1853Mm) advanced zoom and Super range OIS.
  • Canon 3.28 Megapixel full HD CMOS image sensor.
  • Digic DV 4 image processor.

The prices were heavily influenced by the total suite of features on each camcorder and the included list of accessories and peripheral attachments.

The mid-range of prices had some of the best values based on the current pricing.

Warranty

Canon offers a limited one-year warranty on this camcorder that covers anything considered a manufacturing defect.

Pros

  • Internal image processor
  • Efficient battery monitoring

Cons

  • Few image control options
  • Only 64GB internal storage

Panasonic HC-VX981K

Panasonic 4K Ultra HD Video Camera Camcorder HC-VX981K, 20X Optical...
  • Get in Close and Detail: 18.91 Megapixel MOS sensor plus 20x Zoom LEICA Decomar Lens (4.08-81.6mm), plus 5-axis Hybrid...
  • 1/2.3-Inch BSI Sensor: The Back Side Illumination Sensor has a large effective area with 8.29M effective pixels,...
  • 4K Recording and In-Camera Editing: Ultra-sharp 4K Ultra HD recording, plus in-camera editing for 1080p displays; Total...

This is the first Panasonic to make our list for the best HD camcorder, and there should be no surprise when you look at the price. This is a finely tuned camera that shoots like a consumer model but records in fully defined ultra 4K.

This is a camcorder ahead of its time, giving the option of 4K while requiring little setting adjustment or balancing from the user. This is a great option for someone just starting out with non-linear editing or other post-production of their home movies.

The optical steady shot tool from Panasonic is built into this model, so the usual motion blur is a thing of the past when this is activated during shooting.

Warranty

Panasonic offers a limited one-year warranty on this line of camcorders. There is a manufacturer option for a three-year warranty, provided you purchase certain accessories and the camcorder from an authorized retailer.

Pros

  • Internal 4K ultra processing
  • 20X optical zoom

Cons

  • Weak WiFi connectivity
  • Short battery life

Sony HDRCX440

Sony HD Video Recording HDRCX440 Handycam Camcorder
  • Refer the user manual below for troubleshooting
  • 26.8mm ZEISS Lens w/30x Optical/60x Clear Image Zoom
  • View on 2.7" Clear Photo Plus LCD display

Sony has more than a couple of camcorders on this list, but that's to be expected from the leading manufacturer of consumer-grade camcorders.

The Handycam series is almost twenty years old now, as it was introduced to us at the dawn of the digital revolution. The quality of this model is insane when compared to the price.

This was the least expensive model we looked at, and that's saying a lot when you consider what's working on the inside of this little machine. This camcorder comes with a Zeiss lens system, allowing for full 30x optical zoom.

If that's not enough, then add in the digital stabilization and auto color correction to the list of tools for this camcorder. This is the best HD camcorder on the list for the price, hands down.

Warranty

This model of camcorder comes with a limited one-year warranty from the manufacturer that covers anything considered a factory defect

Pros

  • The least expensive camera on the list
  • Clear LCD front viewfinder

Cons

  • Changing settings can be tedious
  • No manual color correction controls

JVC Everio GZ-RY980

JVC Everio GZ-RY980 Quad Proof 4K Full HD Video Camera Camcorder
  • Detailed, Realistic Pictures Full of Presence: GZ-RY980 is the first shooting style camcorder to put 4K video and Quad...
  • Newly-developed JVC 4K get lens: provides a wide angle of 29. 9mm, custom-designed for fine image reproduction while...
  • New image processing engine - FALCONBRID 4K: Enables high-speed processing of the massive 4K pixel data for high quality...

Do you like to take your camcorder hunting, fishing, or camping? If you regularly record in rough weather, or if you just like to make sure your camcorder is tough, then the Everio from JVC is what you need.

The big difference in this camcorder starts with the quad-proof construction of the body and frame. This is a JVC-exclusive feature that protects the sensitive lenses and processors from the roughest conditions.

