Which Video Camera is Best for You?

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In the ever-changing, innovative world of video production, making a new camcorder-purchasing decision requires up-to-date knowledge of the latest features available, along with an understanding of tried-and-true technology. Even seasoned professionals will need to take some time to research the myriad choices offered, then carefully determine which camera fits their needs. The specific requirements of wedding videography add another dimension to the process.

Reliability, exceptional video in low-light conditions, and high optical zoom range are some of the more important features you should be looking for when selecting a video camera suitable for wedding coverage. In addition, consider media format, audio inputs and the size and “look” of the camera. A handheld camera might shoot HD video, but will you stand out as a "professional" videographer without a decent-sized camera on your shoulder, or a solid tripod?

As you look over the wide range of cameras, you will, no doubt, be taking your clientele into account. Will you be covering high-end weddings with multiple cameras, are you currently at the entry level or perhaps shooting your very first wedding for a family member? Do you want all the bells and whistles or are you a purist who prefers sticking to the basics and keeping life simple? Ultimately, your list of preferences is unique to your work style and ergonomic requirements. In order to assist you with your decision, we have reviewed a variety of models selected specifically for capturing a couple's wedding-day memories.

Advanced and Intermediate-Level Camcorders

The Sony PXW-Z280 is the successor to a perennial favorite—the PXW-X200. It records up to 4K video at 60p using the efficient XAVC Intra and Long GOP codecs with 4:2:2 10-bit sampling. To fit into existing workflows, MPEG HD422, HD420, and DV recording options are available. Dual SxS memory card slots are provided, while simultaneous recording to two cards is possible for instant data redundancy and backup copies of your files. With 4 channels of high-quality, 48 kHz, 24-bit LPCM, you will have all the audio capabilities needed to cover every element of a wedding weekend. Shooting in low light is no problem with this camcorder. Three 1/2" Exmor CMOS sensors and a fast maximum aperture (f/1.9 on a 17x optical zoom lens) will thrill you with the exceptional video you can capture under the chandeliers, in dimly lit reception halls. Weighing only 6.6 pounds, this camera is heavy enough for stability, yet won’t wear you out during hours of shooting. For a semi-shoulder mounted solution, the Sony PMW-300K1 is also worth considering.

Sony PXW-Z280 4K 3-CMOS 1/2" Sensor XDCAM Camcorder

Sony’s PXW-Z190 Full HD XDCAM Camcorder features three 1/3" Exmor CMOS sensors. While it won’t reach the low-light capabilities of the larger 1/2" sensors of the PXW-Z280, its 25x Sony G zoom lens offers more reach than the PXW-Z280. The PXW-Z190 offers 4:2:2 recording in a variety of codecs, with up to 3840 x 2160 at 59.94p available in the XAVC Long GOP codec. Another useful feature is the camcorder’s Wi-Fi remote capability, which is invaluable for the “one-person band” shooting with two or more cameras, as it will let you monitor and control setting remotely using your smartphone or tablet.

The GY-HM650SC ProHD Sports Coaching Camera adds sports coaching-specific functionality to JVC's GY-HM650, and it is designed to interface with the XOS Thunder HD Platform for reduced upload time for practice and game footage. The camera features superb low-light performance, a lightweight and user-friendly design, and exceptional advanced features, providing capacity for fast, efficient, and high-quality mobile newsgathering. The camera records 4:2:0 but has a live output of 4:2:2.

JVC GY-HM650SC ProHD Sports Coaching Camera

Sony’s HXR-NX5R is another solid performer. Its versatility in capturing different formats may fit nicely into your profile, as well. Able to record 1920 x 1080p video at 23.98/29.97/59.94 at 50 Mb/s in XAVC S and at 17 to 28 Mb/s in AVCHD, as well as 1920 x 1080i video at 59.94 also in AVCHD. For legacy production compatibility, the camera can also record DV resolution video at 59/94i. This camera is versatile and easy to operate. The zoom range gets extremely high marks (20x G-Lens, optimized for advanced image processing with 40x Digital Zoom) and you can choose to record on Memory Stick PRO Duo Hybrid Card or SDXC cards.

