Best Budget Camcorder for the Money 2018

Updated on January 8, 2018
A good camcorder simplifies the recording process. Whether you're a YouTuber or just want to make home videos, here's a look at the cameras I'd recommend at various price points.
A good camcorder simplifies the recording process. Whether you're a YouTuber or just want to make home videos, here's a look at the cameras I'd recommend at various price points.

As a YouTuber, I use a wide variety of devices to record my video. I use an autofocusing DSLR at home and a good camcorder while I'm out and about. My cell phone does a good job of keeping up with the rest.

While your recording gear certainly won't make or break your ability to make decent videos, it does make things a lot easier. That's why I like camcorders. They autofocus well, are relatively inexpensive, and easy to use.

Whether you're planning on doing professional video or simply want to record home videos here's a few good camcorders for the money you'll spend.

5 Good Quality Camcorders for the Money

Want a good camcorder for recording sports, YouTube videos, family events, or just a good and cheap option? Here's a look at my favorites in 2018.

A Good Camcorder Under $250

Canon Vixia HF R800 Camcorder

If you're looking for a less expensive option, I like the Canon Vixia HF. This camera was recently released and is a great camcorder for making videos.

As it's a less expensive camcorder, it does have a few flaws. Most specifically, it shoots a somewhat grainy picture when there's not enough light. That being said, the picture is amazing for a camcorder of only $250 if you're willing to be a bit flexible and stay in good light or use a lighting kit.

Final Thoughts:

For me the pros outway the cons including a 32x optical zoom with frame assist, long battery life of up to 2 hours, an 180-degree touch panel that swivels, and not to mention it's super lightweight and easy to hold.

Overall, it's still a fantastic value at around $250.

Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder (Black)
Canon VIXIA HF R800 Camcorder (Black)

The Vixia HF 4800 is the perfect option for a beginning YouTuber or video creator. It has a swivel LED screen so you can see yourself, takes great video in 1080p when it has good light, has an external mic input, and shoots in full HD. I'd suggest using something like the lighting kit below if you're planning to record indoors.

 

Video Test for the Canon Vixia HF R800

Here's a fun video with the Vixia HF R800 at Disney World on Thunder Mountain. This is a great example of how the footage gets grainy while in the tunnels and is very clear while outside. If you understand its limitations, the Vixia HF R800 gives you a fantastic picture for around $250.

Best 4k Camcorder for YouTube

If you're shooting videos professionally, it's never a bad idea to stay ahead of the curve. Here's an option that'll record in 4k. 1080p is still an option for those who want to save space.
If you're shooting videos professionally, it's never a bad idea to stay ahead of the curve. Here's an option that'll record in 4k. 1080p is still an option for those who want to save space.

If you want to try and stay ahead of the curve and record in 4k, I highly recommend the Sony 4K HD Handycam. The stabilizer is insanely good and the audio on it is amazing.

I know several bloggers who even get away with the onboard audio. It's ideal for vlogging or just taking with you anywhere you want to go. Because of its ease of use, I know many YouTubers who've gone away from using their standard DSLRs in favor of it.

That being said this camera is admittedly pricey for those just starting out. Don't get me wrong it's an amazing deal for the money you spend, but still pricey for many. Below, I'll list a few less expensive options as well.

A Rugged and Waterproof Camcorder Under $300

Kodak PlaySport (Zx5)

For the value, this camera is quite good. You get Full 1080p HD videos and 5 MP HD stills, with auto focus that will record up to 10 hours in 720p of video with the expandable SD card slot that will hold up to 32 GB. It also has a rugged design that repels rain, snow, sand, and dirt so it should last you a long time. For strength the edges are rubberized which gives it a high protection rating and allows it to take a fall of up to 5 feet without a problem. Despite its ruggedness the Zx5 is lightweight, at under a pound, and is hardly noticeable in your pocket.

Editing and Uploading Your Pictures is Easy:

With the Kodak Playsport Zx5 you have easy access to upload your videos on sites such as YouTube by using the built in software and the USB cable that is included with your purchase.

Editing has never been easier with this camera, as you can upload all your shots instantly into your computer. Also, you feel green while using it; it comes with two pre-charged AA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries and a charger for them as well. In addition, family or selfie shots have never been easier with its very handy remote control and tripod for steadiness.

With Kodak's Share button, you simply need to press it, choose where you are going to share it and then connect your camera to your PC or insert your card and your pictures are uploaded right where you designated them to be.

The image stabilization technology in this camera is excellent and makes the Zx5 a great camera on snorkeling trips. It can be used underwater for up to 2 hours.