This is a durable camcorder that also shoots in full 4K resolution, which is something you don't find on most outdoor designed models.

Warranty

This model of camcorder comes with a limited warranty from the manufacturer that covers factory defects.

Pros

  • Built for harsh environments
  • Reliable quad-proof system

Cons

  • No lens adjustment tools
  • No manual optical zooming

Canon XF200

Canon XF200 High Definition Professional Camcorder
  • XF200, Lens Hood with Len Barrier, Eyecup, Battery Pack BP-955
  • Compact Power Adapter CA-930, DC Cable DC-930, Wireless Controller WL-D6000
  • Microphone Holder Unit, Canon XF Utilities Disc

Canon is here again with the XF200, a professionally designed HD camcorder made for the burgeoning filmmaker in all of us. The first thing you notice about this camera is the accessorized body, which includes a microphone boom holder right on the top handle.

The professional lens barrier and protection hood make it easy to mount and protect the camera for more active shots. The XF200 is also great for night shoots since it comes with a built-in infrared and low-light function.

This makes it ideal for capturing HD images in a low-light or night time scenario.

Warranty

This model of camcorder comes with a limited warranty from the manufacturer that covers any problems considered a manufacturing defect.

Pros

  • Attachment system included
  • Infrared and low-light shooting

Cons

  • One of the more expensive models
  • Short range for remote controls

Sony FDRAX53

Sony FDRAX53/B 4K HD Video Recording Camcorder (Black)
  • 4K XAVC-S recording with 16.6MP, Exmor R sensor, B.O.SS stabilization
  • ZEISS lens(26.8mm) 20x optical zoom in 4K, 30x Clear Image Zoom in 4K
  • 3.0" LCD (Touch panel), EVF, Wi-Fi/NFC, manual ring, night shot, 4K Time-lapse capture

Sony has a great partnership with the maker of Zeiss lenses, which comes in handy when you need great zooming at a reasonable price.

Where digital zoom is all the rage these days, there's a massive loss of definition and color range with an all-digital picture. The FDRAX53 has a Zeiss 26.8mm lens with auto stabilizing zoom control.

You can get in really close, all while maintaining a crisp 4K picture. This is a great intermediate camcorder for someone stepping into a more professional level of video recording.

There are professional grade tools like a manual control ring on the lens and burn-on digital time coding.

Warranty

This camcorder comes with a limited one-year warranty that covers anything considered a manufacturing defect.

Pros

  • Optical steady shot
  • Large viewfinder for the size

Cons

  • Needs additional storage capacity
  • No AF or shutter controls

Sony FDRAX700

Sony FDR-AX700 4K HDR Camcorder
  • 1” (1.0-Type) stacked Exmor RS back Illuminated CMOS sensor
  • Incredibly fast, Hybrid AF with 273 points and wide coverage
  • 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) in addition to full HD. Filter Diameter: 62mm. Minimum Focus Distance-...

Sony is here again, but this time they're stepping up to full professional shooting with the FDRAX700. A step up from the AC53 we discussed before, this is the next step for someone getting into commercial video production.

This is a 4K capable camcorder that has lossless balancing built in, so there's little need to adjust your AF or internal lenses when moving to different temperatures of light.

The AF sensors are extremely sensitive, giving on-the-fly adjustment to a full 270+ point range of coverage. The best lenses available for 4K are built onto this model, using the Zeiss Vario-Sonnar 28mm wide-angle lenses.

Warranty

This camcorder comes with a limited one-year defect warranty from the manufacturer.

Pros

  • Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lenses
  • 4K resolution with full HD retention

Cons

  • Requires upgraded storage for 4K
  • Battery charging takes a while

Panasonic HC-VX1

Panasonic PANASONIC HC-VX1 4K Camcorder, 24X LEICA DICOMAR Lens,...
  • 4K Cinema-Like recording experience with advanced in-camera capture options.
  • LEICA DICOMAR 24X optical zoom lens (25-600mm, F1.8-4.0), and large 1/2.5” BSI MOS Sensor for impressive capture even...
  • Three Optical Image Stabilization (O.I.S.) technologies work together for impressive stability under many shooting...

