20 Best Camcorders for Recording Home Videos with Your Family

20 Best Camcorders for Recording Home Videos with Your Family

While you probably have a video camera on your phone, a video camcorder can capture your home movies in higher quality while also saving the limited space on your mobile device.

With over 12 million satisfied customers, Capture understands the importance of securing precious memories, but not all camcorders are created equal. That’s why we put together this list of the top 20 best camcorders for your family memories.

Keep reading to learn about the best video cameras, the features they offer, and the pros and cons so you can choose the perfect model for your wonderful experiences, vacations, holidays, birthdays, and memories.

The Importance of Capturing Memories with Your Family


There are many reasons you should try to capture family memories while you can. Doing so preserves your legacy and identity for your future enjoyment. You can go back any time and view the best moments of your life, hear voices you haven’t heard in years, and remember things long forgotten.

In addition, by capturing your home movies, your children, grandchildren, and other future generations will be able to see their oldest experiences as well as the experiences of their ancestors.

Plus, if you capture your memories on a digital video camera, then you save them to any device, SD card,  or the cloud, which makes it easy to share those memories worldwide through social media and email. Finally, you will have the ability to edit, combine, and enhance your memories with video editing software.

But to preserve your memories, pass on your legacy, and take advantage of digital features, you must capture the moments as they happen on one of the best camcorders for family videos.

Top 20 Camcorders for Home Videos

These are our top 20 camcorders for home videos along with their pros and cons, special features, and other information. While you may disagree with some of our choices, we tried to include options for every family on here including professional camcorder options as well as best budget camcorders, best image qualityhigh-definition, easy to use, and more.

1. Panasonic HC-X2000

Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-Professional-Camcorder-Detachable-HC-X2000/dp/B083FT3LDW

This great option offers 4k image quality at 60 fps for fantastic resolution for every memory you capture. It also has a 24x optical zoom lens so you never miss out on memories just because you aren’t super close to the action.

The handle allows for easy transportation and can be removed at any time for more compact use. It also has an LED light that makes for professional lighting in low-light situations. With the handle attached, and even without, the camera is bulkier than many other modern options, but the results along with the 3.5-inch color touchscreen make it a good option if you’re willing to spend a little extra money.


Pros

  • 4k image quality at 60 fps
  • LED light for pro lighting
  • Removable handle for mobility
  • Large touchscreen

        Cons

        •   Very expensive at $2,197
        •   Larger and bulkier than alternatives

          2. Canon Vixia HF R800

          Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Canon-VIXIA-R800-Camcorder-Black/dp/B01N7OAH3I

          This handy, compact video camera is great for filming around the house, taking with you on vacation, or picking up anytime you want to capture a new memory. It records at 1080p to SD cards and offers an exceptional 57x advanced zoom.

          It doesn’t offer tons of special features, but it does have an Intelligent Image Stabilizer with a DIGIC DV4 Image processor as well as filter packages. While not considered a budget option, the price is reasonable for what you get. However, if you want to take still photos, this option is quite limited and the resolution will not be as good as other options.


          Pros

          •   Compact and easy to use
          •   Fair price at around $399
          •   Incredible 57x zoom

              Cons

              •   Not a good choice for still photos
              •   Not many extraordinary features

                3. Sony HDR-CX405


                Image Source: https://www.sony.com.ph/electronics/handycam-camcorders/hdr-cx405

                The Sony Handycam AVCHD HDR-CX405 is a wonderful high-resolution video camera for the price of $229 or even less in some cases. The 1080p video quality and affordable price are great for beginners, but so is the easy-to-use 30x optical zoom as well as intelligent features like SteadyShot that make recording your memories a breeze.

                It even has a built-in editing option with the Highlight Movie Maker and the USB cord makes file transfer and recording easy. However, you will need to purchase a separate SDXC memory card to achieve 1080p definition and the image sensor is small. It’s also very lightweight and may not withstand active or adventurous lifestyles.


                Pros

                •   Best budget camcorder available
                •   Easy to use with intelligent features
                •   30x optical zoom

                    Cons

                    •   Requires SDXC card for 1080p video capability
                    •   Not as durable as other options

                      4. Canon Vixia HF G60


                      Image Source: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1470023-REG/canon_3670c002_vixia_hf_g60_uhd.html

                      This is a professional quality camcorder and while it’s quite expensive at $2,498, it still maintains a price point lower than the direct competitors. Everything it offers is top of the line including a full 1-inch CMOS sensor 4K at 150 Mbps.

                      Plus, the nine-bladed circular aperture provides a cinematic quality video that can be saved onto dual memory cards. It also has 15x optical zoom, anti-shake, time-lapse, and low-lapse functions to make the very best of your home movies.


