We’re tempted to make some corny 80’s jokes here—like, put on your Z. Cavariccipants and tease your bangs while listening to MC Hammer—but just like LL Cool J, we wouldn’t dare call this a comeback. Like vinyl records, camcorders never burned out or faded away. But they’re undeniably back in style now. These are the 11 best camcorders and video cameras on the market in 2020.
1. Panasonic HC-V770 Full HD Camcorder
Equipped with a strong 20x optical zoom and a four-drive lens system, you’ll shoot crystal-clear videos with unrivaled picture quality even when at a distance, like when your kids are running towards the beach—you’ll keep them close on video! This Panasonic HC-V770 is one of the best video cameras on the market thanks to an amazing HDR Movie Function that combines two visuals taken at different exposure times, and suppresses blown highlights and blocked shadows to produce dynamic videos. Additionally, a wireless twin camera functionality lets you use your smartphone’s WI-Fi to film from two different angles at the same time, resulting in a clever picture in picture effect. Finally, the special damping material on the wind shield zoom microphone reduces wind and noises for the clearest audio recording possible, because you want to hear your adorable kids (not the stiff breeze off the ocean)!
2. Sony HDR-CX405 Camcorder Bundle
While they may only be viewed on small screens, with this Sony handheld camcorder, you’ll create hi-def, cinematic videos worthy of the big screen. A 30x optical zoom and 60x clear image zoom allow you to get up close to wildlife on vacation—like a magnificent breaching whale during an epic MSC Cruise to New England—and the 26.8mm wide angle ZEISS Lenswill frame it all beautifully. This Sony HDR-CX405’s Highlight Movie Maker feature will automatically create instantly sharable short videos in MP4 format from multiple clips you’ve captured. This affordable bundle includes a 64GB memory card, LED light, time tripod, 6-foot Micro-HDMI cable, and so much more to have you ready to call “action!” without a single delay.
3. Canon VIXIA R800 Camcorder Bundle
Right out of the box, Canon’s VIXIA HF R800 camcorder bundle will have you ready to film anything and everything. From cute home videos and graduation ceremonies to those precious dance recitals you’ll never want to forget, Canon’s 57x Advanced Zoom will guarantee you can get the money shot even if you’re stuck in the back rows of the high school gym. The MP4 files created will make sharing short videos to YouTube and other social media sites quick and painless, and the VIXIA R800’s backlight correction will allow you to shoot into the sun without making your subject look like nothing but a silhouette. In the bundle is a tripod, 64GB memory card, camcorder case, extra battery and a cleaning kit.
4. LAIDUOAO 2.7K Video Camcorder with Remote
This inexpensive full HD digital camcorder has Wi-Fi connectivity and captures your family vacation moments at 24 MP in true 1920×1090 resolution. Instantly connect to your smartphone and share your charming and funny videos for your friends, family and followers seconds after they happen. Use the included remote control and the LAIDUOAO camcorder’s pause function to video yourself, too, anywhere and anytime. The 3-inch touchscreen makes controlling your shot easy, and a 16x digital zoom with anti-shake and face capture will ensure you produce high quality short movies (without breaking the bank).
5. CEDITA 24MP Camcorder with Night Vision Fill Light
Shooting vibrant video in 1080P 30FPS resolution with a 16x digital zoom and a built-in microphone will have even novices creating great videos. Night vision with a fill light means you can use this CEDITA camcorder 24 hours a day to make your movies. Finally, a pair of rechargeable batteries will give you the peace of mind that you’ll never be left holding a dead video camera while something viral-worthy is happening in front of you!
6. YEEHAO WiFi 1080P HD Camcorder with External Microphone
This YEEHAO is one of the best camcorders available in 2020 because it comes with a wide angle lens and lens hood, pause functionality, and an external microphone adopting an X-Y stereo pickup for crisp, clean and stable sound to accompany the stunning video images. Wi-Fi connectivity allows for easy smartphone sharing of your videos on social media and IR night vision permits low light shooting, so the videoing can roll on into the night! Use the professional grade 0.39X super 2-in-1 wide angle lens (with macro lens) to expertly capture landscapes and gorgeous national park vistas while making videos on your family vacation. The package contains a pair of batteries, all the necessary USB and HDMI cables, a camcorder bag, the external mic and wide angle lens.
7. ALSONE WiFi FHD 1080P Infrared Night Vision Camcorder
This ALSONE camcorder has built-in Wi-Fi, allowing control of the camera through its smartphone app. Shoot in time lapse, slow-mo, or make a loop recording, all with the beauty face function, so your followers will only ever see the best side of you! Recording in full 1080p HD, speaking into the built-in microphone and using the 3-inch 270-degree rating touch screen will have you making videos like a pro straightaway. Two rechargeable batteries are included so you’ll never run out of juice and can still record while charging. With the video camera’s IR night vision function, you can also shoot clear white and black videos in the dark.
8. Besungo Ultra HD Camcorder
Attention live streamers! The Besungo 1080P video camera is one of the best video cameras you can buy in 2020 because it is perfect for YouTube or Instagram LiveStream, thanks to being able to stream directly to YouTube and Instagram in webcam mode, without having to upload to a computer first! Other included features are beauty face, anti-shake, smile capture and a self-timer, plus a remote control and night vision. With the included HDMI cable, you can gather ‘round the family and instantly start watching your vacation videos and 24 MP still photos on your big HD TV at home.
9. MELCAM 1080P Camcorder with Microphone
Like other digital video cameras in this price range, the MELCAM shoots in true HD and captures 24MP still photography, has a 3-inch rotating touchscreen, 16x zoom, remote control, comes with a pair of rechargeable batteries and can also be charged up by a USB cable. The key benefit of this video camera over the others, though, is the external microphone using X-Y stern pickup tech to provide you with enhanced sound, good volume and noise reduction. If you want to pair perfect audio with crisp visuals, this MELCAM 1080P camcorder is an excellent option at an affordable price.
10. Hyleton 1080P Digital Kids Camcorder
If you’d like to arm your mini-me filmmaker with a digital video camera of their own (without forking over a small fortune), this Hyleton 1080P HD camcorder is your best bet. There are five mini games included for kids to play, and cute stickers for them to decorate the already rad camcorder. This model will make your single-digit-age kiddos extremely happy and occupy them while bouncing around in the back of the car or wedged into the middle seat of an airplane. The photo and video modes offers 10 scene selections and 15 cute photo frame options, so children can choose their favorite scene or photo frame before shooting and add a bit of personal flair to their creative output. The video camera allows for quick playback for instant gratification, is made of high-grade and eco-friendly materials, and uses a rechargeable battery so there’s no need to buy and pack a stack of AA batteries!
11. Cofunkool 24 MP Vlogging Camcorder
Everything you need to start making brilliant home movies for family and friends is included with this Cofunkool camcorder. A three inch, flippable touchscreen, IR night vision, wide angle lens for expertly capturing breathtaking landscape scenes, 3-inch 270-degree flippable touch screen, external microphone with windscreen, remote control, and included mini tripod means you’ll be ready to shoot and edit videos right out of the box. And thanks to slo-mo, 2x speed, and loop recording modes, you’ll be able to make a variety of videos to commemorate your family vacation.
Jeff Bogle lives in the suburbs of Philadelphia with his two teen daughters, two cats, one dog and six (yes, six) guinea pigs. He is an award-winning photographer and respected travel journalist with bylines on Reader’s Digest, Good Housekeeping, PBS, Esquire and more. Jeff (probably) spends too much time in England watching football and far too many hours plotting his family’s future travel adventures. Find Jeff on his own site, Out With the Kids.