Panasonic makes the list again with the beautiful HC-VX1. This is the latest in the popular HC series from Panasonic, this time coming in with full 4K control and internal image stabilization.

The Leica Dicomar lenses give a professional looking balance to your light controls, making it easy to get a gorgeous shot in any light level.

This model also comes with wireless connectivity to your cell phone or other mobile recorders, so you can have incorporated picture-in-picture with multiple angles right in the viewfinder.

Warranty

Panasonic has a limited warranty on all of their camcorders that covers any defects considered factory related.

Pros

  • Great value for 4K definition
  • Built-in image stabilization

Cons

  • No balancing controls
  • Small viewfinder for 4K

Sony HVR-Z7U

Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Professional Video Camcorder

Image via Amazon

Sony HVR-Z7U HDV Professional Video Camcorder

  • Includes a 3.2-inch XtraFine LCD viewfinder
  • HDV, DVCAM and DV recording on a miniDV cassette tape , Switchable HD/SD recording and playback
  • Comes with a 1/3-inch-type 3 ClearVid CMOS Sensor system
  • If you need something to play with the professionals, then look no further than the Sony HVR-Z7U. This small camcorder comes with all the features you could ever need, from auto-balancing to super-fine zoom controls.

    One of the best parts about this camcorder is the option to record to an SD card or HDV mini-cassettes. This gives you a double control for saving your video, allowing easy tape-swaps for archiving and safekeeping.

    The biggest difference between this and some midlevel camcorders is the interchangeable lens system, so the cinematographer inside can come out and shine.

    Warranty

    This product comes with a limited manufacturer's warranty that covers defects as long as the purchase originated through an authorized retailer.

    Pros

    • Allows fine tuning of settings
    • Easy to handle

    Cons

    • Most expensive model on the list
    • Steep learning curve

    Samsung HMX-F90

    This is one of the better values we found for this article, and it's not surprising that Samsung is behind it. This small camera packs a real punch, with full HD quality video saved onto an internal SD card.

    The storage is easily changed out, so you can add space as you need it. The casing and overall construction of this camcorder make for a light, easy to handle recorder, while maintaining the durability and battery life.

    Warranty

    This camcorder comes with a one-year limited warranty from the manufacturer that covers anything considered a factory defect.

    Pros

    • Great value for features
    • Lightweight and durable

    Cons

    • No auto balancing
    • Not many accessories

    The Best HD Camcorder - The Verdict

    lady in red holding a HDcamcorder

    Image via Pixabay

    Those are the ten picks for the best HD camcorder currently available. Choosing just one to take the top honor is difficult, as each model is ideal for different situations.

    If you need an everyday camcorder for little league games or birthday parties, then we recommend the Samsung HMX-F90. 

    That particular model is not only one of the least expensive ones on our list, but it has a lot of the features you need for quick grab-and-shoot situations. 

    For the best HD camcorder for more professional settings, like for commercial or business productions, we recommend the Sony FDR-AX700.

    This model shoots in ultra defined 4K and has a long list of adjustable settings for fine-tuning the balances in your shot. It's not the most expensive on the list, but dollar for dollar it packs in the most features for the price.

    These are wonderful models, but don't be afraid to look into the entire list and consider which of these is the best HD camcorder for you and your needs.

    Featured Image via Pixabay

    Panasonic HC-X1000 Review: A Robust Gadget for Professionals

    shooting using panasonic hc-x1000 review

    If you've ever seen 4K footage, you know just how immersive it can be. Animal documentaries in 4K will transport you to the savannah or the jungle.

    We all enjoy this revolution in high definition, but only the true professionals will pick up a camera capable of shooting in 4K. It is for those professionals we put together this Panasonic HC-X1000 review.

    You have no doubt heard of the Panasonic HC-X1000 if you are looking to break into the market for a top of the line HD camcorder.

