Shootout: Best Camcorders under $500 on the Market in 2016

Best Camcorder under $500

If you’re in the market for a camcorder with a $500 budget, then here are the best camcorders under $500. There are some very good HD camcorders in this price bracket. Available on the market $300-$500 are camcorders with all latest features like high optical zoom, low light performance, and efficient stabilization.

Our top list of camcorders is based on the many expert reviews found on sites like dpreview.com, Cnet, & Trustedreviews. From our time spent researching, we believe there’s a great device for anyone’s video requirements, with the best HD camcorders fewer than 500 dollars spread across Canon, GoPro, Sony, and Panasonic.

Find below our picks for the best HD camcorders under 500 dollars:

Best Video Camera under 500 Dollars

1. Panasonic HC-V770 HD Review

panasonic_hc-v770_hd_camcorder_review

Example Video recorded on the same camcorder:

  • Long 20X zoom draws in the scene from far away
  • Exclusive high-dynamic range feature reduces bright spots for a professional look
  • Wirelessly connect your smartphone’s video camera for a picture-in-picture video effect

Our pick for the best video camera under 500 – This camera is as easy to use as you want it to be.

The intelligent Auto settings are great for novices, as it figures out the exposure and everything for you. It even has an auto-flashlight that will turn on via a sensor, so you can move from a lit area to a darker room with a seamless transition. As with most of my purchases, this was for recording videos of my son.

My only gripe is that recording as MP4 files only allows for a stereo audio. You have to use the AVCHD mode to get 5.1 audio.

2. Sony HDRPJ260V Review

sony_hdr-pj260-b_review

Example Video recorded on the same camcorder:

  • 1920×1080 Full HD 60p with 8.9MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor
  • Project up to 100″ videos with 13lm built-in projector
  • Up to 3hr10min of recording with 8GB embedded Flash Memory
  • SteadyShot image stabilization reduces blur
  • 2.7″ wide Clear Photo LCD display (230K)

Sony HDRPJ260V High Definition camcorder with 30x optical zoom, built-in projector, 50p video mode and 5.1 microphones. It has 3 inch LCD display and has headphones and mic sockets. Image quality is decent but colors are little dull.

3. Panasonic HC-V570 HD

panasonic_hc-v570_hd_review

Example Video recorded on the same camcorder:

  • Records Full HD Videos
  • Use second built-in video camera or connect a smartphone video camera for a picture-in-picture video effect
  • Super long 50X zoom draws in the action from extremely far away
  • 5-axis hand shake features provides a steady picture for long zoom shots

Panasonic HC-V570 is an entry level good image quality HD video camcorder with Wi-Fi but has few connections. It is a mega zoom video camera with intelligent zoom x80, and x50 optical zoom. It has 3 inch LCD screen and a lot of features. It is usually priced under $400.

4. Canon VIXIA HF R600 Review

canon_vixia_hf_r600_review

Example Video recorded on the same camcorder:

  • 57x (32.5-1853mm) Advanced Zoom and SuperRange Optical Image Stabilizer helps provide outstanding, steady video
  • Canon 3.28 Megapixel Full HD CMOS Image Sensor
  • DIGIC DV 4 Image Processor captures video at 1920 x 1080 resolution and helps provide outstanding imaging performance
  • 1080/60p recording in MP4 (35 Mbps) and AVCHD Progressive (28 Mbps) helps ensure high-quality capture of moving subjects
  • 3.0-inch capacitive touch panel LCD offers fast, easy and intuitive controls

5. GoPro HERO4 BLACK 4K Action Camera Review

gopro_hero4_black_4k_action_camera_review

Example Video recorded on the same camcorder:

  • The most advanced GoPro ever
  • Video: 4K30, 2.7K60, 1440p80, 1080p120, 960p120, 720p240 (super slow motion capture)
  • Photo: 12MP, 30 fps Burst, Time-Lapse
  • Built-in Wi-Fi + Bluetooth connectivity for the GoPro App (free download) and Smart Remote (sold separately)
  • Time-Lapse Video, Night Photo/Night Lapse, Protune(TM) for photo & video, SuperView(TM), high-performance audio, Waterproof to 131′ (40m), Compatible with 60+ GoPro mounts and accessories

HERO4 Black takes Emmy Award-winning GoPro performance to the next level with our best image quality yet, plus a 2x more powerful processor that delivers super slow motion at 240 frames per second.

Incredible high-resolution 4K30 and 2.7K60 video combine with 1080p120 and 720p240 slow motion to enable stunning, immersive footage of you and your world. Protune settings for both photos and video unlock manual control of Color, ISO Limit, Exposure and more.

Waterproof to 131 feet (40 meters) with 12MP photos at 30 frames per second and improved audio, HERO4 Black is the ultimate life-capture solution for those who demand the best.

6. Sony HDR-PJ380/B Review

sony_hdr-pj380-b_review

Example Video recorded on the same camcorder:

  • 1920×1080 Full HD 60p with 8.9MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor
  • Project up to 100″ videos with 13lm built-in projector
  • HDMI input terminal projects content from external device action
  • Up to 6hr25min recording with 16GB1 embedded Flash Memory
  • 3.0″ wide Clear Photo Plus LCD display (230K) touch screen

Create high definition 1920 x 1080 60p videos and high quality 8.9MP still images. Experience stunning low-light sensitivity with improved image clarity and drastically reduced grain with Sony’s back-illuminated Exmor R CMOS sensor.

Designed for compact cameras and camcorders, the ExmorR CMOS sensor relocates the photo diodes above the support circuitry, maximizing the light-gathering area per pixel so you can shoot with better results in lower lighting conditions.

7. Canon VIXIA HF R500 Digital Camcorder Review

canon_vixia_hf_r500_digital_camcorder_review
Example Video recorded on the same camcorder:

  • 3.28 megapixel 1080p full HD CMOS sensor with DIGIC DV 4 image processor
  • 57x advanced zoom and Super Range Optical Image Stabilizer
  • 3-inch capacitive touch panel LCD offers fast, easy, intuitive controls
  • High capacity battery pack ensures extended shooting time
  • Features include Advanced baby mode, Audio Scene Select, Smart AUTO, Cinema-Look filter effects and Video Snapshot

The Canon VIXIA HF R500 HD Camcorder with 57x Advanced Zoom enables you to discover a world of new shooting possibilities. Get up close from virtually anywhere and feel free to walk while shooting. The camcorder’s Super Range Optical Image Stabilizer will keep your video sharp and steady.

Capture truly impressive, amazingly realistic 1920 x 1080 full HD video with the Canon 3.28 megapixel full HD CMOS image sensor and DIGIC DV 4 image processor. Not only is this camcorder easy to control but it also incorporates lots of ways to make your video polished, creative and of the highest quality.

Intelligent IS optimizes image stabilization for the given conditions, while Smart AUTO chooses the best camcorder settings based on 38 predefined shooting situations. You’ll record outstanding audio even under difficult conditions with Audio Scene Select. Plus to keep the fun and memory-making going longer, the VIXIA HF R500 features a high capacity battery pack.

8. Sony HDR-CX330 HDR-CX330/B Review

sony_hdr-cx330_hdr-cx330-b_reviewExample Video recorded on the same camcorder:

  • 1920×1080 Full HD 60p with 9.2MP Exmor R CMOS Sensor
  • Optical Steady Shot image stabilization reduces blur
  • Wireless control, transfer, data backup via NFC/Wi-Fi

It uses any of the following: Micro-SD Memory Card, micro SDHC Memory Card, micro SDXC memory card Class 4 or faster up to 64GB Memory Stick Micro (Mark 2) up to 16GB