While there a lot of devices now capable of capturing videos, there is still one device that can do this work efficiently: video cameras. That, of course, depends on their features and quality. That is why scrutiny of your options is a vital step to take to make sure you’ll get nothing but smooth video footage and crystal-clear electronic motion pictures.

As such, we offer you the 5 of the best video cameras available on the market, with each one possessing the latest updates, features, functions, and lenses you need.

Get a look at the list of their advantages and disadvantages to get a quick idea of whether they are a good pick for you or not. Also, enjoy reading the valuable insights we composed after a series of personal tests and inspections together with our camera expert, Evangeline Summers. Lastly, once you find the best one, just click on the buttons below to check on their prices and to secure their best bargains on Amazon!

Best Video Cameras Comparison & Rating

Video Cameras

Features

Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera Camcorder with Audio Input(Microphone), 3.0-Inch Touch Panel LCD, Digic DV 4 Image Processor, 57x Advanced Zoom, and Full HD CMOS Sensor, Black
  • 57X zoom
  • Zoom Framing Assist
  • 3-inch capacitive touch panel LCD screen
Sony HD Video Recording HDRCX405 HDR-CX405/B Handycam Camcorder (Black) + 64GB Premium Bundle
  • Exmor R CMOS sensor
  • Intelligent Auto feature
  • Carl Zeiss zoom lens with 30X optical zoom
Sony FDRX3000/W Underwater Camcorder 4K, White
  • ZEISS Tessar lens, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, and a BIONZ X processor
  • 3X zoom and 12 MP still image shots up to 10 FPS in burst mode
  • 4K resolution with Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization
Panasonic X2000 4K Professional Camcorder with 24x Optical Zoom, WiFi HD Live Streaming, 3G SDI Output and VW-HU1 Detachable Handle, HC-X2000 (USA Black)
  • 3.5-inch monitor
  • 24-bit high-resolution linear PCM audio recording
  • optical zoom at 24X with 5-Axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization
Video Camera Camcorder Full HD 1080P 30FPS 24.0 MP IR Night Vision Vlogging Camera Recorder 3.0 Inch IPS Screen 16X Zoom Camcorders Camera Remote Control with 2 Batteries
  • 1080 P (30 FPS) videos and 24 MP photos
  • 16X digital zoom
  • IR night vision

1. Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera

Canon VIXIA HF R800 Portable Video Camera Camcorder with Audio Input(Microphone), 3.0-Inch Touch Panel LCD, Digic DV 4 Image Processor, 57x Advanced Zoom, and Full HD CMOS Sensor, Black
Specifications:
98% Overall

Brand

Canon

Dimensions

4.6 x 2.1 x 2.3 inches

Weight

8.5 ounces

Zoom

57X digital, 32X optical

98%
video quality
98%
build & ergonomics
98%
features
99%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Features a 3-inch capacitive touch panel LCD screen.
  • The LCD is considerably bright and clear and capable of delivering vivid images.
  • Sports the SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer which allows the videos taken at long focal lengths to stay steady.
  • Offers Zoom Framing Assist that is available in auto and manual mode.
  • Powerful 57X digital zoom and continually variable zoom speed settings with 15 levels available.
  • Offers great 32X optical zoom.
  • Comes with an HD CMOS sensor that allows vivid colors and details even at low-light settings.
  • Through HDMI output, the video camera can serve as an ultra HD webcam.
  • Has an on-chip noise reduction.
  • Utilizes the DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor.
  • Comes with a rechargeable lithium-ion battery.
  • Supports slow- (0.5 max) and fast-motion recording (300X, 600X, or 1200X).
  • Features Highlight Priority Mode and Backlight Correction.
  • Comes with a File Lock Function that protects files from deletion and changes.
  • Compatible with Canon Connect Station CS100, a photo and video storage device.
Cons:
  • Navigating the small screen is a bit hard for individuals with large fingers.
Final Take:

VIXIA HF R800 is undeniably another masterpiece of Canon due to its genius designs and features. Compared to the typical video cameras, it has more advanced capabilities that make it stand out such as its live-streaming function. You can even export video files over your USB without even using any Canon applications. Just simply connect it to your computer and press the Playback Mode button. This should make the cam be visible on your computer as a storage device. With this, you can easily access your files. And if there is one more thing that makes Canon the leading brand when it comes to video devices, it is its audio quality.