If you are looking for a camera that supports both NTSC and PAL standards, Panasonic has built a camera for you to consider: The AG-UX180 4K Premium Professional Camcorder. In today’s marketplace, worldwide compatibility might be an important enough factor to give this camera a closer look. Like many of the other cameras in this category, the AG-UX180 captures video at a variety of 50 and 60 Hz based frame rates. Featuring a 1"-type MOS sensor and capturing at 8-bit 4:2:0 the AG-UX180 also can capture at variable frame rates up to 120 fps. Another camera that shoots in 50 and 60 Hz frame rates is the Sony PXW-Z150 4K XDCAM Camcorder, which features a form similar to the HXR-NX100 Full HD Camcorder, but shoots in 4K. It utilizes Sony’s XVAC 4:2:0 8-bit intra-frame recording format, as well as supporting MPEG2 and AVCHD for HD recording to match legacy products. Of course, you can also record 1080p video if your workflow isn’t ready for 4K file sizes. Read a hands-on review of the PXW-Z150, to see 4K video taken at 24 (23.98) fps and HD video at 120 fps.

Entry-Level and Intermediate Camcorders

For some, it may be hard to think of an HD camcorder as an entry-level camcorder, but that is about where we are today. Read on for entry-level and intermediate camcorders that will produce High Definition video and provide professional-quality audio, as well.

The variety of options in this class are surprisingly good. Beginning with Panasonic’s well-balanced and impressive AG-AC30 Full HD Camcorder with Touch Panel LCD Screen & Built-in LED Light. The AG-AC30 looks much like the cameras in the advanced category, yet weighs only 3.3 lb. Since it shoots HD 1080p /1080i and boasts two XLR inputs, this camera does provide you with excellent pictures and sound, especially in optimal conditions. It also features Five-Axis Hybrid optical image stabilization, which makes for smoother handheld videos.

Panasonic AG-AC30 Full HD Camcorder with Touch Panel LCD Screen & Built-In LED Light

Featuring a 1"-type sensor, yet sporting roughly the same form factor as 1/3"-type sensor camcorders, the Sony PXW-X70 is a powerful little HD camcorder. It shoots Full HD at either 50 or 60 Hz frame rates, has select variable frame rates of 1, 2, 4, 8, 15, 30, 60 in 60 Hz mode and 1, 2,3, 5, 12, 25, 50 in 50 Hz mode. It features an integrated 12x optical zoom, and mounting the included XLR handle unit with microphone holder adds two XLR inputs for recording professional audio. A paid upgrade enables the PXW-X70 to record in 4K, which makes it an excellent choice if you aren’t quite ready to start shooting in 4K, but don’t want to buy a whole new camera when you do.

If you are looking for an easy-to-use, entry-level camcorder with a professional look, Sony’s HXR-MC2500 Shoulder Mount AVCHD Camcorder is an excellent choice. It weighs a hefty 6.2 lb, sports a nifty flip-up LCD above the color viewfinder, and has an ergonomic handle with Record button and zoom control for those essential low-angle shots. It has a single 1/4" Exmor R CMOS sensor and is equipped with a built-in LED light to assist in lower-light situations. There is a 3.5mm mini-jack input and a built-in 2-channel stereo shotgun microphone.

Sony HXR-MC2500 Shoulder Mount AVCHD Camcorder

As with the advanced and intermediate level options, Sony also offers a 4K consumer camcorder with their FDR-AX100. The 1" Emxor R CMOS sensor is large – approximately 8x larger than typical camcorders. This lets you get some cinematic shots with a pleasing shallow depth of field. What makes the camcorder truly versatile is its recording options, letting you capture 4K Ultra HD 3840x2160 video at 24 and 30 fps, as well as Full HD 1920x1080 video in XAVC S or AVCHD, or up to 720p in web-optimized MP4. Like the HDR-PJ810V, it also features a 12x optical zoom lens and Optical SteadyShot image stabilization. Built-in Wi-Fi with NFC support even lets you use your smartphone or tablet.

