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A decent, basic, top-rated budget camcorder is your best inexpensive video camera option and will cost you upwards of $250. Remember that digital video does not come cheap, so even the best low priced camcorders can not compare in quality to the more expensive models, but amateur video enthusiasts with a small purse can expect a fairly loaded digital camcorder for this amount. In fact your budget gives you the opportunity to take the extra effort in getting more out of your camcorder, because camcorders, like cameras are simply as good as the user behind the lens. Low-priced models have smaller sensors and a smaller feature-set than costlier peers, but the best budget camcorders can certainly provide you with pleasing video clips. The essential features to ensure you have the best cheap camcorder are good video, ease of use, rugged construction, convenient storage media and interface options.

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GoPro HERO3

GoPro HERO3 Black Edition Camcorder


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GoPro HERO3
Drift Innovation HD Ghost
JVC GZ-EX515
Panasonic HC-X900M
Contour ROAM2
GoPro HERO3 Black Edition Camcorder
Drift Innovation HD Ghost Wi-Fi Waterproof Camcorder
JVC GZ-EX515BUS- HD Everio Camcorder
Panasonic HC-X900M Camcorder
Contour ROAM2 Waterproof Video Camera
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Release Date
Oct 2012
Dec 2012
Mar 2013
Jan 2012
Oct 2012
Recording Format
Flash Media, High Definition
High Definition
High Definition
Flash Media, High Definition
Flash Media, High Definition
Recording System
NTSC, PAL
NTSC, PAL
NTSC
NTSC, PAL
NTSC, PAL
Camcorder Type
Digital
Digital
Digital
Digital
Digital
Memory Still Resolution
12.0 MegaPixels
11.0 MegaPixels
8.3 MegaPixels
16.0 MegaPixels
5.0 MegaPixels
Recordable Media
Flash Media, High Definition, AVCHD
Internal Flash Memory 256MB, microSD Up To 32GB
SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card
Flash Media, High Definition
Flash Media, High Definition
Use
Video
Video
Video, Photo Viewing
Video
Video

  • The GoPro Hero3 Silver and White editions are strong contenders in the sports camera market, but the faster, more powerful Black Edition is head and shoulders the best sports camera on the market today.


  • If you're looking to upgrade from your HD Hero2, the Hero3: Black Edition should give you plenty to be excited about. The enhanced video performance means your videos will be sharper, have more detail in low light, and moving subjects will look smoother than anything you shot with the Hero2. In addition to being both smaller and lighter than its predecessor, the Hero3's built-in WiFi functions make it an easier camcorder to us, especially if you have a smartphone.


  • The GoPro Hero3 Black Edition delivers outstanding video quality and features like 4K that you won't find anywhere else.


  • With Wi-Fi, an LCD, and a waterproof body, as well as some nice accessories, the Drift HD Ghost uses its features to beat back the action cam competition.


  • The Drift Innovation HD Ghost is a unique action camera with a rotating lens, but while video quality is good you can get better in this price range.


  • The HD Ghost is an excellent quality 1080p HD POV camcorder - with a handy remote control, to boot. It also also shoots high-quality JPEGs. The free iPhone application is also a nice bonus that's actually useful. Different types of mounts are included to make the HD Ghost package very complete, without the need to buy more accessories.

    If you can get over the tricky user interface - eventually you will - the HD Ghost delivers consistent, high-quality HD video and stills.


  • The JVC GZ-EX515BEK offers an impressive feature set at a surprisingly low price. Image quality is good, however it's the breadth of features that mark the GZ-EX515BEK out. It incorporates the latest version of JVC's Wi-Fi connectivity, a host of creative options, and even an accessory shoe and microphone input. The only missing features are independent shutter and iris control. Overall though, for less than £300 it's a capable and well-rounded camcorder.


  • Panasonic sure knows how to make a solid flagship camcorder with appeal to consumers and semi-pros alike, and, by all means, the new HC-X900M is exactly that-an excellent high-end camcorder. Unfortunately, the product still left us dissatisfied thanks to Panasonic's lack of updates and improvements over last year's HDC-TM900. We said the same thing last year when Panasonic failed to innovate, and this glaring trend of riding on the coattails of predecessors has us worried about Panasonic's future in the market.

    But we also can't really blame them.

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    With outstanding performance in two dimensions or three, the HC-X900M, by Panasonic, is well worth the attention of anyone seeking quality HD at an affordable price.


  • The last few generations of high-end camcorder from Panasonic have been hard to beat. The HDC-TM900 and HDC-TM700 offered powerful combinations of great image quality and comprehensive features. The HC-X900 continues that tradition, and just about edges our recommendation over Canon's excellent LEGRIA HF G10. The X900 is around £100 cheaper and offers a standard accessory shoe without the need for third-party adapters, plus a marginally easier control system. For these reasons the HC-X900 maintains Panasonic's position as our top premium camcorder recommendation.


  • As long as you don't need to change shooting modes on the go, the ContourRoam2 is a simple way to capture fine-quality POV videos in dry or wet conditions.


  • As an all-weather, easy-to-use action camera, the Contour ROAM 2 is a great little piece of technology. It's got some useful enhancements from the original ROAM, and is far cheaper than the high-end Contour+2. It captures good, but not great, video and photos, and the internal microphone still isn't the best, but for the casual user it's good value.


  • For basic POV filming the ROAM2 passes the test, although, outside of the rotating lens, there isn't any standout feature to set it apart from the rapidly expanding choices for compact, mountable video cameras. Definitely check out the available mounting options to find the correct mount or one that allows for multiple placements.


Top 5 budget camcorder:

  1. GoPro HERO3 Black Edition Camcorder
  2. Drift Innovation HD Ghost Wi-Fi Waterproof Camcorder
  3. JVC GZ-EX515BUS- HD Everio Camcorder
  4. Panasonic HC-X900M Camcorder
  5. Contour ROAM2 Waterproof Video Camera