Updated on 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.


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Panasonic HC-X920
GoPro HERO3
JVC GC-PX100
Drift Innovation HD Ghost
Canon VIXIA HF G20
Panasonic HC-X920 3D Ready HD 3MOS Digital Camcorder
GoPro HERO3 Black Edition Camcorder
JVC Everio GC-PX100 Full HD Camcorder
Drift Innovation HD Ghost Wi-Fi Waterproof Camcorder
Canon VIXIA HF G20 HD Camcorder
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Release Date
Jan 2013
Oct 2012
Mar 2013
Dec 2012
Jan 2013
HDD Size
32.0 GB
0.256 GB
32.0 GB
Optical Zoom
12.0 x
10.0 x
10.0 x
Recording Format
Flash Media, High Definition
Flash Media, High Definition
High Definition
High Definition
Flash Media, High Definition
Recording System
NTSC, PAL
NTSC, PAL
NTSC
NTSC, PAL
NTSC
Camcorder Type
Digital
Digital
Digital
Digital
Digital
Memory Still Resolution
8.49 MegaPixels
12.0 MegaPixels
12.0 MegaPixels
11.0 MegaPixels
2.07 MegaPixels
Recordable Media
High Definition, AVCHD, MPEG-4
Flash Media, High Definition, AVCHD
SD/SDHC/SDXC Memory Card
Internal Flash Memory 256MB, microSD Up To 32GB
MPEG-4, AVCHD
Use
Video
Video
Video, Photo Viewing
Video
Video
Average Rating
 4.7 stars
 4.0 stars
 4.2 stars
 3.8 stars
 4.7 stars

Buying tips to find the Best Consumer Camcorder of 2016


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