As you can see from this diverse sampling of excellent camcorders, the variety of file formats, lenses and audio packages can be quite a bit to digest. You will likely see one or two cameras that pique your interest and will serve your clients’ needs as well as your own. When you reach that point, come into our NYC SuperStore, you can also visit us on the Internet for a live chat, or contact us by phone at 1-800-606-6969.

268 Comments

Hi I have a Canon Vixia GX10 and I'm recording talking head style business videos.  My studio (just my office) is only 12-14 ft deep and I'm not getting the strong DOF blur that I'm seeking.  The aperture max is f/2.8 and only f/3.2 in Aperture Priority mode.  So, the blur of the background is only slight.  The subject is 3-4 ft from the camera and the background is 6-8 ft behind the subject.  Can I get a much stronger blur with a f/1.9 or so?  Which cameras/lenses should I consider?  I noticed the Vixia HF G50 has good aperture but smaller CMOS.  Other options were $7500+.  I'd like to stay sub $3500 (stretch), $2,000 (comfortable).  Thank you!

Another camcorder is not going to work for your needs in this case.  The Aperture is only one part of the equation.  The other parts are sensor size and focal length.  In your case and with your budget you'll need to look at a DSLR.  The Canon 90D is a great choice and you could pair it with Sigma's 35mm F/1.4.  This will give you some nice bokeh.

Canon 90D - https://bhpho.to/2tnsFHT

Sigma 35mm - https://bhpho.to/2sxuLEh

I use a pair of Canon Vixia HG21 camcorders to capture musical theater performances for a non-profit. It's low budget. When a spotlight illuminates a performer, and the surrounding shot is dark, the bright image gets washed out. The video capture has a hard time with the light contrast. I'm using automatic settings. The theater lighting is variable throughout the show. If I zoom-in on the brightly lit performer, the image becomes balanced. But if I stay wide, the brightly lit performer's face is washed out.

What camcorder feature upgrade provides a better contrast in this kind of situation? Are there camcorders in the <$1500 range that provide this ability?

Please advice:

I have an efficient audio recording project studio. We do mostly audio recording collaborations among musicians.

Two Rock bands (Drums , Percussion, Guitars, Bass, Key, Vocal), A Jazz Trio, A few Vocal Songwriters. We are performing musicians with audio recording projects at various level.

We have the necessity of doing some videos of the process of recording songs and perhaps simple B-Rolls to add to the final video.
We do not intent to obtain a super quality/elaborated, advanced video result. Our main target is audio. But we find out that our target audience enjoy and respond well to this type of videos documentation plus creating this kind of video content helps our web presence and to promote events.

I am not counting on continuig using what I have a the moment for photo/Video but will mention it just in case. I have a Blackmagic Pocket cinema camera (The old one not the 4k), Canon SLRs EOS 5D and EOS 40D. Several lenses, Manfrotto tripod…. I have a basic hobbyist knowledge on photography. Also I can navigate Final Cut Pro and have an elementary color-correction knowledge.
So far what I do is set the Blackmagic in a corner of the live recording room and go with our business of recording audio and then sync some of the resulting video to the recorded songs.

Now we like to do a little better and enhance with close-ups and some B rolls.
Considering we are not video experts I have been planning on buying a video camera: Easy to use, as much automation as possible, with fast auto focus that we can mount in a Gimbal Stabilizer.
I do not have sufficient knowledge to identify a video camera and rig (Gimbal)  for this purpose. The idea is to have a moderated trained camera person in the live recording room to video record sessions with minimal interference as we record audio. Meaning not huge video rig or super brilliant lights.
With the resulting video plus some B Rolls and photos we will be able to compose the video documentation we pursue using Final Cut Pro.

It looks like we need a decent small camera with a good lens (lenses?) that can work on less than ideal light conditions and some sort of Gimbal stabilizer mount to be able to record close-ups, simple interviews and outside B Rolls.

Recommendations really appreciated.

Thank you

Nice article. So many cameras. Lots of changes in technology from when I started working in the field 30 years ago, can be overwhelming. Looking for some event coverage suggestions. Each Spring I cover a handful of dance recitals. The gear is rarely the problem, its the people using it. I'm considering throwing in the towel and seeing if I can run one camera myself and set up 4 others static. So 2 things.

