Best Camcorder 2018 – Buyer’s Guide

Documenting situations and moments allows you to enjoy them twice, once as they’re happening and another time when you review them, and the best way to document your favorite moments is with a Camcorder.

In the following guide, I’ll go through the best camcorders for 2018 and help you choose which camcorder you will use to remember the remarkable moments of your life.

Best Camcorder 2018

1. Sony 4K FDR-AX33 – Best Camcorder 2018 

Let’s start off with the FDR-AX33’s amazing image and video quality. It shoots 4K footage that has about four times more detail than Full HD footage (3840 x 2160 pixels vs 1920 x 1080), it also captures vivid images with incredible quality.

The FDR-AX33 is more than 30% smaller and more than 20% lighter than the FDR-AX100, so it makes it the most portable 4K camcorder. With the advanced Balanced Optical SteadyShot, you can get blur-free footage, even if your hand shakes a little or there is some bumpiness.

Enjoy super-sampled Full HD playback with the enhanced viewing experience even without a 4K television, as the FDR-AX33 automatically down-converts 4K material to intricately detailed Full HD.

You can also select a specific portion of the picture during playback and view it in full HD, thanks to the 4K high resolution. You can change the cropped portion of the footage with the zoom lever or on-screen display icon.

The user-friendly manual controls present to allow you total customization. So you can use the multi-purpose manual ring to adjust zoom, focus, exposure, IRIS, shutter speed, AE shift, or white balance shift mode after using the manual button to select the mode. Finally, you get accurate image previews with the brilliant electronic viewfinder.

Because some footage is best shared in real time, the FDR-AX33 offers Live Streaming through Ustream, so you can share things as they happen with high-quality video and audio.

Highlight Movie Maker gives you the perfect finish, as you can edit your videos with time-saving features, add highlight points to important moments while recording, and sync your transitions to your chosen soundtrack, so you get a video that feels like a mini-movie.

Sony has incorporated amazing technology in the FDR-AX33, where you get enhanced image clarity, noise reduction in dark environments, and soft background defocusing with the Exmor R CMOS sensor, while the BIONZ X image processing engine delivers vivid and lifelike image quality as well as faster processing capabilities.

The Wide-angle ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T*Lens is a 29.8mm lens that provides 10 times optical zoom which is ideal for shooting big landscapes and various scenes, and it’s also fine-tuned specially for 4K.

If you’re not in the mood for video-shooting and would rather take a still photo, you get the best 20.6 MP quality for still images.

The FDR-AX33 offers more amazing features like the superb night shooting, motion shot video that allows you to notice every split second of action, a dual video recording that allows you to record in XAVC or AVCHD format and another in MP4 format.

It also has face detection and smiles shutter, a 5.1 ch microphone, lock on AF to shoot fast-moving objects with enhanced precision, auto wind noise reduction, my voice canceling to reduce the intensity of sounds coming from behind the camera. All of these features in mind could make us deem the FDR-AX33 the best camcorder for 2018.

Finally, the Xtra Fine LCD features a WhiteMagic display that uses white pixels and RGB pixels to increase screen brightness, so you can view the most subtle details and tones in all types of shooting environments, either outdoors in bright sunlight or during the night in night vision.

Pros:

  • Brilliant quality of both image and audio
  • Great optical image stabilization
  • Amazing connectivity with NFC, WiFi and ports for both USB and MicroHDMI

Cons:

  • The quality of the CMOS sensor is not very good
  • Internal memory is quite limited

The Sony FDR-AX33 is a favorable camcorder for anyone who wants to get started on 4K video recording or simply wants a great camcorder. It delivers excellent specs, amazing 4K videos, and excellent still photos.

It’s considered as the best camcorder for 2018 by Camera Rated Editor’s.

2. Panasonic HC-V770 HD – Best Camcorder 2018 for the features

The Panasonic HC-V770 provides you with the best premium picture quality, with its advanced lens, sensor, and engine.

The Panasonic HC-V770 wouldn’t fail you in either bright or dark area, as it combines images taken with different exposure times and the HDR movie function adjusts highlights and blocked shadows for better and clearer videos.

You can connect your smartphone and use it as sub-camera where you can shoot from two angles simultaneously. So you can show different distances or different angles of your choice, and get a picture in picture images. This amazing feature qualifies the Panasonic HC-V770 to be the best camcorder for 2018.

Get up to 20 times optical zoom with the four-drive lens system, where each four lens groups are separated to result in high image quality, and high-powered zooming, all in a compact chassis.

Combined with the BSI (backside illumination) sensor that features a large effective area with 6.03 M effective pixels that reduces noise even in dim-lit shots, the high-speed Crystal Engine that lets you shoot and play Slow-Mo videos in Full-HD (1920 x 1080) at 120 fps, the Panasonic HC-V770 produces clear and vivid pictures.

You don’t have to worry about leveling your shot because the Panasonic HC-V770 has a level shot function that adjusts the tilting of the images you capture. You can set it to OFF, Normal, or Strong to accommodate your needs.