                      Pros

                      •   Professional video quality
                      •   Dual memory cards
                      •   Anti-shake, time-lapse, and other features for exceptional results

                          Cons

                          •   Expensive, though fairly priced for what you gets
                          •   Not as mobile as Handycam and compact options

                            5. Sony FDR-AX43


                            Image Source: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1546234-REG/sony_fdrax43_b_fdr_ax43v_full_hd_4k.html

                            This HD camcorder option offers a great balance of mobility and affordability. With 4K recording capability, a light compact design, and a high-quality Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T lens that can achieve 20x optical zoom, you can record memorable moments in the best quality without spending a fortune.

                            The Sony FDR-AX43 is a popular choice among vloggers as well because it offers a multichannel 5.1 microphone for surround sound viewing. It isn’t great for low-light use and has been discontinued, but you should still be able to find it for a good price.


                            Pros

                            •   4k recording with a great lens
                            •   Multichannel 5.1 microphone
                            •   Lightweight design

                                Cons

                                •   Not great for low-light use
                                •   No HDR for contrast and vivid colors

                                  6. Zoom Q8 Handy Video Recorder


                                  Image Source: https://zoomcorp.com/en/jp/video-recorders/video-recorders/q8-handy-video-recorder/

                                  While reasonably affordable at under $400, this camcorder provides a lot in a small package including a 160-degree wide-angle lens and built-in X-Y pattern microphones. This means you get superior audio quality along with above-average wide-screen video.

                                  It can also be attached to a mount, used as a webcam, or utilized as a USB microphone for video calls or live streaming. It even has a built-in sound mixer. While it may seem like they focus on the audio side of things, that can be great for family memories because hearing the voices and sounds is a wonderfully nostalgic experience.


                                  Pros

                                  •   Superior audio quality
                                  •   Flexible use with USB and mounted use available
                                  •   Built-in sound mixer

                                      Cons

                                      •   Not 4K
                                      •   Awkward design

                                        7. Nikon COOLPIX P1000


                                        Image Source: https://www.nikonusa.com/en/nikon-products/product/compact-digital-cameras/coolpix-p1000.html

                                        This video camera looks more like a still-image digital camera, but it has a lot more to offer other than the cool aesthetic. It contains Nikon’s best zoom lens and also offers expanded wide-screen viewing on the 3.2 LCD display.

                                        Additionally, the ultra-HD video quality and image stabilizationauto-focus, and programmable settings make capturing videos as easy as possible. The sound quality is also decent with stereo recording available. However, the sensor is very small and while the zoom function is incredible, it also negatively impacts autofocus abilities.


                                        Pros

                                        •   Incredible zoom
                                        •   Ultra-HD quality
                                        •   Stereo audio recording

                                            Cons

                                            •   Autofocus isn’t the best
                                            •   Small sensor

                                              8. Panasonic HC-V785

                                              Image Source: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1709167-REG/panasonic_hc_v785k_full_hd_camcorder.html

                                              Using an innovative 4-drive lens system and 20x optical zoom, this HDR camcorder is fantastic in both low-light and bright-light atmospheres because it combines two images with different exposure times to produce the best camcorder quality possible while remaining under $600.

                                              Another reason this lands on our list as the 8th best camcorder for family home videos is the fact that the Wireless Twin Camera function allows you to use your smartphone as a sub-camera to shoot from two angles at once. You can even share videos in real-time for live streaming or sharing with family by connecting to wi-fi.


                                              Pros

                                              •   Connect to phone for multi-angle home movies
                                              •   Great in both low and high-light environments
                                              •   Easy sharing and editing with Wi-fi connecting

                                                  Cons

                                                  •   Short battery life
                                                  •   Confusing menu interface

                                                      9. JVC GY-HM170UA 4kCAM


                                                      Image Source: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1194106-REG/jvc_gy_hm170ua_4kcam_compact_professional.html

                                                      This Ultra-HD camcorder offers professional quality at an Amazon price much lower than the $2500 or more of the competition. It has ND filters, customizable buttons, and recording in 24 p or 30 p using the wide-angle lens and excellent viewfinder.

                                                      While the image quality is cinematic with this option, it is also quite heavy, which lands it lower on our list than the other features and under $1200 price point should. Still, it’s a good option for family memories and is almost certain to last for a long time.


                                                      Pros

                                                      •   Customizable buttons for user-friendly video recording
                                                      •   Viewfinder is great for capturing family moments
                                                      •   UHD quality

                                                          Cons

                                                          •   More expensive than many options (although very fair for professional quality video)
                                                          •   Heavy and bulky

                                                            10. GoPro Hero8


                                                            Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/GoPro-HERO8-Black-Stabilization-International/dp/B07YGSXVB8

                                                            If you want to capture your family memories without using your hands, on camping trips, or simply have a more active lifestyle, then this action camera is a great choice. It’s durable, water resistant, and can capture action footage using image stabilization. This makes it perfect for those times when your family is going for a bike ride, playing in a jungle gym, or anything else. It even has a built-in GPS.