1. IS there a camera made yet that we can trust to run at an event like this with such variation in lighting to run at AUTO IRIS?

2. If such a thing exists yet.  Ummm Can it be aquired for under $1K?  Dance recital revenue doesn't justify $50k-$100K in gear. Rental is an option though I guess.  Any guidance would be greatly appreciated.

Camcorders have come a long way.  The Panasonic HC-VX981K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder would be a great option to film recital that will have auto settings which work very well, BH #PAHCVX981K.  It is within your budget as well.

https://bhpho.to/2qZKKKP

Looks like quite the camera for under a grand. Thanks for the feedback!

I've been doing small studio setups and would like to output to high quality video either in full HD or 4K. I'm coming from using a medium format digital still camera (Fuji GFX-R) so high quality is in my blood. I looked at the Panasonic GH5s but a dedicated video camera seems like a better idea. Suggestions??

For a small studio setup a dedicated camcorder would be a great choice.  The Panasonic AG-CX350 is a great choice.  It record 4K at 60fps, has a 20x zoom lens, 1" sensor and XLR inputs for higher quality microphones.

https://bhpho.to/2RHjX2d

Hi, I'm thinking about getting a video camera to record footage of rallies and mobilizations, along with interviews and general environmental B-rolls for a documentary type of production. Hopefully it can have 2-3 audio inputs(Lavaliers and/or shotgun mic), most importantly, some smooth zoom buttons such as the sony z150 but preferably smaller size. Any recommendation? 

If you are looking for a camcorder like the Z150 only smaller the Z90v would be the perfect choice.  It will work great for what you described and it has 2 XLR inputs to use professional quality microphones.

https://bhpho.to/2iTrQ0U

Thanks!

Hello...I am looking for a smaller video camera that can do 4K that has great auto focus features.  Suggestions?  I travel a lot internationally and do humanitarian type photography, would like to stay under $1500.  Thanks for the help!

The Canon Vixia G50 would be a great choice.  This is a 4K camcorder that is smaller in size and will give you fantastic results.  The auto focus will work very well as well.

https://bhpho.to/2VJN6YT

Thanks!

Hello 

I am researching a milti use camera /cameras primarily for live stage performance as in music concerts and church services hdmi capable for streaming if need be .

Presently i use 4 camera angles to create music vidios and concerts .

All consumer models 

Sony 220,sony 230,sony 675 and a canon old lol.

I get scattered results Small venue  usually looks best larger venue has yielded embarrassing results. 

I was considering the sony 2500 do to budget for the 1st camera but fugured i would get s more pro opinion. 

I am not a pro but not a beginner eather looking to produce quality products for my customers  ty 

The MC2500 has a small 1/4" sensor.  For a more professional image we suggest looking at the Sony NX100.  This has a much larger 1" sensor which will give you much better results.

https://bhpho.to/2Ywsyn4

Thanks!

Hi there, I am trying to find an entry/medium level video recorder to take out on wildlife photography trips especially for using with bears and whales. Will be shooting in low light sunrise and sunset times of the day, and want quality video that is portable and lightweight that can fit in along with my normal photography gear.  Just trying to add some quality video to go along with my still photography.  Any suggestions?  I keep reading reviews and get more confused the more I read.

Hopefully for under $1000.  Thanks!

The Panasonic HC-WXF991K is a great choice.  It is in your budget and will give you beautiful 4K resolutions.  It also has a Back Illuminated 1/2.3" sensor for a better performance in lower light.

https://bhpho.to/2yNV0Hw

Thanks!

Hello, I am interested in taking videos of nature and landscapes. Can you please suggest video camera that renders colors very well and has good auto focus. Ability to shoot timelapses and slow motion are bonus.

