Cheap camcorder 500 dollars or less

Started 4 months ago | Questions
muljao Contributing Member • Posts: 768
Cheap camcorder 500 dollars or less

Hi all.

I have a few cameras that are capable of video but want to try a camcorder for convenience. Can anyone recommend one for 500 dollars or less. I'd like it to be 4k but think I need to be realistic for the money, I'm happy to watch and export everything in hd, 4k is only for a bit of flexibility in editing. I'd like stabilization and touch focus if possible. Other than that I'd just like suggestions, thanks in advance

Muljao

 muljao's gear list:muljao's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Sony a7 III Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR +8 more
ANSWER:
This question has not been answered yet.
Andrew S10 Senior Member • Posts: 1,804
Re: Cheap camcorder 500 dollars or less

What about a microphone minijack input?

OP muljao Contributing Member • Posts: 768
Re: Cheap camcorder 500 dollars or less

Andrew S10 wrote:

What about a microphone minijack input?

I don't know what I need so I'm open to any tips

 muljao's gear list:muljao's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Sony a7 III Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR +8 more
NickZ2016 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,662
Re: Cheap camcorder 500 dollars or less

If you go to B&H and sort by price you'll see how limited the choices are today. The out of stock Panasonic is likely the best of the sub $500 group but it won't compare with the average hybrid camera .

What kind of editing are you intending to do? The files most of these cameras create aren't exactly flexible when it comes to colour grading.

 NickZ2016's gear list:NickZ2016's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Nikon 85mm F1.8G +4 more
OP muljao Contributing Member • Posts: 768
Re: Cheap camcorder 500 dollars or less

NickZ2016 wrote:

If you go to B&H and sort by price you'll see how limited the choices are today. The out of stock Panasonic is likely the best of the sub $500 group but it won't compare with the average hybrid camera .

What kind of editing are you intending to do? The files most of these cameras create aren't exactly flexible when it comes to colour grading.

Thanks.

I was using 500 dollars as a guide. I'm in Ireland so b&h is out. If models were suggested I'd look into them this side of the pond.

I just wanted to try a camcorder because I don't love shooting video on a camera.

Theres a guy local here selling a second hand one cheap at about 120 euros. I'll buy this one and I think it'll at least show me what's possible. I'll use it as a learning item and decide then the features I need or not.

 muljao's gear list:muljao's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Sony a7 III Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR +8 more
NickZ2016 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,662
Re: Cheap camcorder 500 dollars or less
2

I didn't mean to suggest buying from B&H. It's just their website makes it fairly easy to see all the options for things like this.

The problem is the market for this stuff has disappeared.

What model are you looking at used? Does it include batteries?

 NickZ2016's gear list:NickZ2016's gear list
Nikon D800 Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.4G Nikon AF Nikkor 35mm f/2D Nikon AF-S Nikkor 50mm F1.8G Nikon 85mm F1.8G +4 more
OP muljao Contributing Member • Posts: 768
Re: Cheap camcorder 500 dollars or less

NickZ2016 wrote:

I didn't mean to suggest buying from B&H. It's just their website makes it fairly easy to see all the options for things like this.

The problem is the market for this stuff has disappeared.

What model are you looking at used? Does it include batteries?

I see. B&h often come up alright on gear google searches.

The model I'm getting is the very entry level Canon legria hf r66. It has one battery. It may give me a feel for whether I'd get use out of a better model.

If I like it I might treat myself to a Panasonic vxf990 at some stage, looked it up, seems like it is a good model.

Thanks

 muljao's gear list:muljao's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Sony a7 III Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR +8 more
John Koch Senior Member • Posts: 1,574
Re: Cheap camcorder 500 dollars or less

A new 4k camcorder, priced at $500 or less, is apt to be a knock-off brand with few reliable reviews.   Some might in fact be OK, but you'll incur some risk.   The price may be low, but the "4k" might be only interpolated 1080p.  Stabilization might be absent or weak.  Perhaps the zoom is digital only.