                                                            However, while there are voice controls, they aren’t always great and there is no front-facing screen. Therefore, for regular, less active memories, you might want to choose another option on our list.


                                                            Pros

                                                            •   Great for action shots
                                                            •   4K footage at 60fps
                                                            •   Easy file transfer and video editing

                                                                Cons

                                                                •   No front-facing screen
                                                                •   Not convenient for regular home videos

                                                                  11.  Canon VIXIA HF G21 Full HD Camcorder


                                                                  Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Canon-VIXIA-Full-Camcorder-Renewed/dp/B07MGZD2NK

                                                                  This high-definition Canon video camera offers 1080p night-vision capabilities and superb image reproduction. It also has a 3-inch LCD touchscreen and a tiltable electronic viewfinder that makes it easy to capture your family memories while still experiencing them at the moment.


                                                                  Pros

                                                                  •   Tiltable viewfinder
                                                                  •   3-inch touchscreen
                                                                  •   20x HD Zoom

                                                                      Cons

                                                                      •   Autofocus isn’t easy to use
                                                                      •   No 4K ability

                                                                        12.  Sony HDR-CX900 Full HD Handycam Camcorder


                                                                        Image Source: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1022657-REG/sony_hdrcx900_b_hdr_cx900_full_hd_handycam.html

                                                                        As the 12th best camcorder for home videos, this Sony option is the third on our list, but that doesn’t mean you should overlook it. The 1” sensor is around 8 times larger than other camcorders, which means you can capture a shallow depth of field. The resolution is good and it’s versatile with many easy-to-use options available. Plus, it’s compact and ergonomic.


                                                                        Pros

                                                                        •   Great video and still image quality
                                                                        •   Easy USB and WiFi connections
                                                                        •   Large image sensor

                                                                            Cons

                                                                            •   A little heavy
                                                                            •   Slow zoom function

                                                                              13.  Panasonic HC-V770 HD Camcorder


                                                                              Image Source: https://shop.panasonic.com/cameras-and-camcorders/camcorders/consumer-camcorders/hc-v770k

                                                                              This Panasonic option offers 20x optical zoom, an HDR movie feature, and a wireless twin camera for picture and picture video effects. Plus, the sensor is good for low lighting and the remote shooting feature means you can use a smartphone or tablet for baby monitoring, live streaming, and remote control. Plus, it’s under $425 on Amazon!


                                                                              Pros

                                                                              •   High-definition video quality
                                                                              •   Remote shooting feature and wireless picture and picture with a smartphone
                                                                              •   Affordable for what you get

                                                                                  Cons

                                                                                  •   Average sound quality
                                                                                  •   Doesn’t seem very durable or solid

                                                                                    14.  SEREE Vlogging Video Camera Camcorder


                                                                                    Image Source:https://www.amazon.com/SEREE-TECH-Camcorder-Vlogging-Batteries/dp/B0BC9NMPCG

                                                                                    While this camera is marketed toward vloggers, it’s also great as a super cheap option for shooting videos of family memories. It supports 1080p at 30fps and 24mp photos and has a 3-inch IPS screen all for only $89. It also has night vision, an external microphone, a webcam connection, and remote-control functionality. However, it can act finicky when the batteries are low and feels more like a toy than the higher-end alternatives.


                                                                                    Pros

                                                                                    •   Most affordable of the options on our list
                                                                                    •   Remote control capability
                                                                                    •   Webcam connection

                                                                                        Cons

                                                                                        •   Plastic doesn’t seem sturdy
                                                                                        •   Can lose functionality with low batteries
                                                                                        •   Best for outdoor shooting

                                                                                            15.  Canon XA40


                                                                                            Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Canon-XA40-Professional-Video-Camcorder/dp/B07QH3GKCL

                                                                                            If you want professional quality and everything you need to capture home movies for years to come, then this is a great option at $1,949 on Amazon. That’s because it contains lighting, screen protectors, a tripod, a memory card, and much more to get you started. Plus, it creates 4K video and even offers a 1200x slow motion mode.


                                                                                            Pros

                                                                                            •   Comes with lots of accessories and an SD card
                                                                                            •   Slow motion mode
                                                                                            •   4K video quality

                                                                                                Cons

                                                                                                •   Expensive compared to many options
                                                                                                •   Not compact

                                                                                                  16.  Sony FDR-AX53/B 4K Camcorder


                                                                                                  Image Source:https://www.amazon.com/Sony-FDRAX53-Video-Recording-Camcorder/dp/B01950TCEU

                                                                                                  While this Sony camcorder option is a little more expensive than others on our list, it also offers very clear 4K images, a 3-inch touch panel, Wi-Fi and night vision functions, 4K time-lapse capture, and more. It also has a built-in Zoom microphone that’s great for capturing family vacations and gatherings. Compared with other models, though, reviews indicate that this option is a little finicky and not great for beginners, which is the reason it’s lower on our list of the best camcorders for home videos.