Hi Pooja - 

The Sony FDR-AX53  - B&H # SOFDRAX53 (https://bhpho.to/2n7y2Uc) is a palm-sized Handycam camcorder that combines a Zeiss 20x optical zoom lens and a high-sensitivity image sensor to produce crisp and high-quality UHD 4K video. The Exmor R CMOS image sensor supports UHD 4K video capture at 24 or 30 fps using Sony's XAVC S codec and features pixels that are approximately 1.6x larger than the previous model for enhanced performance in all conditions, particularly low-light scenarios. The camcorder also features Sony's Balance Optical SteadyShot image stabilization technology to help produce smooth and stable footage throughout the zoom range. Further enhancements include improved autofocus speed and accuracy, a lower-noise built-in microphone, and a high-speed 1080p 120 fps recording mode to create high-resolution slow-motion content.  

Capture 4K still images continuously over an extensive period of time at a selected constant interval from each shot to the next, edit the entire sequence of still images in post-production, and enjoy playback of that series of images as a time-lapse movie.  

Hi there! I have a podcast channel on YouTube or much rather, am just starting out with one. I'm looking for a video camera that can do long recordings at a decent 1080p60fps or even 4k (Would be a bonus). I already have 2 Canon cameras for 2 different angles and I just need one more now and I want this new one now to be the main or front angle. Could you guys help point me in the right direction? 

Hi Soban - 

Record high-resolution 4K video with the compact, black Canon Vixia HF G50 4K Camcorder (B&H # CAHFG50 ). The G50 features a DIGIC DV 6 image processor, an 8-blade circular aperture, 5-axis image stabilization, a 20x optical zoom in 4K, and up to UHD 4K30 resolution.

 Product Highlights:

  • Record up to UHD 4K30 Video
  • DIGIC DV 6 Image Processor
  • 8-Blade Circular Aperture
  • Dual SD Card Slots
  • 5-Axis Image Stabilization
  • Slow- & Fast-Motion, Interval Recording
  • 29.3 to 627mm, 20x Optical Zoom in 4K
  • 3" Touchscreen LCD, Tiltable EVF

I'm a nature photographer who is interested in doing some video work in the outdoors.  (I'm often around rushing water.)  Any recommendations for $350 or less?

Hi Karl - 

he black JVC Everio GZ-R460BUS Quad Proof HD Camcorder with 40x Optical Zoom (B&H # JVGZR460BUS) records up to 1080p60 HD AVCHD video at bit rates up to 28 Mb/s to SDHC/SDXC media cards, and 1920 x 1080 at up to 24 Mb/s to 4GB of internal memory. Designed with JVC's rugged Quad Proof camera body, the Everio GZ-R460BUS is built to capture your adventures, no matter what the weather. This rugged camcorder is waterproof down to 16', shockproof from falls up to 5', dustproof, and freezeproof down to 14°F. The camera's back-illuminated 2.5MP CMOS sensor uses JVC's Falconbrid image processor to record 1920 x 1080 HD video to SD media cards, or to the 4GB of internal memory storage. Still photos can be captured at 10MP.

The Everio GZ-R460's Konica Minolta HD lens features a 40x optical zoom and 60x digital zoom. Advanced image stabilization (AIS) reduces camera shake when handholding the camera. View while recording and playing back footage on the 3" touchscreen LCD. Image capture features include time-lapse recording, face detection, and special effects like Grainy B&W, Food, and Baby modes. Additional camera features include a rechargeable internal battery lasting up to five hours, a built-in zoom microphone, and 37mm filter compatibility.

Features

Quad proof design is waterproof down to 16', shockproof up to 5', dustproof, and freezeproof down to 14°F
Record 1080p60 in AVCHD at up to 28 Mb/s, and 1080i60 AVCHD video at bit rates up to 24 Mb/s
40x optical zoom and 60x dynamic zoom
4GB of internal memory storage
Rechargeable internal battery runs up to five hours. The camera also charges via USB and optional portable batteries (not included)
Back-illuminated 2.5MP CMOS image sensor
Card slot for recording to SDHC/SDXC media
Captures up to 10MP still photos
3" touchscreen LCD panel for viewing and playback
Advanced image stabilization (AIS) compensates for camera shake
Y-shaped grip belt for stable handholding
Professional-style zoom lever
Pressure-sensitive touch panel can be used even when wearing gloves
The camera will continue to record even when the LCD panel is closed
Built-in technology reduces wind noise picked up by the microphone

I also need help - looking for a 4K (preferably 60FPS) camera that can be controlled via wired remote, and have an HDMI output while recording (any resolution output), preferably with selectable control output (i.e. ability to select "clean HDMI" out or view with camera status). External microphone option would also be really nice.

