Long gone are the days where we couldn’t record our best moments in life. With so many camera types out there, we can record every moment of our life. Camcorders are one of them. In this article, i decided to reivew the 5 best camcorders for professional video recording in 2019. I did test more than 15 different models, and concluded that the best ones out there are the following.
1. Panasonic HC-V770
We started our best camcorders list with a Panasonic camcorder, and we are going to finish it with one. The Panasonic HC-V770 is an HD only camcorder that shines with its ease of use and clear and accurate video quality. It is a versatile little machine that can shoot various scenes and ambients. Unlike your smartphone they are built for one thing only, shooting quality content. Yes, most of the other camcorders offer 4K shooting, however, if you do not need 4K shooting the Panasonic HC-V770 provides amazing quality in HD. It provides excellent value for the features it provides, a must buy.
The Panasonic HC-V770 is a very comfortable camcorder to shoot with two hands. But it is pleasant enough too with one hand. Most of the functions are controlled from the touch-screen of the flip-out LCD display. However, near the lens there is also a separate function dial. That lets you access some quick manual settings. But it is not as convenient as a lens ring, but once you get past the learning curve it will make your life easier.
The camcorder has the 1/2.3-inch back-illuminated CMOS with 12.76-megapixel design. The 6.03 megapixels are put to use for videos and photos, triple the amount needed for Full HD. Some of the amount of megapixels left is used in the Intelligent Zoom technology that raises the 20x optical zoom to 50x. The other part is put to use for the Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization. This is a combination of the standard OIS with some kind of in-body sensor stabilization. It is a very good system and the results are very smooth, the best in its category.
The Panasonic HC-V770 shoots only in 1080p Full HD resolution at a progressive 50 frames per second. Panasonic’s Crystal Engine video processor takes the slow-motion video that is recorded at 100fps and interpolates it up to 200fps, and then plays it back to you in 50fps. Pretty amazing for its price. It also has full range WiFi capabilities which are not apparent at its category.
This camcorder with tons of features and amazing Full HD recording quality, is an amazing tool for family use. And if you want to get the most bang for your buck, then you should give the Panasonic HC-V770 a shot.
2. Sony FDRAX33
It is very hard convincing people to buy camcorders these days, and are right for their reasons. Firstly the phones provide good video quality, even 4K in some cases and are very easy and comfortable to use and carry around. You cannot see a tourist with a camcorder anymore. But there is a special kind of people that always keep a camcorder handy. The Sony FDR-AX33 is palm-sized tiny camcorder that features 4K video quality and Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization to provide crisp and high-resolution video even when you are on the move, perfect for keeping your little ones in focus.
The camcorder is specifically designed for use with the right hand, all the controls are placed so that you can easily reach and control the camera. The take photo button, zoom in and out and the record button, are in your right hands reach. The device is very small but substantial, it weighs a little more than other at 655grams, but is easily manageable with one hand 99% of the time.
You can turn on the camcorder by pulling out the viewfinder or opening the 3-inch LED touch-screen display.
An interesting thing about this camcorder is that everybody who picks it up immediately loves it.
It is the home version of the larger professional use camera we talked about in the beginning of this list. The feature that most of the buyers reported as to have pleased them was the Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization technology. You can easily see the lens moving inside to offset camera shake. It offers you clean shooting experience, that smartphones cannot give with no image stabilization and digital zoom. The image stabilization technology has 3 modes active, standard and off. All the adjustments on the camcorders are made for installing the superior image stabilization system. Apart from the 4K resolution with high-detail and sharpness, the Balanced Optical SteadyShot is the main selling point of this camcorder.
The Sony FDR-AX33 is nearly a perfect camcorder you can find for non-professional use. It even can compare with better and professional camcorders. A mini-camcorder that I can recommend to everybody. You will most definitely get the best shots with this 4K camcorder with awesome image stabilization.
3. Canon VIXIA HF R800
The Canon VIXIA HF R800 is a functional and cute camcorder that will help you capture special moments. The new compact cylinder design of the camcorder fits all hand sizes comfortably. Its large screen is a delight to preview your photos. It is fairly easy to use and has some in-camera features that will make shooting moments a joy on its own.
The device may not be very attractive, or have a contemporary design that the newer models have. The removable battery is strangely placed there in the back and gives the unit a weird look. It weighs 310 grams making in it one of the heaviest camcorders. But its handle gives it a secure and comfortable grip. The weight may put fatigue on your arm, but combined with the comfortable handle your videos will be smoother and less shaky.
