Best Camcorder Under $500 To Buy in 2017 – Buyer’s Guide

If you are planning to buy camcorder under $500? Here is our top 10 list of best camcorders with affordable price.

Camcorders are generally considered as high price video cameras used for professional photography, commercial shooting, wedding photography etc.

But, you can buy camcorder at limited budget too. Even lots of good quality camcorders are available under $500 with Canon, GoPro, Panasonic, Sony etc. big brands.

Best Video Camera Under $500:

1. Panasonic HC-V770 HD Camcorder

Panasonic HC V770 HD Camcorder

Panasonic HC-V770 HD is easy to use and our #1 choice in top 10 HD camcorders list under $500. HC-V770 has 12.76 MP CMOS sensor. But, for capturing video or photo, it uses only 6.03 Megapixals which is almost 3 times of actual requirement to capture full HD.

HC-V770 uses extra resolution for intelligent zoom to increase optical zoom from 20x to 50x. HC-V7770 has extra sensor for optical image stabilization.

With help of this extra sensor, you can capture really stable and good image even with a bit movement in horizontal as well as vertical direction along the axis.

So far with my experience, I can say that this combination of extra sensor technique is most effective.

As Panasonic HC-V770 is not 4K camera, it can shoot in 1080p full HD with 50 fps. MP4 option can shoot in 720p and iFrame which uses 960x540 resolution at 25 fps.

Although HC-V770 comes under $500 price tag, it still has built-in Wi-Fi capability. You can remotely control it too for example as baby monitor to take care of your kids at home, as surveillance camera to keep an eye at your home even in your absence.

Features:

  • 12.76 MP CMOS Sensor
  • 20x optical zoom which can be increased to 50x
  • ​Hybrid optical image stabilization for better and stable shots
  • Full HD recording at 1080p
  • ​Wi-Fi connectivity
  • ​MP4 format at 25 frames per seconds rate
  • ​Special effects like miniature effect, Time lapse, 8mm movie etc.

If you are strict with budget and can’t go for 4K camcorder, then Panasonic HC-V770 is best HD Video camcorder under $500 for you.

​Sample Video from Panasonic HC-770 HD Camcorder:

2. Sony HDR-PJ260v Camcorder

Sony HDR-PJ260v Camcorder

Sony HDR-PJ260 is an impressive camcorder under $500 range with 8.9 MP CMOS sensor and Full HD video recording capability.

HDR-PJ260v has a very simple to use 3-inch LCD display touchscreen with lots of controlling options at it. It comes with 16GB of internal flash memory with ability to add external SD card.

BIONZ image processor improves the speed and quality of images. Face detection feature and smile capture helps to get great shots with ease.

Features:

  • 8.9 MP CMOS Sensor
  • 1920x1080 Full HD Video recording
  • BIONZ Image processor
  • TTL Contrast detection system
  • 350x Digital Zoom
  • Smile Capture, Smile Shutter and face priority auto focus
  • Widescreen Video Capture
  • 30x optical Zoom
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 channel recording, Dolby Digital 5.1 Creator

Sample Video from Sony HDR-PJ260v Camcorder:

3. Panasonic HC-W570 HD Camcorder

Panasonic HC-W570 HD Camcorder

Panasonic HC-W570 HD Camcorder is an entry level Full HD video quality video camcorder with a price tag under $500.

Panasonic’s new idea for having twin camera (another camera) for picture-in-picture effect is something you would love to have.

HC-W570 can capture long shots with 50x optical zoom and it can go up to 90x. Although, you have some controls buttons over camera, but you can manage almost everything from 3-inch touch screen.

It comes with built-in Wi-Fi to share videos and pictures with laptops and other devices. HC-W570 is capable of live streaming the HD videos via Ustream.

Being under $500, Panasonic HC-W570 is not just affordable, but also give a strong competition to other popular HD camcorders under $500 range.

Features:

  • Full HD 1080p Video Recording capability
  • 10 MP Still Images
  • 2nd built-in camera (twin camera) for picture-in-picture effect
  • 3-inch LCD touchscreen
  • 50x zoom optical zoom and 90x intelligent zoom
  • 5-axis image stabilization system for steady shots
  • Wi-Fi and NFC Connectivity for quick images and video sharing
  • Level shot to correct tilting in images

Sample Video from Panasonic HC-W570 HD Camcorder:

4. Canon VIXIA HF R600 Camcorder

Canon VIXIA HF R600 Camcorder

Canon VIXIA HF R600 is an upgraded version or you can say a better replacement of Canon HF R500. Like R500, Canon HF R600 has 2 other versions R62 and R60.

Only different between RF 600 and other 2 models are Wi-Fi capability, NFC sharing and internal storage. Both versions have these features and RF 600 lacks these. Rest of the features, hardware, design, looks, functionality etc. are same in all versions.

Lack of these features actually seems fine as RF 600 is $150 cheaper than RF 62. Price for RF 600 stays under $250 which makes it cheapest HD video camcorder.

Canon VIXIA HF R600 has comfortable grip for better handling the camcorder. You will find dedicated buttons for most common operations like video on/off, zoom, white balance etc.

HF R600 has 3.28 MP Full HD CMOS sensor and able to shoot 1080p videos at 60 fps rates.

You can expect a really good quality image and video from HF R600 even in low light conditions. 57x optical zoom is capable for having very distant shots without even moving a bit.

HF R600 models have SuperRange optical image stabilizer for making up for minor shakes.