It seems all the prosumer Sony cameras (AX33, AX53, AX100 at least - not sure of AX700) cuts off all HDMI out while recording in 4K and most Panasonics do not support wired remotes - both options are critical requirements when the camera is mounted on a pole for sports videos. ANY suggestion how to find a video camera (preferably sub $1500) supporting a wired remote AND HDMI out while recording in 4K would be appreciated!

The options are you are looking for are going to be very hard to find in a Consumer Level Camcorder.  For 4K60, Clean HDMI while recording 4K and a Wired Remote you will need to look at professional options that will cost a bit more.  The Canon XF400 is a great place to start.  It supports 4K60 and will output while recording internally.  It also has a LANC connection for a wired remote.

Canon XF400 - https://bhpho.to/2F0np0Q
LANC Controller - https://bhpho.to/2imqQ6U

Thanks!

I need some help.....I am a piano teacher and would like to record a video of student  piano lessons , showing the sheet music on the piano along with the students hands , simultaneously, having it clear  enough to make a video on which you could see the sheet music and piano keys clearly....I have a "handicam" , which does record , but so far away you cannot read the sheet music.... I am making "piano lessons"  to put on youtube.....what camera should I purchase??? thanks

Hi Jean - 

The Canon VIXIA HF G21 Full HD Camcorder captures 1920 x 1080 Full HD video using a 1/2.84", 2.9MP HD CMOS Pro image sensor, and a 20x optical/400x digital zoom lens. The VIXIA HF G21's impressive low-light performance and wide dynamic range help to reproduce image gradations faithfully, open up shadowed areas, and minimize overblown highlighted areas. Pro-style features include a circular, eight-blade aperture for producing smooth, rounded highlights in out-of-focus areas (otherwise known as "bokeh"). This versatile camcorder records crisp, detailed images with Full HD 1080p60 recording in both MP4 and AVCHD file formats. Share your footage at maximum bit rates of 35 Mb/s in MP4, and 28 Mb/s in AVCHD. For you cinephiles out there, a native 24p mode provides a "film-like" capture rate. Create slow motion effects, or speed up your footage with the VIXIA HF G21's various frame rates including interval recording from 2x to 1200x normal speed.    

  B&H # CAHFG21

Add this wide-angle conversion lens:

The Canon WD-H58W Wide Converter Lens for Select Canon Cameras is optically matched to go with the XA10, XA11, XA15, XA20, XA25, XA30, XA35, XF100, XF105, XF200, XF205, HF-G10, G21, G20, and G40 HD camcorders. It can be attached to any lens with a 58mm filter thread. The WD-H58W brings a wider angle of view to your images, and either 0.7x or 0.8x magnification may be printed on the lens. The WD-H58W is a great investment if you're looking to pack more of your subject into the frame, such as when shooting groups of people, small rooms, or wide landscapes.   

Canon WD-H58W Wide Converter Lens for Select Canon Cameras  B&H # CAWDH58W

Hello,

I need a camcorder to record basketball practices and games in our high school gym.  I want to mount one above each goal facing toward the other end of the court. It will be recording an area about 40 ft wide, about 60-70 ft away from a fixed height of about 16 ft.  The quality just needs to be ok. Once focused it would just sit there and record as is when turned on. The real issue is that they are permanently fixed to that height so I need to be able to remotely operate them and then they need to download the video to a computer via wi-fi (maybe can get ethernet up to them) and ideally download in real time. Thanks in advance for any help. 

It sounds like you need to look at PTZ cameras.  These are cameras that can be installed and then controlled for Pan, Tilt and Zoom remotely.  The SRG360 from Sony is a great choice and you can even get an IP signal from the video so you can bring it in to a computer.

