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Prosumer camcorders with high-definition video support from JVC and Panasonic are often the best buys at the sub-$800 price point. The features to look for in the best sub-$800 camcorders include big LCD displays for ease of use, bigger sensor/lens sizes for better low-light performance and a great battery life for extended outdoor use.

Browse All Top Camcorders Under $800 »

Panasonic HC-V720

Panasonic HC-V720 3D Ready 1MOS HD Digital Camcorder


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Panasonic HC-V720
JVC Everio GZ-GX1
Canon Vixia HF M50
Canon Vixia HF M500
JVC Everio GZ-HM960
Panasonic HC-V720 3D Ready 1MOS HD Digital Camcorder
JVC Everio GZ-GX1 Camcorder
Canon Vixia HF M50 Camcorder
Canon Vixia HF M500 Camcorder
JVC Everio GZ-HM960 3D High Definition AVCHD Camcorder
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Release Date
Feb 2013
Feb 2012
Jan 2012
Jan 2012
Jan 2011
HDD Size
32.0 GB
8.0 GB
32.0 GB
16.0 GB
Optical Zoom
21.0 x
10.0 x
10.0 x
10.0 x
10.0 x
Recording Format
Flash Media, High Definition
Flash Media, High Definition
Flash Media
Flash Media
Full HD
Recording System
NTSC, PAL
NTSC
NTSC
NTSC
PAL
Camcorder Type
Digital
Digital
Digital
Digital
Digital, 3D
Memory Still Resolution
4.14 MegaPixels
11.0 MegaPixels
2.07 MegaPixels
2.37 MegaPixels
11.0 MegaPixels
Recordable Media
High Definition, AVCHD, MPEG-4
AVCHD
Flash Media
Flash Media
High Definition, AVCHD
Use
Video
Video, Photo Viewing
Video

  • It's hard to get excited about a camcorder that offers so few performance improvements, but bear with us, because the Panasonic HC-V720â?? like its predecessorâ?? is a great deal.

    Minus a few slight changes, both for better and worse, the V720's image quality is quite similar to the V700's. But let's not forget how strong performance was to begin with. This camcorder's color accuracy and noise reduction are both solid, and sharpness is outstanding, surpassing competitors like Canon's HF M52.


  • The Panasonic HC-V720 may only have minor improvements in central areas, particularly image quality, but it does have enough additional features and enhancements to make it a worthy upgrade nevertheless. The additional image stabilisation options, 5.1 surround sound, and comprehensive WiFi features are all very welcome. With great performance and loads of features, this is a great mid-range camcorder.


  • The important thing when considering whether to get the Panasonic HC-V720, then, isn't whether it'll give you vastly improved image quality in your video over what some cameras or the best smartphones will do. Sadly, it often won't.
    But what it does is enable you to smoothly record footage that you couldn't get any other way: close-ups in sporting events; perfectly smooth tracking of a bird taking off; video from a boat that doesn't make people too seasick.


  • JVC is certainly capable of producing great camcorders, and they've shown us very good models in the past. Unfortunately, last year the company didn't show us anything all that impressive, which is why we're looking forward to getting our hands on the new Everio GZ-GX1 for a full-length review. The camcorder has impressive specs, with Full HD 60p recording, a large 3.5-inch touchscreen, and a host of new WiFi-related features.


  • The JVC Everio GZ-GX1 is a high-end consumer camcorder that captures full 1080p60 video and offers up some compelling Wi-Fi features, but given its overall performance, the price is just too high.

  • Rating Unavailable

    Pixels, price and Wi-Fi functionality make the JVC Everio GZ-GX1 a serious contender in today's consumer camcorder marketplace.


  • If you're looking for a first-rate low light camcorder that won't break the bank, then the Canon HF M52 is right up your alley. It's a fantastic product in terms of video performance, and it ranked near the top of its class in all of our video tests (with the exception of image stabilization). The Vixia HF M52's $750 MSRP is steep for a mid-range model, but its exceptional video performance makes its high price understandable.


  • The Canon Vixia HF M50 is a capable digital camcorder, offering a variety of useful features, built-in storage, and great looking video, but it's hard to justify the price when compared with some of the better digital cameras out there.


  • When you first hear about it, the ability to convert 2D video to 3D with the JVC GZ-HM960 sounds kinda cool. When you really get into the feature, however, you'll see that it's more or a disappointment than anything else. All the camcorder does when you press the large, blue 3D button is it produces a fake 3D effect.


  • The Everio GZ-HM960BEK is a decidedly strange camcorder, although we've come to expect this kind of left-field approach from JVC. Its image quality is excellent, and it has a decent array of manual settings. The 2D/3D conversion also works better than you would expect. However, the inclusion of this technology and the glasses-free 3D display have pushed the price of this camcorder to equal or more than the top-end 2D-only models from JVC's main competitors.


  • The HM960's 3D capabilities can't match those of the TD1, but it won't hurt your bank balance as much either, and as a 2D camcorder it actually trumps all of its similarly priced 2D-only rivals, which makes it more of a triumph than a disappointment.


Top 5 camcorder under $800:

  1. Panasonic HC-V720 3D Ready 1MOS HD Digital Camcorder
  2. JVC Everio GZ-GX1 Camcorder
  3. Canon Vixia HF M50 Camcorder
  4. Canon Vixia HF M500 Camcorder
  5. JVC Everio GZ-HM960 3D High Definition AVCHD Camcorder