"After using it to an external mic," said Summers, "we felt the need to praise Canon for the great job it has done with VIXIA HF R800. With the right external mic, you’ll have a balanced microphone input. Clear, distinct, and modulated. As for its video quality, Canon does not disappoint. Even at a low-light setting like dawn or dusk, it can capture details over 40 feet. Impressive and highly recommended, indeed!"

2. Sony HDR-CX405 Video Camera

Sony HD Video Recording HDRCX405 HDR-CX405/B Handycam Camcorder (Black) + 64GB Premium Bundle
Specifications:
98% Overall

Brand

Sony

Dimensions

11.9 x 10.4 x 4.8 inches

Weight

3.61 pounds

Zoom

30X optical

97%
video quality
98%
build & ergonomics
98%
features
98%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Features an Exmor R CMOS sensor.
  • Great video clarity with less noise in dark environments.
  • Capable of a soft background defocusing.
  • Sports an advanced image stabilization that prevents blurs.
  • Offers a wide-angle Carl Zeiss zoom lens with 30X optical zoom.
  • Has an Intelligent Auto feature that determines the type of settings that best fit your recording scenes.
  • Optimizes a combination of settings from three groups (Face, Scene, and Camera Shake).
Cons:
  • The buttons are a bit tiny.
Final Take:

HDR-CX405 is packed with a lot of helpful tools that can convert your footage into an impressive movie video.


"It features the Highlight Movie Maker that allows you to add highlight markers and visual effects to the videos which can be very handy for students who need instant results for various educational video projects," said Summers.


It also has a unique ability to record simultaneously in XAVC S or AVCHD format and MP4 format which is very handy for every user who plans to transfer or use the files in different ways.


On the other hand, the video that can be taken by HDR-CX405 has been really astonishing. With the 26.8 mm wide-angle setting being offered by its Carl Zeiss Vario Tessar 30X optical zoom, you can capture more details in your shots even at long distances.


Moreover, the cam effectively reduces and stabilizes shaking movements or handshakes which results in the favorable quality of videos without even the use of tripods. Truly excellent worthy of a five-star rating!

3. Sony FDRX3000 Underwater Video Camera

Sony FDRX3000/W Underwater Camcorder 4K, White
Specifications:
98% Overall

Brand

Sony

Dimensions

1.16 x 1.85 x 3.27 inches

Weight

4.1 ounces

Zoom

3X digital, 1X optical

96%
video quality
98%
build & ergonomics
97%
features
99%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Comes with a 4K resolution with Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization.
  • Sports a ZEISS Tessar lens, back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor, and a BIONZ X processor.
  • Features 3X rec. lights and an adjustable beep volume.
  • Has a splash- and freeze-proof body and waterproof housing that can protect the camera underwater down to 197 feet.
  • Has three viewing angles wide, medium, and narrow.
  • Offers 3X zoom and 12 MP still image shots up to 10 FPS in burst mode.
  • Excellent stereo sound and wind noise-reduction ability.
  • Supports built-in WiFi, Bluetooth, NFC, GPS, HDMI, USB, and mic jack.
  • Very easy to use and intuitive.
Cons:
  • AF is not available on zoom.
Final Take:

"We were amazed by the image stabilization capability of its Balanced Optical SteadyShot that is truly efficient in delivering blur-free images by cutting the effects of camera shakes," said Summers. "This results in smoother videos and still images that are downright perfect!"


Due to its compact size and intuitive features, it is great alternative beating GoPro and other action cams on the market. Also, there are more lights on the camera compared to the previous models of Sony.