Sony SRG-360 - https://bhpho.to/2ORzuXZ

Remote - https://bhpho.to/2ptuHmv

Thanks!

Hi,

I'm looking for a camcorder, easy to set-up in variable lighting environment. We will film circus rehearsing for a show creation.. But we may need to send some clips to potential clients! Then the quality must be ok!.. The camera operator is not a pro and then camera should be easy to operate..  We already use a Sony HDR-CX405 but image quality is not good enough for our needs.. Any ideas!?.. 

The Panasonic HC-V800 will be easy to use and it has a larger 1/2.5" Back-Illuminated MOS Sensor that will give you better results in low light and better picture quality overall.  This is a great choice!

https://bhpho.to/2HPtO1G

Thanks!

Thank you!!

Hello, 

I currently have a Canon HF20.  It is now broke so I need to replace.   I am looking for a similar camcorder that plays the videos back to back on the TV like a long movie.  I do not want to have to edit to merge each video together.    Before, I was just plugging the camcorder into the TV and deleting any scenes that i didn't like later by frame number.  Otherwise, the playback was continuous from the SD card.    i use the camcorder for family moments/vacations..    

I have narrowed it down by the following:   The price range is acceptable to me on all of these so that is not an issue.   I believe these all have WIFi and some are waterproof.   I just can't figure out how to weed them out based on what i am looking to do with the camera.    I don't mind paying for bells and whistles as long as it does the main function of continuous video playback with no editing required.   Optimal Video/picture Quality is also ideal to preserve the memories.   

Thank you, 

Confused One

Sony HDR Cx675

Sony HDR Cx455

Sony FDR x3000

Sony HDR AS 300

Sony HDR AS50

Canon HFr82

Canon HFR80

Go Pro Hero 7 

Hi Val -

The  B&H # CAHFG21 is the closest match to the Canon HF G20 that you have enjoyed.  After that, the  B&H # SOHDRCX675 would be my best recommendation for you.  If a waterproof camcorder is appealing, consider the  B&H # CAHFW11.

Thank you.  I also have SD cards that have the videos from the old canon.  If I purchase the Panasonic HC-VX870K will I be able to playback my videos on the SD card thru the TV with the Canon SD cards.  I wasn't sure since they both take SD cards if any SD card can be placed in the Panasonic fro playback from camcorder to TV?

Hi Val - 

Chances are is that this will not work.  You will need to offload the files from the memory cards shot on your Canon camera to the computer.  To reuse these memory cards, insert them into your new camcorder and reformat or initialize . You can also offload the cars using a USB card reader.

Plug the ImageMate Pro USB 3.0 Reader from SanDisk (B&H # SAIPMCRW) in to your Windows or Mac computer's USB 3.0 port and transfer files to and from SD, microSD, and CompactFlash memory cards. The ImageMate also supports UHS-I, UHS-II, and non-UHS cards along with data transfer rates of up to 500 MB/s so you can exchange files between your computer and flash media card quickly and efficiently.

Hi, Can you please recommend a video camera for me.  It is to record children undergoing therapy for clinical reasons.  It will be shot in an office room with LED lighting.  The sound needs to be decent so happy to get an external mic. 1080p or even 720P would be fine... video does not have to be great quality.  It needs to be super easy to use by therapists who are not tech savvy so the method of transferring the files onto a server/file system need to be foolproof and as though your grandma could do it.  The initial setup can be done by a tech guru but the ongoing transfer needs to be easy.  a good wifi system would be great  Looking at a low budget of $300-400 or thereabouts - but happy to pay more if there is a very good system for us.  Thanks!!!

The Canon Vixia R82 is a great choice.  It will be easy to use, but give you great results.  It has WiFi and it is right in your price range.

https://bhpho.to/2GzO0Qs

Thanks!

Hello Please recommend me a good video camera for my church relay purpose. Which is ideal for relay from both HDMI or HD-SDI ???? please suggest me soon because we need to buy in a week or two.

