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The market-leading camcorders with price under $400 sport latest features like HD video lens with advanced zoom, good resolution full HD image sensor, a large enough LCD screen, and a good capacity flash memory. The best camcorders under $400 manage to produce solid video quality and usually offer a large amount of pre-set shooting modes, a few nice manual features and let you store still images as well.

Prosumer offerings from companies like Sony and Panasonic are often the best buys at the sub-$400 range.

Browse All Top Camcorders Under $400 »

JVC GZ-EX515

JVC GZ-EX515BUS- HD Everio Camcorder


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JVC GZ-EX515
Sony Handycam HDR-CX260V
Sony Handycam HDR-PJ200
Sony HDR-CX210
Panasonic HDC-TM40
JVC GZ-EX515BUS- HD Everio Camcorder
Sony Handycam HDR-CX260V Camcorder
Sony Handycam HDR-PJ200 Camcorder
Sony HDR-CX210 (8 GB) High Definition Camcorder
Panasonic HDC-TM40 (16 GB) High Definition Camcorder
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Release Date
Mar 2013
Jan 2012
Jan 2012
Jan 2012
Sep 2011
Optical Zoom
38.0 x
30.0 x
25.0 x
25.0 x
16.8 x
Recording Format
High Definition
Flash Media
Flash Media
Flash Media
JPEG
Recording System
NTSC
NTSC
NTSC
NTSC
NTSC, PAL
Camcorder Type
Digital
Digital, Analog
Digital, Analog
Digital
Digital
Memory Still Resolution
8.3 MegaPixels
8.9 MegaPixels
5.3 MegaPixels
5.3 MegaPixels
2.1 MegaPixels
Recordable Media
SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card
Flash Media
Flash Media
Flash Media, High Definition
High Definition
Use
Video, Photo Viewing
Video, Photo Viewing, Music
Video, Photo Viewing, Music
Video
Video

  • 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.


  • The Sony HDR-PJ200 is an entry-level digital camcorder with a fun and easy-to-use projector built right in, but video quality lags behind competitors.


  • They're cheap and capture video, but don't buy the Sony Handycam HDR-CX190, CX200 or CX210 thinking that you're getting a great bargain on a real HD camcorder. If you're going to buy one, get the cheapest; nothing on any of these is really worth the extra bucks.


  • Sony's HDR-CX210 camcorder comes with 8GB of integrated storage, but video performance lags behind the competition.


  • Panasonic's HDC-TM40, TM41 and SD40 are some of the cheapest camcorders you can buy with a zoom lens and manual controls. If you care about video quality, spend a little more money on another model; if you don't, buy the cheapest one of these you can find, adjusting for the cost of memory for the SD40.


  • We had a lot of issues with the TM40's design and performance. The camcorder's tiny sensor and small pixel count do allow for Full HD video recording, but that 1920 1080 image is actually interpolated by the camcorder since the internal sensor only allows for the capture of 1.5 megapixels (Full HD is around 2 megapixels). This made for a disappointing result in our sharpness test, as well as some poor quality in low light recordings as well.


  • The Panasonic HDC-TM40 is a mid-cost camcorder. With its low 2.5 watt power consumption, you can record for 135 minutes on a single charge of this camcorder. The HDC-TM40 features a 1MOS sensor that can capture HD video at 1920 x 1080 resolution.


Top 5 camcorder under $400:

  1. JVC GZ-EX515BUS- HD Everio Camcorder
  2. Sony Handycam HDR-CX260V Camcorder
  3. Sony Handycam HDR-PJ200 Camcorder
  4. Sony HDR-CX210 (8 GB) High Definition Camcorder
  5. Panasonic HDC-TM40 (16 GB) High Definition Camcorder