    Not only is Panasonic a name to be reckoned with when it comes to electronics, but their line of camcorders have been making waves in the scene for years.

    Comparison Table

    The Panasonic HC-X1000 Review Process

    Panasonic HC-X1000 4K Ultra HD 60p/50p Professional Camcorder, 20x...
    • High-res 4K recording in smooth 60p/50p motion even for fast movements, and small enough for mobility
    • High-Bit-Rate Recording for Both 4K and Full-HD to capture the most important moments with true-to-life realism
    • Great functions for professional needs LEICA Dicomar f/1.8 lens/triple manual rings/backup recording/ND filter

    In this Panasonic HC-X1000 review process we set out to test if the titular camcorder was really worth its reputation and its price point.

    To do this, we looked at three top competitors and processed all four camcorders through our Panasonic HC-X1000 review criteria.

    These criteria included the price point which the camcorder sells for, how easy the camcorder was to use, how long its durability lasted, the overall quality of its design, and what sort of warranty came with it.

    Be sure to check out our feature section and our summarized pro and con lists. Some of what can be considered the best across the market may not be the best for every user in terms of feature or price point.

    What Is a Panasonic HC-X1000?

    The Panasonic HC-X1000 is a mid-sized camcorder capable of shooting in 4K without needing to rely on a Hollywood financier's money to get your hands on the technology. 4K technology can finally come to the home front with the Panasonic HC-X1000.

    Throughout our Panasonic HC-X1000 review process, we found that the camera handled more like a compact camera than it did a traditional mid-sized camcorder.

    Even though you will probably guide the shot with two hands, the camera itself does not weigh more than four pounds. We were quite impressed with how much technology fit into such a small package.

    The camera is unobtrusively black and attractive in its construction. It has a balanced look and provides a balanced carry. Everything that we needed came in the box except for the SD card.

    The camera came packaged with its lens hood, a battery charger, its AC power cable, an HDMI cable, its battery, and a USB cable. Once we had it charged and had its SD card popped in, we were more than ready to shoot.

    There may not be another camera in its price range that provides two XLR inputs, multiple line inputs that can be selectively adjusted, a solid zoom, focus peaking, the ability to record dually, and smooth motion stabilization.

    But these are just a few of its features. Let's dive deeper in our specs section of this Panasonic HC-X1000 review that follows.

    Panasonic HC-X1000 Review: Product Specs

    In our Panasonic HC-X1000 review process, we found that this camera had no trouble recording in high resolution 4K, providing smooth 60p/50p motion even when the frame was moved quickly.

    This was greatly aided by the mobility of the camera. We found it ideal for capturing fleet subjects like rabbits and birds.

    The Panasonic HC-X1000 captures a high bit rate recording whether you are using it in 4K or Full-HD modes. The footage is so true to life that it is almost eerie.

    Panasonic HC-X1000 4K Ultra HD 60p/50p Professional Camcorder, 20x...
    • High-res 4K recording in smooth 60p/50p motion even for fast movements, and small enough for mobility
    • High-Bit-Rate Recording for Both 4K and Full-HD to capture the most important moments with true-to-life realism
    • Great functions for professional needs LEICA Dicomar f/1.8 lens/triple manual rings/backup recording/ND filter

    Professionals will love that the Panasonic HC-X1000 comes with a 20X Leica Lens with Lens Mounted Control Rings, backup recording features, and an ND filter.

    Amateurs and professionals alike will enjoy that it communicates with standard IEEE 802.11b/g/n wifi to make transferring your footage a breeze.

    Not only does it function with wifi, but near field communication allows it to provide Remote Shooting, one-touch NFC Connection, and easy QR code connection.

    It can record in AVCHD, MOV and MP4, which many video editing programs easily accept. You can easily switch between the formats to suit your software's needs. On top of all of this, the Panasonic HC-X1000 even comes with an LED ring to provide light.

    All these features combine to make an ideal documentary camera. It is light, compact, powerful, and can record audio, visual, and provide light all at once.

