The best camcorders have made leaps and bounds since those clunky plastic units that held a huge VHS tape. Now there’s countless ways to use some of the best camcorders to record video and get it to the masses. And with these best camcorders accepting formats from HDMI, to DVI, to straight to DVD, there is no shortage of flexibility either. These best camcorders have great new features like stabilization and extreme zoom, there’s little excuse for not capturing action with great detail. With well-known companies like Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, and JVC all involved in making the best camcorders under $300, users can rest assured they’re getting a great value.
The 32x Zoom Panasonic VDR-D210 DVD
The Panasonic VDR-D210 is designed to record video directly to a DVD, allowing users to immediately view their shots on a TV. And since this best camcorder can work with DVD-RAM, DVD-R DL, DVD-RW, and DVD-R formats, users can purchase whatever discs they prefer. There is also an Optical Image Stabilizer that is intended to lower shaking from a quaky hand. Panasonic also included a soft skin mode in its best camcorder to work better with skin tones.
With a four and a half star Amazon rating this best camcorder is lauded by users for its image quality, as well as its feature set. One user notes that without the included wall charger, however, finalizing DVDs isn’t possible. Overall, users mention it’s a great value, and the ease of use when operating this best camcorder is fantastic.
The One Touch Burn Sony DCR-DVD650 DVD Handycam
The Sony DCR-DVD650 DVD Handycam has a 60x optical zoom, as well as a Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens that includes SteadyShot image stabilization for the shakey shooter. This best camcorder also offers users two ways to shoot: record to DVD or record to removable Memory Stick PRO Duo media. The camcorder features a built-in microphone, playback zoom, and it’s compatible with DVD-R/-RW/+RW and +R DL formats.
Users have called the Sony DCR-DVD650 DVD Handycam one of the best camcorders out there. Amazon’s users gave it three and a half stars, noting its feature set and overall detail in its shots are well above par. Some users have noted that the audio quality isn’t amazing, but that’s probably expected with a budget model. Another user mentioned that the camera couldn’t record more than 30 minutes of standard quality DVD without running out of room.
The Up-scaling Samsung SMX-K40 HDMI
With a 52x optical zoom, the Samsung SMX-K40 HDMI features an up-scaling feature that works with HDMI capable HDTV. It can record at a resolution of 720 x 480, but requires a SD/SDHC card to store the footage. There is also an Optical Image Stabilizer included, as well as a bundled Intellistudio program for editing and sharing video. This best camcorder can connect to a computer through a USB cable.
Users found the value of the Samsung SMX-K40 HDMI Camcorder to be great, noting the image quality and the portability of the unit. The video format is fairly easy to edit and work with on a computer, as one user on Amazon noted. Another user mentions that the quality of video when just connecting a standard RCA cable to a TV when playing back off the camcorder is not good, but said that an HDMI cable would probably have made a difference.
The Compact JVC GZ-MS110B
The JVC GZ-MS110B uses a technology called Everio’s Super LoLux, which is designed to produce better quality shots in very low light environments. There is also a time-lapse recording feature on this best camcorder that lets users record a sunset or any other frame over time. JVC includes a video-editing program for a PC, as well as a 45x zoom. A memory card slot for SDHC/SD is equipped on the unit, and there is even a one-touch button to upload a video to YouTube.
While some Amazon users didn’t like the fact that this camcorder doesn’t take stills or that the LCD preview screen has poor brightness, overall the camcorder is a great value. Users did mention that the night shooting is fantastic, and the zoom is superior to many other similarly priced models.