Battery Life:

One of the things I love about it the most is the rechargeable battery system. While the power does get used up somewhat quickly - it's still good to know I don't have to continually purchase batteries.

Overall:

Overall this is a great camcorder for the money and my pick for best under $100. It's especially great if you love the outdoors and tend to be a little rough on your equipment.

A Good Value Camcorder Bundle Package Under $200

Samsung Camcorder Bundle Package
Samsung Camcorder Bundle Package

If you're looking for a bundle camcorder package, then look no further than the Samsung HMX-F90 package. It comes with the camcorder, and 11 items in total including a 32 GB memory card reader, a screen guard, tripod, and much more.

In addition, it comes with the HMX-F90 camcorder from Samsung which alone will cost you around $150. The camcorder itself records in 720p and has up to a 52x optical zoom. It's one of the better options in terms of value and what you get and is easy to hook into your TV with an HDMI output.

Final Thoughts

Overall you save a lot when you go with a bundle package like this and get a lot of really useful items to use with your camera. While it doesn't shoot in 1080p the 720p is much easier to store and is still very clear.

Sony Bloggie Touch Camcorder
Sony Bloggie Touch Camcorder

Sony Bloggie Touch Camera

Another great budget option is the Sony Bloggie touch camera which is the first generation model of the Sony Bloggie Sport (MHSTS22). Because it's a first generation model you can get it for well under $100 - and it's still a great pocket camcorder.

The 3 inch screen gives you a nice place to view your videos and has touch screen technology. Something that this camera does that not all will do, is take still pictures while taking video at the same time. Your videos are recorded in full HD 1080p video and the camera has a 4x digital zoom. Your still pictures are captured at 12.8 MP. Image stabilization has also been focused on with this camera and many users find that it works very well at eliminating the shake and blur you can often get.

There are no cables included with this camera as it has its own USB arm to connect to any PC. Buyers should be aware that HDMI cables need to be purchased separately. Sharing videos is as easy as ever with this camera so you can upload anytime.

Users have reported that low light shooting still leave you with grainy pictures and that it has no flash whatsoever. This could be a drawback for some. Some features that are appreciated by users are that it turns on really quick and is not complicated to get started recording. The battery life overall is also very good.

Do you currently use a camcorder?

See results
Samsung HMX-W200 Waterproof Camcorder
Samsung HMX-W200 Waterproof Camcorder

Samsung HMX-W200 Waterproof HD Camcorder

This camera also features water, shock and dust proof design, and can also be used underwater for up to 10 feet with no ill effects. Users have raved over the underwater quality of this little device; however it does seem that the above water picture quality might leave a little to be desired. You get full 1080p recording both in and out of the water. The camera is coated with an anti-fog product so the steam will disperse instead of being trapped inside.

I love that the Samsung HMX-W200 camera is so rugged and user friendly. The image stabilization doesn't seem to be the greatest compared to other cameras on the market and reviews have shown that the camera lens is quite narrow so you will need to be a distance away to take large or wide shots. There are no cables needed as it has an internal USB and startup of the camera is very fast. Overall it's another really great buy for the money at under $100.

Panasonic HM-TA2K Camcorder
Panasonic HM-TA2K Camcorder

Panasonic HM-TA2K Camcorder

With all kinds of options for picture taking, you can get nearly every shot you want with this device right here. 1080p video gives you that great HD quality you need for any large screen HDTV. The image stabilization has been found to be very good with this camera compared to others on the market. The screen is a full 3" so you can see your shots clearly.

Another thing I love about the Panasonic HM-TA2k Camcorder is that you can also shoot at night. There is a built in LED video light or a night view mode which will let you get well exposed images even in low light settings. You also get a pure audio recording option as well if you don't want to take video but need sound recorded.

Connectivity

It has a built in USB terminal and an HDMI port for connectivity. Users of this camera also love how easy it is to carry around and how light. You get a tripod stand with your purchase as well. The battery life has been reviewed to be quite good on this camera and it was made to be sturdy and rugged for everyday use.

© 2012 Brandon Hart

Camcorder Open Discussion Area

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image

      Jarmila 

      5 months ago

      Hi Brandon. I am looking to buy a low budget camcorder to make videos of urban scenes when walking on foot and travelling on trains. I have looked at SONY HDR CX240 and Panasonic HC V160. Would you recommend either? Thanks Jarmila

    • profile image

      tgchan 

      18 months ago

      Best low light camcoder?

    • MyFiveKids profile imageAUTHOR

      Brandon Hart 

      20 months ago

      Which one?

    • profile image

      Cam 

      20 months ago

      I can't find that last camera anywhere. Do you have a link to it?

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, turbofuture.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://turbofuture.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)