With this, you have a device that can reach details meters away even in a low-light setting! There are lots of other features that FDRX3000 can offer and we tell you, it's worth every penny!

4. Panasonic HC-X2000 Professional Video Camera

Panasonic X2000 4K Professional Camcorder with 24x Optical Zoom, WiFi HD Live Streaming, 3G SDI Output and VW-HU1 Detachable Handle, HC-X2000 (USA Black)
Specifications:
98% Overall

Brand

Panasonic

Dimensions

12.79 x 11.1 x 8.46 inches

Weight

5.85 pounds

Zoom

24X optical

97%
video quality
98%
build & ergonomics
98%
features
97%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Supports WiFi live streaming.
  • Comes with a 3.5-inch monitor (2,760K-dots) with an electrostatic touch panel.
  • Has up/down tiltable viewfinder (1,555K-dot).
  • Has manual rings, ND filters, and a built-in LED light.
  • Sports a 24-bit high-resolution linear PCM audio recording.
  • Features double SD card slots.
  • Comes with a detachable single-screw handle that is armed with audio control, LED light, zoom, and 2-channel XLR Audio Input.
  • Offers 4K 60 P recording and 25 mm wide-angle.
  • Unbeatable optical zoom at 24X with 5-Axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization.
  • Very impressive focusing and speed.
  • Great 4K high-precision face detection.
  • Can correct rotational blurring and handshake in a 5-axis direction.
Cons:
  • The fast zoom needs to be activated every time you turn the cam on.
  • No grid lines for quick framing rule of thirds.
Final Take:

Panasonic created HC-X2000 to specifically address the needs of various target audiences such as news crews, wildlife videographers, and amateurs who want to start and explore professional video cameras.


It is perfect for commercial works and projects due to its effective zoom, bright LCD, and other helpful features packed in one lightweight device," said Summers. "If you would compare it to other cameras like Sony’s, you have better control over HC-X2000. For instance, compared to Sony with gain settings that jump 3dB at a time, you can adjust HC-X2000 1dB at a time."


It also has programmable user buttons which let you enjoy customization and ease of use on your end. It even sports a full color-correction menu, allowing users to play with the settings to improve the image quality. Also, we love that it can adapt to fast-moving scenes, thanks to its 4K 60 P and 10 bit H.265 features. And for the autofocus, we have to say that Panasonic has done a great job if you ever had any experience with its former cams.


To wrap everything up, HC-X2000 is undeniably one great success for Panasonic that is worth every penny. As a matter of fact, after personally reviewing the product, we bet that you’ll get more than what you’ll pay for!

5. LINNSE LCAM-42 Video Camera

Video Camera Camcorder Full HD 1080P 30FPS 24.0 MP IR Night Vision Vlogging Camera Recorder 3.0 Inch IPS Screen 16X Zoom Camcorders Camera Remote Control with 2 Batteries
Specifications:
96% Overall

Brand

LINNSE

Dimensions

6.77 x 5.59 x 3.5 inches

Weight

10 ounces

Zoom

16X digital, 1X optical

95%
video quality
95%
build & ergonomics
94%
features
99%
ease of use
Pros:
  • Delivers full HD 1080 P (30 FPS) videos and 24 MP photos.
  • Supports 16X digital zoom.
  • Sports 3-inch IPS screen with 270-degree rotation.
  • Features IR night vision and can support an external fill light.
  • Supports external microphones with a 3.5 mm jack.
  • Compatible with SD cards up to 128 GB.
  • Can be easily connected to the PC and be used as a webcam.
  • Comes with two 1500 mAh batteries and can be used while being charged.
  • Supports the pause function, low-speed video, motion detection, time-lapse, self-shooting, and continuous shooting.
  • Comes with remote control for group photos.
Cons:
  • No separate battery chargers the batteries can only be charged when attached to the camera.
Final Take:

LINNSE LCAM-42 is an affordable video camera with a wider set of features that separates it from others.


