2 August 2013 by

Consumer camcorders vary in price from $300 to over $1000 and primarily differ from professional camcorders with respect to smaller lens size/imaging chips and reduced manual controls. The biggest casualty of such reduced optical capabilities is the less than optimal low light performance.

The cheapest of consumer camcorders have the poorest low light performance and start with lens as small as 37mm-47mm diameter and a 1/6 inch small single imaging chip to match. Also missing are the exterior manual controls and minimal audio gain control.

At higher price points you can expect an increase in lens size to around 58mm diameter and increase in imaging chip size to around 1/3 inch. Other options to look for include includes manual audio controls and possibly a 1/8 inch stereo audio input.

As far as storage is considered most consumer camcorders default to flash memory or hard disc drive based storage. The video format is invariably AVCHD which is higher compression and consequently lower quality than the older HDV format. Downside to AVCHD being high compression is that it requires a lot more computing horsepower to edit.


Panasonic HC-X920 3D Ready HD 3MOS Digital Camcorder

Panasonic HC-X920
$899

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GoPro HERO3 Black Edition Camcorder

GoPro HERO3
$219 - $510

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Panasonic HC-V520 HD Digital Camcorder

Panasonic HC-V520
$280

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Drift Innovation HD Ghost Wi-Fi Waterproof Camcorder

Drift Innovation HD Ghost
$299

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Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder

Canon VIXIA HF G20
$900 - $1,208

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Panasonic HC-X900M Camcorder

Panasonic HC-X900M
$38 - $1,550

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Buying tips to find the Best Consumer Camcorder of 2014




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