    How It Compares

    We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.

    • Canon Vixia HF R800
    • JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D EnvrioR
    • SONY AX700

    Panasonic HC-X1000

    Panasonic HC-X1000 4K Ultra HD 60p/50p Professional Camcorder, 20x...
    • High-res 4K recording in smooth 60p/50p motion even for fast movements, and small enough for mobility
    • High-Bit-Rate Recording for Both 4K and Full-HD to capture the most important moments with true-to-life realism
    • Great functions for professional needs LEICA Dicomar f/1.8 lens/triple manual rings/backup recording/ND filter

    Ease of Use 

    This camcorder measures 12.4 x 6.3 x 6.7 inches and it weighs only 3.42 pounds. This makes it extremely maneuverable.

    Some of the advanced features may not be the most obvious to amateur users, but we do not see this being a problem for most who purchase this camcorder.

    Durability

    Many professionals that have used this camera in the past still do years later. Luckily, this investment is built to last.

    Design Quality ​

    The camera exhibits a balanced design, a streamlined interface, and a tough construction. However, lenses cannot be exchanged, which means the camera may struggle to keep up with certain innovations in the future.

    Warranty 

    Panasonic provides a one-year warranty on its Panasonic HC-X1000 and a ninety-day warranty on all of the camera's accessories.

    Pros

    • Shoots high definition 4K
    • Records at high bit rate
    • Utilizes a 20x Zoom with 4-Drive Leica Dicomar Lens System
    • Can record in multiple formats
    • High precision AF
    • USes 2-Channel XLR Audio Input Terminals
    • Affordable price range

    Cons

    • No SD card included
    • Lens is not parfocal nor interchangeable

    Canon Vixia HF R800

    Canon Video 1960C002 Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder (Black)
    • 57x (32.5-1853Mm) advanced zoom/ 32x Optical / 1140x Digital and Super range OIS
    • Canon 3.28 Megapixel full HD CMOS image sensor. Signal level: -10 dBV (with 47 kΩ load)Frequency characteristic: 60 Hz...
    • Digic DV 4 image processor. Compatible with Canon Connect Station CS100 via USB

    If you do not have two thousand dollars at your disposal, you can still opt for the full HD capable Canon Vixia HF R800. This miniscule handheld camera weighs only 8.5 ounces yet still provides passable footage.

    In terms of our Panasonic HC-X1000 review criteria, it does not really meet professional standards, but it is an excellent home recording device.

    The Canon Vixia HF R800 provides 57x advanced zoom and 32x optical zoom. It is equipped with a Canon 3.28 Megapixel Full HD CMOS image sensor.

    While this does not provide the 4K footage which is the selling point of the Panasonic HC-X1000, it will make your home recordings look great.

    We found the fast motion to potentially be more powerful than the camera's slow motion mode. One can record up to a top speed of 1200 times faster than standard filming.

    That means an incredible 20 hours of action can be condensed into a single scene spanning only a minute. This is a great camera for family sporting events and time lapses.

    Ultimately, the Canon Vixia HF R800 lacked the high quality of other entries that made this Panasonic HC-X1000 review shortlist. However, it costs only one tenth the price of the Panasonic it competes with.

    Ease of Use 

    This camcorder is perfect for recording family outings. It is easy to use with its touch screen and comprehensible design. Plus, it is extremely lightweight, so you will not tire while using it.

    Durability

    While you will almost certainly get your money's worth out of this camera, it is not as durable as higher end models. Expect to use it for a while, but do not expect it to be your lifelong camera.

    Design Quality ​

    Everything works on this camcorder, and we even liked the tube like design enough for what it is worth. However, it is not a sexy design. You will not look like a professional with one of these in your hands.

    Warranty 

    This camcorder comes with a one-year warranty.

