Camcorders are not as popular as they were some years back. The real question is: Is it worth buying them in 2014? Well, that actually depends. It depends on the budget you have and the features you want to see in your camcorder. But, really, camcorders face tough competition in 2014. Both dSLR and smartphones produce stunning videos.
You will be surprised to know that smartphones have really good video recording capability which go head to head with camcorders and win in many scenarios perform better than dedicated camcorders.Not only that! Modern smartphones can shoot video in 4K. All major flagships shoot video in 4K resolution in acceptable frame rate.
dSLRs, while in early days were primarily used for stills, are today used for professional video recording. In its early days, rolling shutter and large sensor size prevented it from taking high quality videos. Focusing was a major problem too. But, now, the problems are worked upon. Professional dSLRs like the Canon Mark III and even entry-level dSLRs like Nikon D3200 take great videos. What’s more? Micro Four Third Cameras like Panasonic G6 and GH3 take exceptional videos. In fact, they take videos which look better than 6000$ camcorders. Panasonic GH4 which was released some months back can record video in native 4K resolution and produces stunning output.
In such competitive market, where do camcorders really stand? Nowhere! Well, that was pretty straight forward… But there is no other way to bring front this fact. Camcorders are dead but not completely. Yes, you can still buy a sub 250$ camcorder in Amazon. All major manufacturers like Sony, Panasonic and Canon offer such camcorder but they don’t really produce true HD output! Their sensor is also unusually small. They are cheap and really produce sub-par result! Actually, digital cameras at that price range produce better results. Cheap Camcorders are good for you only if you have a tight budget. But there sure are things that camcorders do way better than other cameras. For e.g. they have enormous zoom range. They can do 30x-40x optical zoom which is insane and that is the only thing they do better than anything else. Both dSLRs and smartphones don’t have such huge range optical zoom.
If you just want to make amateur home videos… camcorders will get the job done. They focus fast enough and are very portable. You can also use camcorders as your back-up video camera and take it with you everywhere. The flip screen works great too. If you want to make a video of yourself, camcorders are for you. Also, if you want to peek in your neighbour’s house through window, camcorders are exactly what you are looking for. So, you are committed in getting a camcorder, purchase the one that is the least expensive. Why? Because they are perform the same. Expensive models have gimmicks like built-in projector and internal hard-disk. Trust me, they are not worth the extra money. This theory stands true only when you are planning to buy an entry-level camcorder or Handycam from Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Samsung and other manufacturers.
So, to keep short story short, it may be worth buying camcorders today but don’t expect it to blow anyone’s mind. If you are tight on budget, get a camcorder. I would recommend one from Sony. But remember, your smart phone will also get the job done. If you have enough money like say 600$, your best bet is to buy Panasonic G6. If money is no problem to you, go for Panasonic GH4 which will cost you around 1900$. Still confused? Go and try out camcorders in your local store. Finally, remember that there are other devices which produce better videos. If you are not in a hurry, save some money and get yourself a good dSLR or Micro Four Third System. Thanks for reading my post. Stay tuned and stay updated!