The DIGiC DV 4 image processor provides an amazing imaging performance. The system captures more light in the dark scenes remarkably. The images were brighter and mostly noise-free. The image stabilization works flawlessly as it shoots speedy scenes with clear images. The 3.2 Mp Full HD CMOS Image Sensor captures every moment in high definition 1920×1080 resolution. Noise is almost non-existent and every frame looks perfect and has natural color, as a result of the on-chip noise reduction technology. The storage capacity depends on your preference. It supports up to 64GB of SD card, which means hours and hours of footage.
The Canon VIXIA HF R800 has a very useful feature called File Lock, that protects your work. It is simply set on and disables copying, deleting, trimming and MP4 conversion. It even doesn’t let others use the camcorder. The built-in video editor is not the easiest to use and takes a slight learning curve. But once you learn its ways and tricks the benefits are amazing.
It provides USB connectivity for easy transfer and sorting. The 57x Advanced Zoom eliminates any disruption that can occur while filming. The SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer provides sharp and smooth videos, you do not have to worry much about camera shake.
With its moderate price, and tons of family-friendly features the Canon VIXIA HF R800 is a bargain.
4. Sony HDR-CX405
Sony HDR-CX405 may be a little old as a model, some may say outdated but this camcorder features an Exmor R CMOS sensor and a Carl Zeiss wide-angle zoom lens with 30x optical zoom, has lots of features and specs that could make this device a handy budget camcorder.
Design wise the Sony HDR-CX405 looks simple and bland. It maybe gives that impression because it is an older model or because the manufacturer has put the focus elsewhere.
The camcorder weighs 220 grams, a very lightweight device. But it has a nice hand strap for secure and natural carrying. A user-friendly design trick was the built-in USB cable for data transfer and charging the device. The screen of the camcorder is non-touch capable, because of its small size., just 2.7-inch display. Next to the display are located the joystick and preview button, making this camcorder one of the easiest to use. On the back there are the common recording buttons and the zoom lever on top of the camcorder.
The camcorder supports the MP4 and AVCHD codecs, and Sony’s own XAVC S format that allows you to record 50Mbps 1080p video at 60p. Its wide-angle Carl Zeiss lens provides better than average video quality and effortless control on the zoom, which is 30x optical that sounds a little boring. But the camcorder provides the Clear Image Zoom, that uses engineered algorithms that in turn allow the lens to zoom up to 60x. It has 7 picture effects which you can apply and face detection, that improves the video quality for the scenes where people are involved. A very good feature for family use, especially recording your children.
The Sony HDR-CX405 does a nice job of making everything easier for you. For example the introduction of the Intelligent Auto feature. This feature picks the appropriate scene setting depending on your scene. It can pick from 60 combinations to get the best video quality. It also comes with SteadyShot image stabilization to help you get that smooth video. The 3-Way Shake Cancelling adds stability and captures smooth videos.
With its budget price and family-friendly features the Sony HDR-CX405 is a nice investment that will help you capture the nicest moments.
5. Panasonic HC-X1000
Starting our best camcorders list, we have a great product by Panasonic. Designed specifically for professional use, the Panasonic HC-X1000 is an affordable 4K camcorder that will help you stay up-to-date with the latest tech. It has built-in ND filters and 20x optical zoom. With a 4K 8MP 1/2.3-inch BSI sensor this Panasonic camcorder shoots amazingly at Ultra High Definition.
Who is this camera for, is the most important question you should ask before considering this product. It shoots in 4K, and it is pretty versatile with MP4, AVCHD and MOV codecs. But because of its small sensor, the Panasonic HC-X1000 is pretty difficult in dynamic range. Also it has minimal room for manipulation in post-production. Because of all that it is not appropriate for indie filmmakers.
It is best tailored for commercial use like shooting for weddings and events. So if your customers are demanding 4K shootings then this camcorder is for the job.
The Panasonic HC-X1000 has all the buttons and switches that are situated in a traditional camera, so there is no learning curve.
There are also two white balance presets for quick switching for ambients that have changing light conditions. One of them is set at 3200k for tungsten, the other at 5600k for daylight. The optical zoom 20x is very versatile and can be used in so many scenarios, the autofocus is at hand as well. The autofocus performed very consistently and predictably, never flying somewhere undesirable to ruin a shot. However, the depth of field was a little lacking. The image stabilization also works amazingly, it uses software and optical stabilization.
Panasonic introduces another idea of theirs to this camcorder. It provides the ability of never missing a shot, with dual SD slots. Dual SD cards can be used for continuous recording without the need for changing the SD. An amazing feature for event or sports coverage.
The image quality that we have observed recorded by the Panasonic HC-X1000 is very detailed and sharp 4K quality to start with. However, with that amount of sharpness also comes the noise levels that are very high.
To conclude, the HC-X1000 is versatile and useful. With a countless list of features it will prove that it is a nice tool for your studio.