The 5-axis HYBRID O.I.S.+ uses five-axis correction to erase all blur from the wide-angle and powerful zoom shots. And both of them together work on providing you with pictures of great stability.

To match the amazing visual quality, the audio quality is top notch thanks to the Windshield zoom microphone that reduces wind noise, and four 6mm-diameter, high-S/N mics to reduce distortion of sounds and increase clarity.

The iA (intelligent auto) and iA plus mode function adjusts the camera to the shooting conditions and activates function to give you the optimal result. The iA plus mode also allows you to adjust the exposure compensation and white balance by a simple press of the button on the LCD.

The manual control is quite handy on the Panasonic HC-V770, where you can push or rotate the manual dial and adjust functions like focus, white balance mode, shutter speed, iris, sharpness, color saturation, and brightness.

There are various features you can make use of like the one-touch connection using NFC that lets you connect to a smartphone or tablet, or QR codes for the non-NFC phones.

Real-time broadcasting using Ustream, remote shooting or remote view using the Panasonic image app. And finally, a baby monitor so that you can check on your child from another room, and a push notification function that notifies you when it detects sounds with the voice sensor.

As well as home monitoring, highlight playback and easy share, auto transfer through wireless PC copy, and wireless TV playback.

Pros:

  • Incredible value
  • Great manual settings with control dial
  • Use your smartphone as a sub-camera with Wireless Twin Camera
  • Connectivity via WiFi

Cons:

  • The lens has no ring
  • Small sensor relative to a DSLR
  • No 4K shooting

The Panasonic HC-V770 delivers a variety of features and high-quality Full HD video that’s quite impressive, so it’s a very good choice if your budget isn’t so big as to get a 4K-shooting camcorder. And it can be considered the best camcorder in 2018 that doesn’t include 4K.

3. Besteker HD – Best Camcorder 2018 for The Money

The Besteker supports up to a 270-degree rotation with 3.0 inches TFT-LCD and fill-in infrared light. It has a Coms sensor and delivers 24-megapixel shots. It also provides you with a large storage space that is up to 32 gbs, it supports standard tripod and SD/SDHC card and has a wide 2.7 inches screen.

Enjoy extended footage with the long-lasting 1250 mAh and 3.7v lithium ion battery, that can be recharged up to 3000 times and is included with the camcorder.

It features HD camera camcorder with 1080p for video capture resolution, face capture to detects faces, auto power-off so you can set a timer to shut the camera off after 60 seconds, 120 seconds, or 180 seconds.

It also offers anti-shake to stabilize your shot, internal microphone, speaker, and LED light. The Besteker doesn’t fall short on connectivity as it has built-in USB 2.0 and TV output. It also offers optical zoom up to 1x.

The camera lens is fixed, with a F/3.2 aperture and it has adjustable sensitivity: automatic, ISO100, ISO200, or ISO400.

It’s quite lightweight and small with dimensions 4.3 x 2.1 x 2.4 inches and weighs 0.2 pounds, so it’s easy to carry around and store.

Pros:

  • Very portable
  • Screen is spacious
  • Perfect for amateurs

Cons:

  • The quality isn’t nearly the best
  • Very few features

The Besteker is a very limited-budget camcorder, with very few features and less than average technology, but it still provides you with 1920 x 1080 pixels display resolution and acceptable footage.

The Besteker HD is the best camcorder at it’s price.

4. Sony HD Video Recording HDR CX405 – Best Video Camera 2018 for beginners

Sony always packs its devices with ultimate high-end technology, and it didn’t forget the Sony HDR-CX405.

Enjoy steady footage with the Optical SteadyShot with intelligent Active Mode that gives you advanced image stabilization and keeps your images and videos blur-free.

If you’re shooting a still image or a video, the 1.05 wide-angle lens can help you include more of the landscapes shot and indoor scenes when you don’t have the space to step back.

Videographers can step their game up with the XAVC S format, which is taken from the XAVC used by professionals and employs intelligent data compression to deliver footage with consumer-friendly file sizes and filmmaker movie-quality.

Movie-making doesn’t stop here, as the Highlight movie maker extends the extent of professionalism in your video where you can edit it with many time-saving features, highlight markers to important moments while you record, and sync transitions to a soundtrack of your choice.

The built-in USB cable on the hand strap is great for extra-quick charging and connection to a PC and spares you the hassle of carrying an extra USB cable or AC adapter.

Sony has incorporated amazing technology in the HDR-CX405, where you get enhanced image clarity, noise reduction in dark environments, and soft background defocusing with the Exmor R CMOS sensor, while the BIONZ X image processing engine delivers vivid and lifelike image quality as well as faster processing capabilities.

The ZEISS delivers outstanding performance in a beautiful design, where it combines the best optics with high-end electronics and sensory technology. And if you’re not in the mood for video-shooting and would rather take a still photo, you get great 9.2 MP quality for still images.