Option B might be to seek brand-name models, sold and well-reviewed over the past 5 years, and then bid for lightly used units sold on eBay.  Some might be in very good condition.  Some HD models probably sell for under $300.  The Lumix G7 is an older hybrid model, but shoots good 4k video, provided one uses stabilized lenses or a tripod.  I see used units for sale on eBay for under $400, often with one or more lenses included.   It also has a mic jack. The auto-focus is contrast detect, less reliable than PDAF, but I don't think any camera priced under $500 will offer PDAF, except perhaps a very battered used unit.

Depending on your goals or viewership, what you spend may matter very little.  Lots of successful social media channels seem to rely on stock footage or borrowed sources.  Perhaps the "author" will appear only as a picture-in-picture talking head or need not appear at all.  The quality of narration or audio can be critically important.

John Vickers Contributing Member • Posts: 811
Re: Cheap camcorder 500 dollars or less

muljao wrote:

Hi all.

I have a few cameras that are capable of video but want to try a camcorder for convenience. Can anyone recommend one for 500 dollars or less. I'd like it to be 4k but think I need to be realistic for the money, I'm happy to watch and export everything in hd, 4k is only for a bit of flexibility in editing. I'd like stabilization and touch focus if possible.

Is €500 the liquidity you can use, or the amount you can spend to find out if you like camcorders?

You could hire a camcorder.

Or buy a used camcorder and re-sell it if you don't like it, or like it, but decide you want something different.

rumple
rumple Senior Member • Posts: 2,181
Re: Cheap camcorder 500 dollars or less
1

muljao wrote:

Can anyone recommend one for 500 dollars or less. I'd like it to be 4k but think I need to be realistic for the money, [...]I'd like stabilization and touch focus if possible.

For simple things a GoPro Hero 10 / 11 might meet your needs. Have a read of the manual to assess. https://gopro.com/help/productmanuals They are surprisingly capable, e.g., with high bit rates (100Mbps in 4K).

You can't change the lens, but you can 'change' focal lenghts (wide to narrow) and you can get ND and other filters for them (tiffen, for example) to control shutter angle in brighter light.  And you can get various external microphones.

Not knowing your application, that's my suggestion.

-- hide signature --

"THINK" - Watson

Markr041 Veteran Member • Posts: 9,972
GoPro Hero 11.
1

rumple wrote:

muljao wrote:

Can anyone recommend one for 500 dollars or less. I'd like it to be 4k but think I need to be realistic for the money, [...]I'd like stabilization and touch focus if possible.

For simple things a GoPro Hero 10 / 11 might meet your needs. Have a read of the manual to assess. https://gopro.com/help/productmanuals They are surprisingly capable, e.g., with high bit rates (100Mbps in 4K).

You can't change the lens, but you can 'change' focal lenghts (wide to narrow) and you can get ND and other filters for them (tiffen, for example) to control shutter angle in brighter light. And you can get various external microphones.

Not knowing your application, that's my suggestion.

Yes. 5.3K for even more flexibility in post. 10bit color, 120 Mbps.

Best stabilization of all cameras; you can even walk with the camera while shooting.

No focus problems...

 Markr041's gear list:Markr041's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-FZ200 Panasonic LX100 Sony RX100 IV Panasonic ZS100 Olympus TG-5 +14 more
OP muljao Contributing Member • Posts: 768
Re: Cheap camcorder 500 dollars or less

Thanks all for the input. It is specifically a camcorder I'm looking for to see how ergonomics go, I have a GoPro and a Sony a73 and a6300 so I do have video options covered in a sense, but I don't enjoy doing video with any of them that much.

I bought a canon Legria rf66 , it was cheap and it's a budget model, I'll see how I enjoy it and decide then if it's worth while spending a bit more

 muljao's gear list:muljao's gear list
Nikon D810 Nikon D7200 Sony a7 III Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm F1.8G Nikon AF-S Nikkor 24-120mm F4G ED VR +8 more
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads