Best Camcorders Under $200 For 2019 – Buyers Guide

Camcorders are one of the best image recording devices available in the market today. With advancements in the lens technology, they capture clear and high-resolution videos that even the modern cameras and smartphones can’t beat. I am going to review the best camcorders under $200 for 2019 so that i can make it easy for you decide which one you should go for.

In the market, there are a variety of camcorders that come with different features and prices. Since camcorder still offer the best user experience when it comes to recording quality images in real-time, you can get some models that come at a pocket-friendly price.

In this post, we review the best camcorders under $200 and show you some of the things to check out to help you settle for the right camcorder within your budget.

A Mini Review of Each Recommendation

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Best Camcorders Under $200 For 2019


Product Review

Panasonic HC-V180K

Panasonic HC-V180K

If you are planning to capture your scenes with a full HD resolution whether you are in an up-close distance or far away, the Panasonic HC-V180K might be your ideal pick. It comes with a 28mm wide-angle lens that perfectly fits into the frame even when working in tighter settings.

This camcorder also comes with a larger 50x optical range when you are closer to the subject. However, if you need to get very close you will have to push the optical range to up 90x by use of intelligent zoom function. Moreover, the intelligent zoom brings digital zoom, advanced image up-scaling and sharpening technology to produce clearer videos.
The Panasonic HC-V180K also comes with a 5-axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization technology that is great at suppressing jitters and blurring in the videos taken when you are not utilizing the tripod or any other stabilizer.

The backside illuminated sensor makes it possible to let you shoot even in the low light settings. The creative control effects enable you to add effects. These in-built creative control modes include the silent movie, 8mm movie, miniature effect, and the time-lapse recording.

Pros

  • High-resolution camcorder
  • Easy to charge the battery
  • Excellent video quality

Cons

  • No remote control
  • It becomes a bit hot after prolonged use
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Sony HDRCX405

This is the cheapest camcorder in this review but comes with a host of features that never disappoints. It features an Exmor R CMOS sensor that enables Sony HDRCX405 to capture full HD video as well as 9.2MP static images with excellent clarity, minimum noise with a soft background defocusing to allow for a more professional appearance. Furthermore, it comes with 26.8mm wide-angle lens which will allow fitting of more into the frame.

The HDR-CX405 comes with a 30x optical zoom and a 60x Clear Image digital zoom to deliver sharp, clear, and high-quality videos. Its Sony Optical SteadyShot image stabilization makes blur videos that are common due to zooming and camera shake a thing of the past. The image will remain steady and clear during the entire zoom range.

It also comes with an AVCHD and MP4 formats for high-quality and easy sharing and transferring of videos. And for the higher versatility, you can record both AVCHD and MP4 formats at the same time. With the AVCHD, you can produce a premium quality video that can be played on large screen HDTVs while the MP4 is great for quick sharing on social platforms.

The Sony HDR-CX405 also comes with an in-built high-speed USB 2.0 cable that offers a quick connection to your computer for transfer of files and charging as well.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Great lens for excellent videos and stabilization
  • Very affordable
  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Built-in USB cord for easy file transfer and charging

Cons

  • Flashcard cover is easy to lose
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GoPro HERO5 Black

This camcorder brings a balance of convenience and performance courtesy of its excellent features which allow you to capture different. It comes with an immersive 4K stunning video and 12MP photos in single, burst and time-lapse modes making it one of the best at delivering high-quality videos and images.

Operating the GoPro HERO5 Black is simplified with its one button press to power the camcorder and begin recording automatically. Furthermore, it comes with a 2.0-inch touchscreen display which makes the operation even simpler.

This camcorder is designed to be waterproof up to 33 feet even though the absence of the casing will make the components exposed. Its front lens cover is also removable as it comes with a range of filters that you can use to enhance your footage recording especially when diving.

It is designed to be compatible with GoPro accessories such as Quick Key USB, mobile microSD card reader for easy downloading and transfer of files when your computer is not near you. it also allows voice control so that you can enjoy hands-free control.

The video stabilization feature allows for excellent smooth video whether mounted on tripod or handheld. With the optional GoPro Plus subscription, the HERO5 black can auto upload footage directly to the cloud allowing for easy access.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • It is waterproof
  • Excellent voice control
  • Outstanding video quality

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Difficult to pair with a smartphone
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YI 4K+Action Camera

YI 4K+ Action Camera

If you want stunning video quality, you can get this YI 4K+Action camera that is the world’s first action camera to record 4K videos. It features a built-in Sony IMX377 image sensor that captures 12MP images and shoots ultra-high-quality full HD videos.

The excellent in-built electronic image stabilization produced stunningly smooth and steady videos in 4K/30fps resolution allowing for greater experience in filming fast-moving subjects. The Ultra responsive 2.2-inch Gorilla Glass retina touchscreen displays all the images in a crystal clear and bright enough. It also makes the changing of settings, switching of modes playbacks and preview of footage very easy.