The Sony HDR-CX405 offers more amazing features like the progressive recording where twice the image data of movies recorded in interlace mode, can be recorded in Full HD at 60p and 50p.

Each frame is recorded as an individual picture, and the images are as clear as those shot at 60 or 50 frames per second. Dual video recording or dual record mode, face detection, and smile shutter that shoots pictures once it detects a smile, even in while recording video.

Intelligent auto helps you out with 90 preset scene types, where it adjusts face, scene, and camera shake to accommodate the situation, even at night and backlit scenes. And to maximize quality in backlit and underexposed conditions, you can manually adjust iris and shutter speed to suit your needs.

Finally, the X type battery offers you lightness and compactness to minimize size and weight of the Sony HDR-CX405 while providing you with solid charging.

Pros:

  • Extraordinary zoom
  • Lighweight and portable
  • Vivid colors
  • Up to 64GB SDXC memory

Cons:

  • Battery isn’t the best
  • Focus could improve to be faster

If you’re just getting into video recording, the Sony HDR-CX405 would be your perfect choice. It’s priced perfectly and delivers very nice features and a wide storage. Though you may need a spare battery and some patients with the focus.
If you’re a beginner, the Sony CX405 will be the best video camera for you to buy in 2018.

5. GoPro Hero5 Black – Best Camcorder 2018 for Action and Adventure-Shooting

The Hero5 Black sets itself apart with a number of great features, with a 12-megapixel ultra HD (30 fps) camera, 4K video shooting at 30 frames per second, a 2 inches touch screen to let you preview, review, and edit the media you capture.

Furthermore, it’s waterproof up to 10 meters without an additional case, and it has single-button action mechanism. It also has built-in WiFi and Bluetooth to update your social media instantly and with absolute ease. It also has advanced video stabilization to keep handheld shots clear and sharp.

The Hero5 Black can be controlled with simple voice commands and has various modes: single shot, burst and time-lapse photos. There is also a built-in GPS to gather exact location information to tag photos with them.

You can control on-screen exposure to fine-tune every shot you capture. The noise rejection is advanced and records stereo audio clearly. You can also connect to cloud and upload all your media automatically so you don’t lose any of it. With a total pixel count 12 MP, as well as effective pixel count for video, and aspect ratio 16:9 for HD footage and 4:3 for a regular one. It comes with a year’s warranty on parts, labor and image sensor. Its size is 1.8 x 2.4 x 1.3 inches, and weight 0.26 pounds that make it extremely portable.

It has a lovely combination of features that are satisfactory both for audio and visual output.

But of course it’s not perfect, the battery life –especially with GPS, WiFi, Bluetooth, EIS on- isn’t the longest, and it’s not compatible with older batteries. Also, you need to pay 5 dollars per month for the auto upload feature to work.

Pros:

  • Amazing image quality
  • Electronic image stabilization
  • Superb microphones
  • Waterproof (up until 10 meters)

Cons:

  • Not compatible with older batteries
  • Touch screen isn’t very responsive

The Hero5 Black combines a lot of great features and adds to the Hero4 cameras, so it makes a great device for capturing every intricate detail around you and definitely makes it the best video camera for shooting adventures.

This Youtube video is done by GoPro channel.

Read more: Best Action Cameras for 2018.

Finally, buyer’s guide.

A lot of the items listed in this article can be considered the best camcorder 2018, it just depends on what you prioritize. Is it the resolution of the footage? The stabilization? The price? The portability? There are many factors that can make a camcorder the best video camera, and below I’ll list some of the most prominent ones.

  • Resolution

This indicated how many pixels there are in the footage. The more the pixels, the clearer the details are. The choice used to be between standard definition and high definition, but now it’s between HD and 4K.

4K resolution delivers about four thousand times the resolution of HD, though the footage has to be viewed on a 4K screen, so if you don’t have a TV or PC screen that supports 4K resolution, you’re better off with an HD one.

  • Sensor size

The size of the sensor plays a big role in the quality of your video. Though sensor size can vary among camcorders of the same resolution. But a rule of thumb when comparing two camcorders of the same resolution is that a bigger sensor size offers better image and video quality.

The sensor also plays a role in dim-lit shooting. A bigger sensor would be more capable of gathering light, and consequently offer better low-light footage.

  • Bit Rate

The higher the bit rate is, the bigger the file size, so the better the video quality (resolution and sensor being equal). However, higher bit rates mean that your storage space will be consumed faster, so you might want to pair a high bit rate camera with a spacious internal memory or one that is expandable.

  • Image stabilization

Image stabilization has become essential in our modern day and age. A good video or image can be completely useless if it’s shaky and blurred.

There are 2 types of stabilization; either electronic/digital or optical. Optical IS can be more expensive than electronic but it is more efficient.

OIS can compensate for 5 types of movements if it has 5-axis stabilization or 3 types of movements if it has 3-axis stabilization.

Final Words, Our Recommendation for The Best Camcorder 2018?

  • Sony 4K HD Video Recording FDR-AX33

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