    Pros

    • Budget price point
    • Touch screen makes organization easy
    • Slow motion capturing down to half speed
    • Fast motion recording up to 1200 times faster
    • Lightweight and easily handheld

    Cons

    • Does not shoot in 4k
    • Lacking many features that high end cameras provide

    JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D EnvrioR

    JVC GZ-RX645BEK Quad Proof Full HD Camcorder panasonic hc-x1000 review

    Image via Amazon

    JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D EnvrioR

    • QUAD PROOF Body - 5m Water, Dust, 1.5m Shock, Freeze
    • 8GB Built-in Flash memory
    • 10 Megapixel Stills

    If you need a durable, lightweight camera for something akin to covert operations, the JVC Quad Proof GZ-R440D EnvrioR might be the camcorder for you.

    Looking like something out of a 1980's technological spy flick, this camcorder boasts a quad-proof body that can resist water, dust, shocking, and freezing.

    You don't have to worry about cards as much with this model since it comes with a built-in 8 gigabytes of flash memory, making it ideal for capturing moments that arise spontaneously.

    You can even use it for five straight hours while it is unplugged. The stills it takes can be up to ten megapixels, which is impressive, although it does not shoot video footage with the same height of quality.

    Ease of Use 

    This camera is slightly more difficult to use than those meant for home recording, but not by a significant amount

    Durability

    This camera ought to last you. It resists water, dust, frost, and even electrical shocks to a certain degree.

    Design Quality ​

    While we dig the “retro” look of this piece, we know many people want more modern looking equipment.

    Warranty 

    Since this camera is very difficult to find first hand, it is unlikely that it will come with a warranty from the manufacturer.

    Pros

    • Quad-proof design greatly aids longevity
    • 8GB of built in memory
    • 5 hours of internal battery
    • Weighs only 780 grams

    Cons

    • Difficult to find in stock
    • Difficult to find with a warranty
    • No 4K footage

    SONY AX700

    Sony FDR-AX700 4K HDR Camcorder
    • 1” (1.0-Type) stacked Exmor RS back Illuminated CMOS sensor
    • Incredibly fast, Hybrid AF with 273 points and wide coverage
    • 4K resolution (3840 x 2160) in addition to full HD. Filter Diameter: 62mm. Minimum Focus Distance-...

    A wonderful middle ground is provided by the Sony AX700. The camera has a 4K resolution in addition to full HD, so you can expect a great quality of video. 

    It can also shoot long range, 12 times the distance from the camera without loss of resolution, making it perfect for sports and bird watching. This is easily seen on the 3.5 inch display. The Sony Ax700 is a really high quality option for almost everyone.

    The camera even has a ZEISS Vario Sonnar optical wide angle zoom lens, so you can practically shoot anything that you want without breaking the bank. Sony has made a quality camera for less than some of the other options on our list.

    Ease of Use 

    Many features on this camera are easy to use even for a beginner; however, an expert will find the settings exciting in terms of options.

    If you plan on using the camera for live streaming, then there is an additional package for only a bit more money that will enable you to switch easily.

    Durability

    The camera is very durable, but it is not built to be dropped or left in water. If you need a camera that can go with you into high stress situations, then you should look to a more sport-friendly model.

    Design Quality ​

    The camera is easy to use, light, and has high resolution. Sony has created a truly great handheld camcorder here with the AX700. Between the 4K resolution and the HD capability, there is hardly a spec of dust this camera will not pick up.

    Warranty 

    Sony protects the camera with a 1 year warranty on parts to keep you capturing images longer. However, the camera is built so well that you will probably not need to use the warranty.

    Pros

    • Full HD resolution included
    • Comparable price to other cameras on the market
    • Light when held
    • 4k resolution included

    Cons

    • Does not have as many features as some other cameras
    • No SD card included with the purchase

    Conclusion

    After much deliberation, the Panasonic HC-X1000 earns our highest rating of 5 stars overall. We considered the pros, cons, warranty, design, durability.

    And ease of use in addition to the prices of the camera. The Panasonic HC-X1000 came out ahead of all the competition.

    Huge points were scored in the camera's favor due to its use of 4K technology without costing an arm and a leg.

    It has great design due to its mid-sized and lightweight body; not to mention that everything comes included with the purchase of the camera. You are ready to shoot straight out of the box.

    Featured Image via Pixabay

    Samsung HMX-W300 Review – The Specs Of This Portable Camcorder

    Samsung HMX-W300

    If you think that the camera on your cell phone has replaced any need for a video camera or camcorder, the Samsung HMX-W300 may change your mind. Granted, some camcorders from just a few years ago seem as obsolete as an Edison Cylinder Phonograph when compared to the video capabilities of even a modestly priced smartphone. However, there are more things to consider than just pixels and convenience that might tilt you in favor of a more traditional camcorder for specific situations.

    When it comes to taking simple family vacation photos, a cell phone may be all you ever need to capture those precious moments. Pictures are easy to take -- and easy to retake -- with no conversion necessary to post them on any form of social media. So why would you need a separate camcorder?

    Camcorder vs. Smartphone

    Consider all the rough and tumble conditions of a family vacation. Your smartphone works fine for snapshots around the dinner table at Grandma’s house. But do you want to try to make quality videos with a cell phone when you’re hiking, tubing, fishing, boating, or engaging in most any other outdoor vacation activities?

    The idea of risking your expensive smartphone under these adverse conditions begins to seem somewhat impractical, if not nightmare inducing. The more stable and rugged camcorder can take much more abuse than your cell phone. Add to this the fact that the Samsung HMX-300 is waterproof and is affordable.

    So, if you are looking for a simple to use, inexpensive, waterproof, robust camcorder, the Samsung HMX-300 may be just one of the most useful things you pack for your vacation.

    Enter the Samsung HMX-W300

    The Samsung HMX-W300 has a very lightweight feel for a rugged camcorder. It can take the bumps and dusty conditions for a week in the woods without having to be heavy and bulky. Samsung lets you choose from three colors: red, orange, or black. Its dimensions are roughly the same as an iPhone, which makes it small enough to comfortably fit in your purse, beach bag, or jacket pocket. You’ll find it light enough to hang from a wrist strap.


    The HMX-W300 looks a lot like the previous Samsung W200, but it was designed to be more "water-friendly." The new plastic membrane type buttons eliminate the gap between the buttons and the camera. This feature keeps water, dirt, and debris out of the unit.


    It is waterproof, all the way to a depth of up to 16 feet, which is pretty impressive. But note that it can only stay submerged for about an hour before it needs to come out. After using this camera underwater, it is essential to wash it with fresh water and allow it to dry. It is also shock resistant up to six feet so that it can take most of the bumps and knocks of your vacations far better than the average cell phone.


    When you first pick it up, it may even feel a bit too lightweight at first, but keep in mind that we are not talking about a $500 professional camcorder. This unit is built to travel light and move fast.


    It also wasn’t made to look like a $500 camcorder. It has the outward appearance of something more utilitarian than stylish.

    Lens And Controls Configuration

    The Samsung HMX W300 camcorder comes with a 4.3mm, f2.2 lens on the front and a 230k LCD display at the rear. It also comes with several waterproof control buttons to make various adjustments and change the settings. The entire unit is strategically covered with an easy to grip coating to keep it your hand instead of in the water. The zoom control and the underwater mode adjustment are also on the back.

    The power button, HTML port, and microSD card port are all on the left while the USB connection is at the bottom.

    What You Get In The Box

    The Samsung HMX-W300 comes with a wrist strap and not much else. It does not come with a charger, because you can use any USB charger you currently have. Also, you can use the same USB charger for your cell phone or computer to get the job done.

    Simple Controls

    The menus and the navigation of the Samsung HMX-W300 are easy to use and simple to operate. It is not a complicated unit, and operation is quick and easy to master. One button toggles between photo mode and video mode. The main menu is also relatively simple and will get you up and running must faster than most more complicated cameras.

    Features

    As you may expect for the price, there are not a lot of features here to speak of. The HMX-W300 is made to be simple and easy to use.


