These little zoom cameras are some of the most affordable and user-friendly options for shooting video. Their small sensors allow for big zoom ranges in a small camera, but image quality (especially in low light) isn’t as good as prosumer camcorders and SLRs. They’re useful for school and education projects, but I prefer to use an iPhone for my own filmmaking.
Small camcorders like the Panasonic V180 are easier to film with than iPads or still cameras. They’re good for schools and families. They have reasonable built-in microphones.
Mid-range camcorders will have better image quality, and some add features like microphone and headphone sockets.
The Canon HF-R700 is the most affordable camcorder with a microphone socket (if you’re in the US – it’s not sold in Europe).
The Panasonic V770 has a microphone and headphone socket, an accessory shoe, and 120fps slow motion.
Larger camcorders like the 4K Panasonic HC-WXF991 or the HD Canon Vixia G40 include features like microphone and headphone sockets and accessory shoes, and offer more manual controls. (The G40 is virtually the same as the Canon XA20 prosumer camera without the top handle and pro audio controls).
- Some are small and unobtrusive
- Easier to film with than smartphones or SLRs
- Easy to handhold
- Image stabilisation is usually better than DSLRs
- Image and sound quality won’t be as good as prosumer or pro cameras, especially in low light.
- School students