Features:

  • Full HD 1080p Video recording
  • 3.28 MP Full HD CMOS Sensor
  • 3.0-inch touchscreen
  • Boost in battery life (better than previous version Canon R500 cam)
  • $200 cheaper than R62 and R60 models
  • Limited features make it newbie friendly
  • 57x advance zoom for longer shots
  • SuperRange Image Stabilizer to cover up minor shakes

Sample Video from Canon VIXIA HF R600 Camcorder:

5. GoPro HERO4 BLACK 4K Action Camera

GoPro HERO4 Black Camcorder

GoPro Hero4 Black is flagship HD camera from GoPro. GoPro targeted professionals and high end users who can’t compromise with quality of video. And GoPro did exceptionally well to achieve its goal.

GoPro Hero4 Black is one of the best HD Camera you can find under $500 in USA, AU$ 649 in Australia and £370 in UK.

Hero4’s processor is quite powerful which allows you to capture 4K resolutions at 30 fps. You can record 1080p video at 120 frames per second. Powerful processor makes GoPro HERO4 Black as one of the first choice to shoot fast moving scenes as well as slow-motion videos.

GoPro made some changes in Hero4 camera buttons. It replaced the Wi-Fi button with “Hilight Tag” button. While capturing a long video, you can tag some amazing and cool moments right after happening them. So that, in future you can find those important moments in that really long video easily in GoPro mobile app or desktop application.

When you are not recording, pressing this same button will show you settings at screen. In Hero4, GoPro make it really easy to access various features with these buttons.

GoPro Hero4 Black Features:

  • 12 MP CMOS sensor
  • Best 4K Image Quality compared to other Action Cameras
  • 4K Video recording at 30 fps, 1080p at 120 fps.
  • Hilight/Setting button to tag cool moments in a long video
  • Better Quality and control with ProTune Mode
  • Water proof up to 40m
  • Wi-Fi capability via smartphone

Sample Video from GoPro HERO4 Black Camcorder:

6. Sony HDR-PJ380/B Camcorder

Sony HDR-PJ380:B Camcorder

Sony HDR-PJ380 is a mid range HD camcorder with built-in projector. With 30x zoom lens, optical image stabilization, internal memory of 16GB and 1080p video recording capability and price under $500, Sony HDR-PJ380 was easily able to join our top 10 HD Camcorder under $500 list.

PJ380 is really small size HD cam (2.4x2.3x4.6 inches) and light weight (just 7.4 ounces) with powerful features.

Sony HDR-PJ380 has 30x zoom lens which can extend up to 55x. With Optical image stabilization, you can capture really good footage while zooming to very extreme length. Its autofocus is impressively fast when you zoom in to capture a really distant shot.

Sony HDR-PJ380/B Features:

  • 4.2 MP CMOS Sensor
  • 30x Optical Zoom which can be extended to 42x Zoom
  • 16GB Internal storage
  • Built-in 640 x 360 LED Projector
  • Good Quality HD Video
  • Compact Design for easier use

Sample Video from Sony HDR-PJ380/B Camcorder:

7. Canon VIXIA HF R500 Digital Camcorder

Canon VIXIA HF R500 Digital Camcorder

Canon HF R500 is widely praised camera because of its stunning features, upgrades Canon added in R500 compares to previous versions and a price tag of $300.

Canon HF R500 has really compact design. Even newbie vloggers can easily understand its all functions within few minutes.

RF 500 is very light and handy. With RF 500, its quite easy to capture videos and pictures even at tough locations. It has 3-inch capacitive touch scree which is very much responsive.

Canon HF R500 has 3.28 MP CMOS sensor and is able to capture really high quality 1080p and 720p video which are far better than video captured by high-end smartphones and tablets.

SuperRange Image Stabilization helps to capture steady video comfortably.

BabyMode make it easy to capture the photos of 3-year-old kids and record their growth in very pretty Baby Album.

Canon VIXIA HF R500 Camcorder Features:

  • 3.28 MP CMOS Optical Sensor
  • High quality 1080p and 720p Videos
  • 1920x1080 Resolution
  • 1140 x digital zoom
  • HDMI, USB 2.0 for video and picture sharing
  • 32x digital zoom for capturing distant shots
  • ​SuperRange Optical Image Stabilization
  • Automatic white balance
  • Baby Mode and Baby Album
  • Very economical pricing of just $300

Sample Video from Canon VIXIA HF R500 Camcorder:

8. Sony HDR-CX330 HD Camcorder:

Sony HDR-CX330 HD Camcorder

Sony HDR-CX330 Cam is one of the cheapest camcorder from Sony to enter into market.

A lots of high-end camcorders whose primary function is to capture videos and pictures are not much user-friendly while editing and sharing these videos and pictures at social media.

With Sony HDR-CX330, Sony is trying to fill the gap in current social media friendly youth.

HDR-CS300 has 2.7-inch screen with 230k dot resolution. Its not a touch screen and more responsive with buttons and joystick.

HDR-CX300 has black illuminated Exmore CMOS Sensor and SteadyShot image stabilization. It is capable of capturing good quality 1080p and 720p videos.

Easy social media sharing options and $329 price makes it popular among newbie vloggers who are looking a good camcorder within $500 budget.

Sony HDR-CX330 HD Camcorder Features:

  • 9.2 MP Exmor CMOS Sensor
  • 1920x1080 Full HD Video Recording capability
  • 2.7-inch touchscreen
  • SteadyShot Optical Image Stabilization
  • Wi-Fi Capability, and Easy image and video sharing
  • Easy Social media sharing options

Sample Video from Sony HDR-CX330 HD Camcorder:

Here is our list of 8 best and cheap HD camcorders under $500. If you are still confused among all of these, then I will suggest to pick my personal favorite camcorder under $500 Panasonic HC-V770.

If you think that we missed any camcorder in our review and you want us to review it and please share it with us in comments.

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