    Samsung made a huge impression with their previous model, the HMX-W200. It was also a rugged underwater camcorder, but the new version is still a bit of an improvement. The HMX-W300 can go a bit deeper underwater, it boasts of an improved button design, and it comes with a few more filters and a white balance. Unfortunately, it lacks manual exposure setting or any focus adjustment. It's not set up for fine photography, but for quick and rugged use.


    That being said, it has very good image sharpness and better than average low light capability for its price.


    Despite its “quick and easy’ design, the HMX-W300 does have a few tricks up its sleeve including still and video filters. You can add a fisheye mode, a retro setting, a negative setting and a few other settings that you may find interesting.


    It also features 29.6mm wide-angle lens, 3x optical zoom and installed video editing software. The 3x zoom feature tends to use up your battery, so if you’re out on the water or in the wild, you may want only use it for unique shots.


    The installed Intelli-Studio for Windows software has a suite of standard features. Best of all, you can run the software from the camcorder, so there’s no need to download yet another program to your computer.


    One of the better options on the Samsung HMX-W300 is the pause recording feature. Instead of stopping and starting your videos, you can push the pause button for just one clip capturing your fun.


    And just in case your new Samsung HMX-W300 camcorder has a manufacturing defect or does not work the way it's supposed to through no fault of your own, Samsung will replace it via the warranty on your device that lasts for an entire year, so you can rest assured that you are purchasing a product that should work properly from the moment you turn it on and start using it. You can also send your device to Samsung for repairs should you require it.

    Auto Share

    While it does have something called an “auto-share” feature, it may not be what you think it is. It will not connect you to a Wi-Fi connection to share your pictures and videos with social media. You must first connect your camcorder to your computer via the USB port. Once this is accomplished you may then connect to your accounts to share your images. What it does do easily is provide tagging for photos and videos during playback on the camera, which saves you some time later when uploading them to your computer.

    A Few Cons

    The HMX-W300 is a very good camcorder for the price, but it is not without its difficulties. When it is used in bright sunlight, the display is nearly impossible to see. This makes it not only difficult to adjust, but it’s also impossible to know if the unit is set to video recording or normal picture taking.


    While this device will record video for up to two hours, it only does so for 15 minutes at a time. The recording will stop, but will start a new 15 minute video automatically. However, you could lose a precious moment because it happened between the end of one video and the start of the next one.


    In addition, the audio is exceptional, but not the best.

    Specifications

  • Lens: 3x Zoom
  • Image sensor type: 1/3.2" BSI CMOS
  • Display type: 2.3-inch LCD screen / 230,000 pixels
  • Video format: AAC audio and H.264 video (.MP4)
  • Video resolution: Full HD 1920x1080 30p/25p (17Mbps), HD 1280x720 30p/25p (8MBps)
  • Still image format: JPEG
  • Still resolution: 5.5MP (2720x2040) / 4:3, 3MP (2048x1536) / 4:3, 2MP (1920x1080) / 16:9, VGA (640x480) / 4:3
  • Product dimensions (W x H x D): 2.3 x 4.4 x .0.7 inches
  • Weight: 0.3 lb.
  • Power: USB battery charging
  • Software: Intelli-Studio for Windows
  • Pros

    Cons

  • Inexpensive
  • Small and comfortable to hold on to
  • Simple controls

  • Average image quality
  • “Auto share” is a bit misleading
  • Utilitarian design
  • No manual zoom
  • Getting Started

    The video below from the Carson City Library will help you get set up on the Samsung HMX-W300 with ease.

    At Check on Amazon, the HMX-W300 is a great value. It is easy to operate, durable, and has very good picture quality. It doesn’t offer a great deal of fine tuning adjustment or manual controls. Still, you will not find a better underwater camera for shooting still pictures and video at this price.

    Samsung didn't design the HMX-W300 for photographers looking for a high-end camera for professional photographs and videos. Those of you who like to have lots of controls to fine-tune their pictures and videos might not look favorably on this model, either.