The Canon XA15 has both an SDI and HDMI output, along with a 20x zoom lens.  This is a great choice for churches.

https://bhpho.to/2NE15hS

Thanks!

Need recommendation for a good camera with awesome stabilization with a wider than 24mm eqv focal length. Mainly for quality family video. I don't want to use a gimbal.

I know you mentioned not wanting to use a gimbal, but the Osmo Pocket might be your best bet.  It is very small, smaller than most camcorders including the built-in gimbal.  The field of view of the lens is around the 24mm range you mentioned, great stabilization and awesome 4K quality.

https://bhpho.to/2RyG6vH

Thanks!

I have $500 to spend on a video camera for our high school.  I am looking for something to record faculty meetings, theater and choir performances, events in our gymnasium, etc.  Any suggestions?  Thank so much for your help!

The Panasonic HC-V770K is a great choice in your budget range.  It has a 1/2.3" Back-Illuminated Sensor and a 20x zoom.  It will get you fantastic HD quality footage of any event shot at the High School.

https://bhpho.to/2kp88eQ

Thanks!

My primary video camera for documentaries is the Canon 5d Mark IV. I'd like to find a very compact solution for on-the-go video to complement this camera, one that is not imposing, and with good audio. Compact is important, and I want to use the footage in conjunction with video from Mark IV. I looked at the Canon Vixia HF R800 and the Rode VideoMicro Compact mic on a cold-shoe grip, until I realized that this camcorder will not support phantom power. I appreciate any advice, suggestions.

The Vixia R800 is going to be one of the most compact options from Canon.  It seems like it is the perfect option in your case.  Rather than look for a new camcorder, my suggestion is to look for a microphone which is battery powered.  The Saramonic SR-M3 Mini Direction Condenser Microphone with Integrated Shockmount, B&H # SASRM3, and the Polsen VM-180M DSLR/Video Microphone, B&H # POVM180M, are both great alternatives.

https://bhpho.to/2KoFXIy

https://bhpho.to/2ou9Riy

Thanks!

Thank you!! This is helpful. Can you also point me to a gimbal that will work well with this setup? It would need to be able to hold the microphone and camera while being somewhat compact and easy to use. 

Many thanks. 

The Ikan DS2-A is a great choice for a gimbal to balance a small camcorder, B&H # IKDS2A .

https://bhpho.to/2zKxcDj

Thanks again!

Looking for a recommendation- In need of a camera to film live dance performances in theater setting. Will be a static shot, unmanned. Depending on venue, camera will at times need to be set up somewhat close to the stage, so will need something with a wide angle.  Looking for videos to look as professional as possible with this "set it and forget it" set up. Thanks for any help!

Hi Anne:

The Canon XA11 Full HD Camcorder is a compact run-and-gun camera that is suitable for ENG, event coverage, and independent and documentary filmmaking. The camera features a 1/2.84", 1920 x 1080 CMOS sensor that captures video at various frame rates up to 59.94p, including a 24p mode for a more cinematic feel. The integrated Canon 20x HD optical zoom lens has a 35mm equivalent zoom range of 26.8 to 576mm, and features an 8-bladed iris to render highlights in a more natural manner.

The final piece in the image chain is Canon's Digic DV 4 image processor. This high-speed image-processing engine powers Canon's Dynamic IS (Image Stabilization) mode reducing image distortion over traditional up-down, left-right image stabilization by adding correction for camera roll in three axes. The power of the Digic DV 4 allows the camera to simultaneously encode your video to two different codecs and bit rates, allowing you to have web-ready versions of your master footage available as soon as you stop recording.

The Canon WD-H58W Wide Converter Lens for Select Canon Cameras is optically matched to go with the XA10, XA11, XA15, XA20, XA25, XA30, XA35, XF100, XF105, XF200, XF205, HF-G10, G21, G20, and G40 HD camcorders. It can be attached to any lens with a 58mm filter thread. The WD-H58W brings a wider angle of view to your images, and either 0.7x or 0.8x magnification may be printed on the lens. The WD-H58W is a great investment if you're looking to pack more of your subject into the frame, such as when shooting groups of people, small rooms, or wide landscapes.

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