"LINNSE LCAM-42 can go as high as ISO 3200," Summers commented on one of its strengths. "This gives you better liberty in choosing the right level of brightness for your footage."


Furthermore, it can support a higher capacity of SD cards up to 128 GB. This means more storage for your footage and fewer moments of tedious card formatting.


We also appreciate that the interface, buttons, and functions of this video camera are pretty intuitive. So, if you are a beginner who wants to explore video cameras, LCAM-42 is a good start.


It provides you great features and add-ons which improve your experience as you decide to higher and more well-known video camera models.

Best Video Cameras - Buyer's Guide

HD

To get a quality HD video performance, make sure to check the cam’s resolution, sensor capture frame rate, and actual recorded frame rate. The most common options for HD settings are 720 P and 1080 P or 1080 I. When you encounter the latter, stick with 1080 P as it is better.

Zoom

You might also want to look for the zoom details of the camera as it is important in delivering clear images. While there are cams that offer zooms that are either too low or intimidatingly high, check if it is digital or optical. Keep in mind that optical zoom is much important than the digital one as the latter decreases video quality when applied. Also, the lens should at least have a maximum aperture of f2 or lower with an equivalent focal length of 39 mm. Remember that the shorter the focal length, the wider your viewing angle will be.

stabilization

This is always present in any video camera on the market. The type of image stabilization however might not satisfy you if its type doesn’t suit your activities and projects. If it’s possible, look for optical image stabilization as they are more ideal in delivering and retaining video stability and quality. On the other hand, digital stabilization can be a good choice if most of your projects require you to move while holding the cam.

sensors

Always check the sensor of the video cam you are going to purchase. If you are new to this, be reminded that the sensor resolution should at least be twice the video’s standard resolution. You’ll encounter models that offer higher resolutions and although they won’t provide much improvement to the video, they can aid in the quality of still images.

Also, for a quick tip, look for CMOS sensors with backside-illuminated technology. This will assure you of clearer and better videos even in low-light settings. This is where Sony is known for.

needs and ease of use

If you need a video camera that will provide you all the features you need for exquisite moving pictures, opt for a unit that all the bells and whistles or to be precise, professional video cams or high-end ones. You can choose from the leading brands like Sony, Canon, Panasonic, JVC, and Toshiba. However, as you shift to professional video cameras, be informed that you’ll have to take time dealing with steep learning curves due to a number of functions and features that are only present in such kinds of video cams.

Best Video Cameras - FAQs

What is a video camera used for?

Video cameras are used to record electronic motion pictures. Nowadays, they come with a variety of new functions and features that further improve the clarity and audio of the videos.

Is it worth buying a video camera?

The worth and value of a video camera depend on your need. If your activities and work require you to record videos, it is advisable to go for video cameras, especially those with excellent functions. However, if you think you would rarely use it for the said purpose, we suggest getting a camera that also offers video capabilities and more handy on most occasions.

Can I use DSLR for shooting videos?

Yes, you can. DSLR cameras can capture 4K UHD and can deliver excellent still pictures and videos. Furthermore, they have larger sensors that enable them to effectively adapt to low-light conditions.

Is it better to buy an expensive video camera or a cheap one?

If your profession relies on the use of video cameras, investing in top-brand models is a must. Doing this will help you enjoy the full value of the purchase since they are capable of producing good qualities of work. On the other hand, if you just need a video camera that you will use on just specific occasions, you can go for inexpensive models.

Author

Santi Bongco is an editor at SolidSmack which is the leading site for 3D CAD, robots, cool product designs, and other technologies. For the past seven years, he taught robotics and developed innovative 3D printer ideas with his students. He also helped in developing some innovative digital ideas and products for various digital marketing businesses and big companies in Asia. Now, aside from exploring buffet restos in California, he enjoys leading groups of our in-house experts in trying some of your favorite products and electronic brands to write insightful reviews for you. PS: He loves reviewing appliances and taking them home to personally ‘try’ them.