                                                                                                  Pros

                                                                                                  •   Clear 4K video
                                                                                                  •   Zoom microphone
                                                                                                  •   Time-lapse capture

                                                                                                      Cons

                                                                                                      •   A little expensive
                                                                                                      •   Sometimes finicky with charging
                                                                                                      •   Targeted to tech-savvy or experienced videographers

                                                                                                          17.  Canon EOS Rebel 7 DSLR


                                                                                                          Image Source: https://www.amazon.com/Canon-Rebel-T7-18-55mm-II/dp/B07C2Z21X5

                                                                                                          This camera is great for beginners and pros alike. It offers a 24.1-megapixel sensor and fast autofocus perfect for capturing running children and other rapid family memories. It also offers an easy-to-use LCD monitor and easy sharing through built-in Wi-Fi connectivity. You can even control the camera remotely to take a family photo without leaving someone out!


                                                                                                          Pros

                                                                                                          •   Great autofocus function
                                                                                                          •   Easy-to-use design with remote camera ability
                                                                                                          •   Easy sharing through WiFi

                                                                                                              Cons

                                                                                                              •   Screen scratches easily
                                                                                                              •   Doesn’t come with a memory card or any other accessories

                                                                                                                18.  Panasonic HC-WXF991K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder


                                                                                                                Image Source: https://shop.panasonic.com/cameras-and-camcorders/camcorders/consumer-camcorders/hc-wxf991k

                                                                                                                For ultra-sharp images at less than $1000, this is a great option. It has an electronic viewfinder and a dedicated HDR button for easy mode changing so you can still experience family memories while capturing them in 4K.  It also offers camera editing and effects including cropping, optical image stabilization, and zoom, and even has a side camera option that rotates. The video light is a little annoying because it comes on automatically, even if you aren’t recording a video.


                                                                                                                Pros

                                                                                                                •   Electronic viewfinder
                                                                                                                •   Easy to use mode changing ability
                                                                                                                •   Editing effects built-in

                                                                                                                    Cons

                                                                                                                    •   The video light is annoying because it is automatic even when not recording a video
                                                                                                                    •   The side camera doesn’t work very well
                                                                                                                    •   A little bulky, especially considering how light it is

                                                                                                                        19.  Sony FDR-AX700


                                                                                                                        Image Source: https://shop.panasonic.com/cameras-and-camcorders/camcorders/consumer-camcorders/hc-wxf991k

                                                                                                                        This camera offers some of the most high-end professional camera specs but keeps them in an easy-to-use camcorder designed to ensure you capture every family memory. It has built-in Wi-Fi and a large 3.5-inch viewfinder. It even has dual SD card slots and HDMI capability so you never run out of space during a memorable, hilarious, or exciting home movie moment.


                                                                                                                        Pros

                                                                                                                        •   Pro filmmaking video quality with face detection
                                                                                                                        •   Large viewfinder
                                                                                                                        •   Dual SD slots

                                                                                                                            Cons

                                                                                                                            •   Expensive
                                                                                                                            •   Designed for tech-savvy users

                                                                                                                              20.  Canon XC10


                                                                                                                              Image Source: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1383137-REG/canon_0506c002_xc10_with_lens_cap.html

                                                                                                                              If you’re willing to spend high-end prices, then you can’t go wrong with our last ranked best camcorder for family home videos. It’s lightweight and offers full HD video and a high frame ratewide-angle pixelsdigital zoom, and more. The LCD screen offers autofocus and other touch panel features to make it easier to use than other cinematic options.


                                                                                                                              Pros

                                                                                                                              •   Lightweight design
                                                                                                                              •   LCD with autofocus function
                                                                                                                              •   Professional video quality

                                                                                                                                  Cons

                                                                                                                                  •   Expensive
                                                                                                                                  •   No XLR Audio, so not as good as you’d hope for the price point

                                                                                                                                    Conclusion

                                                                                                                                    These top 20 best camcorders for home videos are fantastic for capturing and preserving memories. Whether you choose a Sony, Canon, Panasonic, or other option, you will be able to save, share, enjoy, and view memories for years to come.

                                                                                                                                    However, if you have older analog home movies, like Betamax or VHS tapes, then they are in danger of being lost over time. Capture can help you preserve all memories including SD cards from modern camcorders, VHS tapes from old camcorders, and much more. Click here to learn more about preserving your memories in high-quality digital format!

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