In an era where cameras are everywhere, many people forget the power of a good camcorder. The choices of best camcorder for YouTube are some of the best on the market when it comes to high quality video for a cheap price.
While there are many camera options for YouTubers, the camcorder is a rare combination of value and quality. Whether you are someone looking for a budget camera, or you want to make sure that you are vlogging with a flip screen, there is likely to be a good choice for your channel below.
Best Camcorders for YouTube - 2017
How (and why) to buy a Camcorder for YouTube
With so many options, there is a lot to consider when choosing a camera for YouTube. Camcorders offer a lot of advantages for YouTubers - they are easy for beginners to produce good looking video, they are usually lightweight and portable, and even good ones tend to be realtively cheap. If your camera budget is under $300, then a Camcorder is one of your best options.
Here is a great video from Think Media that explains the differences between a camcorder and a DSLR:
You can learn more about growing on YouTube from Sean Cannel with this free webinar.
Video quality is the biggest reason to upgrade from a simple smartphone camera, and even cheap camcorders today capture good looking video.
When a video is uploaded to Youtube, the site automatically compresses the file to ensure that all videos load fast for most internet connections. This means that you should aim for a 1080p camcorder because if a video’s resolution is over that limit, it will end up being downgraded to that resolution anyways. For now that means that 4K resolution is not going to help you look any better than other channels.
However, if you do decide to spend the extra money on 4K resolution, then you will be future proofing your content so that when YouTube likely upgrades to 4K visuals in the future, you will be one of the few channels who can deliver that high end video.
A good content creator truly cares about audio quality. While some camcorders have an internal mic, you can look into external microphones with 3.5mm connectors (the standard size) to improve audio capture - as long as the camcorder has the appropriate input.
If you want to get fancy, there are some new state-of-the-art wireless microphones that connect to your video camera with Bluetooth technology. For the vloggers and indoor video creators, there are also clip-on mics similar to the ones you see on talk shows.
Unlike DSLRs which can be difficult to find for less than $500, quality camcorders can be found at a good price. Unless you are looking to make cinema level scripted videos, then you can likely find a winner for under $300. Camcorders and HD webcams are the most affordable options for high quality YouTube filming.
Even if budget is less of a concern, we feel like most YouTubers won't benefit from power of a camcorder that is above the $750 range, so don't worry about spending that much.
Durability & Transportation
Depending on what type of channel you have, you might find yourself in different locations while filming. This should impact your chosen camer.
If you will be sitting in a home studio with your camera on a tripod, then focus on maximizing video quality - however if you will be on the move a lot and would prefer a camcorder over an action camera, then you want to makes sure that the camera is durable, and has decent image stabilization to prevent shaky video.
Image Enhancement Features
One handy camera feature to check is the zoom lens. While not important for vlogging on the flip screen, this can come in handy if you are taking your camcorder in the world and want to capture what ever cool thing you stumble upon.When looking into a camcorder’s zoom rating, its optical zoom is more important than the digital zoom. It marks how much the physical lens itself can magnify what it sees.
Similarly, image stabilization is an important feature that can minimize shakiness that naturally occurs when you are moving around and capturing video. You can easily get a DSLR Gimbal or a GoPro stabilizer if you are using those cameras, but no such solution readily exists for camcorder.
Camcorders iare usually focused on recording video, at the expense of high end photography capabilities. As an extra perk for those who are also photographers, you might want a camcorder that can take digital stills.
If it includes a shutter button and flash, it doubles as a decent-quality digital camera, though you should probably invest in a better vlogging camera if that is important to you.
Shotgun mic included
Waterproof, great video
YouTube Camcorder Reviews
The Canon VIXIA HF R800 is considered one of the best options for an affordable all around camcorders. It has just good to great quality, durability, and bonus features that it is ideal for most YouTubers on a moderate budget.
The resolution of this camcorder may max out at 1080p, but it’s better than many other 1080p camcorders thanks to its excellent CMO image sensor. With minor adjustments in the simple user interface, you can get yourself crisp video quality in any environment.