It comes with durable battery life with a high capacity of 1200mAh that effectively supports the filming of 4K/60fps for up to 70 minutes. The USB-C connection offers an easy and efficient way of charging and quick transfer of files.

This is a lightweight and versatile travel camcorder that comes with a host of other features that include real-time streaming, voice control, in-built Bluetooth low energy, and Wi-Fi as well as supports external type-C microphone. However, some customers have an issue with the audio as they say it is barely functional.

Pros

  • High-quality and sharp 4K video
  • Excellent image stabilization
  • Great range of video resolution

Cons

  • Poor audio
  • Not waterproof
  • No GPS tagged locations
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Canon VIXIA HF R800

Canon VIXIA HF R800

Canon VIXIA HF800 is one of the most reliable camcorders that are not only designed and built in with the camcorder traditional feel and look but also lightweight and portable. It comes with simple but very useful features that enhance its ease of use making it great for amateurs and professional videographers.

This camcorder comes with a remarkable 57x advance zoom that allows for the creation of videos of a dynamic variable that is less likely to disrupt the action you are filming. With this lens, you can zoom from 32.5mm to 1853mm for amazing versatility in filming. To have better control of your creativity, this camcorder offers a variable zoom speed settings.

The optical stabilization is great at helping to correct camera shake so that it delivers steady and sharp videos. The VIXIA HF800 comes with a 3.28 MP Full HD CMOS Image Sensor that allows for capturing your memorable experiences in a true high resolution. The HD CMOS image sensor captures high-quality videos and images even in low light settings.

This camcorder is equipped a 3-inch capacitive touch LCD screen that is bright and clear even in the sun outdoors. It features a streamlined user interface that makes the operations easier and fun.

It is designed and built to be compact, lightweight and convenient enough to be carried to whatever events and trips you attend. The high capacity rechargeable lithium-ion battery allows for longer shooting period and the intelligent technology accurately shows the remaining battery time so you won’t run out of charge abruptly making you miss an important filming opportunity.

Pros

  • Easy to use in-built video editor
  • Impressive zooming feature
  • Automatic color, adjustment, and stabilization
  • Great video quality
  • Great battery life

Cons

  • No more feature enhancement options
  • No built-in memory
  • Not great in low light settings
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Sony HDRCX440

Sony HDRCX440

The Sony HDRCX440 doesn’t just take the best video it records in up to 1080p HD resolution and takes stunning still images as well. Even though it doesn’t match up with the other reviewed camcorders in terms of video quality, the footages are still good enough. It is great at precise color balancing making it great at filming.

The Sony HDRCX440 comes equipped with 30x optical zoom that is best in terms of zooming since it doesn’t degrade the image quality. It also features a more magnifying power that surpasses even some high-end camcorders.

It features integrated Wi-Fi which makes it easy for downloading the videos to your smartphone or transfer videos directly to your phone. With the Wi-Fi, you can also control the camcorder via your smartphone. This can be great if you are planning to utilize your camcorder as a security camera.

It comes with a host of accessories that include USB cord, AC adaptor, camera battery, and HDMI cable.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to use
  • Great video quality for occasional home use
  • Integrated Wi-Fi for easy sharing and downloading of files

Cons

  • Fragile lens cover
  • Not shockproof or waterproof
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Detailed Review & Buying Guide

Buying a camcorder can be easy or challenging, but this depends on the information you have about camcorders prior to your shopping. The aim of this guide is to equip you with the right information that will help you make an informed buying decision. Check out what you need to know!

What type of camcorder do you want?
This is a question you should answer before you hit the road to shop for your camcorder. There are two types of camcorders to choose from – full-sized camcorder and action cam.

First, let’s see the difference.

Full-sized camcorders

These models provide more video functionality that goes beyond playing it back on TV. It allows you to edit and even embellish a video with music using a computer and then produce videos that can be played on computer, DVD or Blue-ray players. Also, you can send recording via email or upload your clips to YouTube and other sites.

Also, most full-sized camcorders come with at least 10x optical zoom and as much as 50x. They have image stabilizers that prevent recording of a jittery video due to hand tremble or other factors when at maximum zoom. Best of all, they most of them come with HDMI output for connecting to an HDTV.

Action Cams

This type is compact and lightweight compared to a full-sized model. They are typically designed for individuals who engage in outdoor activities and sports like surfing, biking, snowboarding among others and desire to capture the action moments. Owing to their small compact size, they often lack LCD and viewfinder features, but on the other hand, some have a rugged and waterproof exterior and the casing is removable allowing you to attach it on the helmet or any other object using its mounting brackets.

So which one will you pick?

If quality and more functionality are all you want in a camcorder, then a full-sized model is the most ideal. But if you are planning to travel around with your camcorder, consider an action cam as it is compact and more portable. But also bear in mind that today full-sized camcorders are designed to be small-sized and lightweight enough compared to original models. You can easily hold it in your hand even with its powerful features like Ultra High Definition or 4K resolution and higher optical zoom lens among others.

Price

Price plays a greater role when it comes to buying products. The thumb rule is you get what you pay for. As such, we strongly advise customers against purchasing cheap camcorders as they are often synonymous with poor quality videos and insufficient features. You can find better camcorders for general use within a budget range of $150 to $200.

Camcorders prices are influenced by functionality and features that they come with. Most camcorders within a $200 budget range come with features and functionalities that will satisfy most home users who would like to record occasionally.

Action cams are slightly expensive and we advise against settling for the cheapest model since they don’t get the careful handling of budget and prosumer types thus must come with a compact construction with tougher components. So for an action camcorder, be ready to pay slightly more than $200 for a better action camcorder.

But if you are planning to take your video recording to a whole new level, you can expand your budget to over $500 to accommodate the price tag that comes with the best quality camcorders.

What are the Important Features to look for?
With a broad range of features and prices, it is recommended that you identify the best camcorder under $200 for your needs. In order to settle for the right camcorder, you need to consider important features that are synonymous with the best camcorder under $200. Here are some of the important features to look for.

Image Sensors

This is the most important component you will look for as it converts the scene into a digital signal for filming. Image sensors in two types, the Charge Couple Device and Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor and neither of them are better than the other. So they make no real difference once you buy.

However, the physical size of the sensor really matter. Obviously, a larger image sensors more light variation thus records more detailed videos. A 1/2 –inch is good for a camcorder, but a slight difference in sensor size will truly make a great difference in video quality.

Resolutions

When it comes to resolution most camcorders come with 1080p resolution. However, the best models feature 4K resolution. The images recorded by the 4K are twice as much pixel per inch as HD. Even though this makes excellent results, there are still limitations. The output quality is often limited by the screen on which the recording is played. But if you are going to use an HD TV or a standard computer monitor the 4K pixel won’t make any difference.

Frames per second (fps)

Camcorders like other video capture devices take a rapid series of stationary images then the playback gives the impression of motion. Good camcorders come with fps rate of about 30 or greater. Less than this the video captured will appear jerky. However, there are rates of up to 120 fps in the market but some individuals feel that the videos produced are not real. It is advisable to choose a camcorder with 30 fps and above.

Zoom

This allows you to capture the images from a distance. Camcorders come with different zooms. While the lens provides the optical zoom, the camcorder’s software provides the digital zoom. Although the digital zoom appears excellent compared to the optical zoom, however, it causes distortion. So the more you zoom with the digital zoom, the more you get your image degraded. Overall, the optical zoom no matter how little it is better than any digital zoom

Video Stabilization

When recording, hand-shake is very common and it can get exaggerated when using a zoom. In fact, even the slightest shake or movement can spoil the video. However, the auto video stabilization makes a great difference, especially when taking action shots. Makes sure you check out this feature in order to shot excellent action videos.
Low Light Compensation
The low light compensation is a great feature especially when recording in a dim indoor lighting, bad weather, or late in the evening. Under these circumstances, the low light compensation feature helps you record high-quality footage regardless of these conditions.

Sound

The sound feature is great if audio filming is crucial. Even the cheaper camcorders come with a reasonable sound quality feature. However, better ones come with advanced sound control feature for better sound quality. So be sure to pick one with a good sound audio quality.

Weight

Camcorders are made to be light and portable but their weight is determined by the kind of shooting activity they are designed for. Even though a camcorder weighing 1.5 or 2.0 pounds isn’t problematic, you won’t want to mount it on your helmet especially when racing on a mountain bike. This where action cams are great as they come with a much lighter weight.

Viewfinder or Screen

Camcorders may come with both LCD and the viewfinder for excellent framing of your video and they vary in sizes but 2 to 3 inches are common with most models. Some models camcorders come with touch-sensitive that allows easy control of all the features right from the screen. However, action cams don’t often come with a viewfinder and some don’t even come with a screen.

Capacity

High resolution and quick frame rates often create larger files and need to be stored on internal flash memory, SD or both. Make sure you check the internal memory capacity keenly because some often come with very little onboard memory. For additional capacity, you may require to part with more cash.

Output

High-end camcorders come with a variety of ways to share your videos to your computer, laptop or any other devices. The HDMI output is the most common way you can connect your camcorder to a TV or computer monitor. Actions and other models also offer USB option for transferring files to your computer.
Some also come with Wi-Fi or FTP that allow quick uploads of videos to various social sites. You can also have an easy time sharing your videos to tablets and smartphones. Moreover, real-time broadcasting is possible even though extra software feature is required.

“Smart” Connection

Some camcorders come with a smart connection feature that allows them to connect to smartphones and other smart devices using Near Field Communications technology. However, the functionality and options available vary.

Conclusion

There goes the list of best camcorders under $200 for 2019 that you can find in the market today. All these camcorders come at pocket-friendly prices and have great features to capture the great moments in an excellent way. The Panasonic HC-V180K is our winner as it comes with excellent features that are unmatched with the other camcorders yet at an affordable price compared to some of the models we reviewed.

We hope this review helps you with a deep insight to make an informed decision when buying a camcorder within a $200 budget range!

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