One complaint we had was that the autofocus was not always as realiable as we hoped. Luckily, the manual focus on the interface is precise enough to make up for that hiccup.
Another highlight of the VIXIA HF R800 is its ability to adapt to nearly every type of lighting, including low light. This is usually a struggle for a lot of camcorders so it is a major bonus here.
It’s just small enough so that if you need to film something spontaneously, you can whip it out and record on the spot. The weight is about average when it comes to handheld camcorders.
The VIXIA HF R800 is the rare camcorder that is recommended by YouTubers, and is a great choice for someone looking to film better looking videos.
If you are making scripted content for YouTube in a variety of locations, the Besteker 1080P camcorder would be a good option to consider. In addition to solid video clarity, this camcorder is rich with features that make life as a vlogger and YouTuber much easier.
The Besteker is a cheap camcorder that does not skimp out on bells and whistles. It has some very handy features for film makers and vloggers such as the wide angle lens and its included shotgun microphone that immediately improves the audio performance relative to most cameras.
Another handy feature WiFi pairing to smartphones and tablets through the LzxViewer app. Not only can you send your footage to your phone, you can also use the phone itself as a remote control for the Besteker.
This state-of-the-art piece of equipment is both innovative and powerful, with its HD TV outputs and 2.5 hour battery time. If you still think that the battery time is not enough, the battery pack is detachable and supports extras. It is both durable, and portable.
The only complaint we have is that unlike many camcorders, there is more of a learning curve than normal for the Besteker. Experienced videographers will feel at home, but beginners will take a while before they take full advantage of this camcorder for their YouTube videos.
YouTubers looking for convenience, budget price, and nothing too flashy will want to look into the KINGEAR HDV-5053. Easy to pick up and go for under $100, this camcorder won't blow you away with visual fidelity, but it gets the job done if you only need the basics.
This camcorder is incredibly lightweight and portable, both a blessing and a curse. You can take it out of your pocket and set it to record in seconds. However it fees like if you blink too while looking at it, it will crumble. You need to be careful when taking this camcorder to differnet film locations.
Regardless of the HDV-5053 seeming almost like a toy, its software packs a reaosnable punch. The zoom lens goes impressively far and moves smoothly. For a video camera this small, it’s unbelievable that it supports 1080p video. A plus is that it also takes photographs. For a novice YouTuber on a budget, this is a decent choice for your first camcorder.
The WELIKERA Remote Control Handy Camera is a cheap camcorder that doubles as a photo camera. It is ideal for vloggers who will keep their camcorder fixed on a tripod because of its remote control feature, and because despite budget price, this camcorder still captures impressive looking video in 1080p which is ideal for YouTube.
The WELIKERA has some handy features that similar video cameras lack, such as its night vision feature and extensive image adjustment menu.
Given the low cost, there are a couple of setbacks. This camcorder does not perform well in lowlight, and its zoom feature is lacking. because footage will look grainy and dark in low light. If you are on the go, you will need to work hard tohave a steady because image stabilization is lackluster.
If you want a camcorder to take for on the go vlogging, then we don't recommend the WELIKERA, but if you want a cheap camera to sit on a tripod
The Sony FDRX3000/W Underwater Camcorder 4k action cam that is packed with features for those willing to spend a little bit more on their camera. You can record high definition footage anywhere you want - its waterproof, durable body and excellent image stabilization helps turn any footage into eye popping YouTube gold.
A surprising bonus of the FDRX3000/W is that the sound quality is on par with how much effort they put into ensuring excellent video quality. In fact, it’s so good that you might not even need an external microphone. It does include an external USB mic jack for those who want to improve captured sound even more.
On top of top notch audio/ video performance, this camcorder is packed with useful features. You can pair it to WiFi to control the camera from your smartphone. There, you can also live stream, though this feature isn't 100% reliable. You can also create unique content by going underwater, or taking advantage of the slow-motion feature.