Unfortunately, many professional 4K camcorders are going to run well over $1,000, which can be out of the budget for someone wanting to shoot 4K using a prosumer camcorder. Well, we are here today to let you know that there are some pretty great prosumer 4K camcorders out there that shoot in 4K UHD video and do not cost a lot. We have done our research on the top-selling 4K video cameras costing under $1000 and under $1500 and have rounded up 7 best 4k camcorders. Let’s take a look at some of the best 4k video cameras.
But first, to save you time, I would like to introduce the best 4k camcorder among these, our top choice. The camcorder that you can straight-away buy and be rest assured of its superior quality – The Sony FDR AX53.
The rest of the camcorders are quite good as well making the cut into our list of the top 7 4k video cameras. Keep reading to find out which of the 4k camcorders make it to the list.
Here is a table that compares the 7 4K camcorders in our list.
|TopSony FDRAX53/B 4K Camcorder||Check Price||Prime|
|Canon VIXIA HF G50 4K30P Camcorder||Check Price||Prime|
|Panasonic HC-WXF991K 4K UHD Camcorder||Check Price||Prime|
|Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K Video Camera||Check Price||Prime|
|Panasonic 4K Ultra HD Camcorder HC-VX981K||Check Price||Prime|
|JVC GY-HM250U Camcorder||Check Price||Prime|
|GoPro HERO10 Black||Check Price||Prime|
Table of Contents
1. Sony FDRAX53/B 4K Camcorder (Top Recommendation)
One of the main reasons for the Sony FDR/AX53 to be considered as one of the best 4k camcorders is that you can capture the finest, tiniest details in perfect clarity, shooting in 4K full HD resolution. This camcorder has a newly-developed image sensor that has larger pixels (1.6 times larger) than most other sensors. This lets you capture perfect images with high resolution every time, even in low light conditions.
Another thing we love that along with 4K, this camcorder records equally well in 1080p. The footage is clear and crisp, and the video quality is excellent. The XAVC S video format makes the images even more bright and vibrant, making them very realistic.
An image processor is responsible for capturing and recording images and videos. Sony FDR-AX53 consists of a very fast image processor which makes the videos really sharp, almost real-like. In fact, this image processor is also used in some professional camcorders, which means you are getting a professional-quality video at the price of a prosumer camcorder.
The Sony FDR AX53 comes with the Balanced Optical SteadyShot technology, which offers you greater stability and less camera shake while recording in motion. Whether you record while walking or zoom in a shot, the image stability is among the best in class.
The ZEISS 26.8 mm lens gives you 20X optical zoom when shooting in 4K, and a 30X Clear Image Zoom, which ensures you get clear, almost original zoom footage, irrespective of the angle in which you are shooting. While zooming in, any unwanted reflection that may arise is kept away.
Pros and Cons of Sony FDR-AX53
- It is highly recommended for hand-held recording, because of its Balanced Optical Steadyshot technology.
- Intelligent autofocus means you never have to worry about losing focus, or having to readjust the focus yourself.
- The default mic that comes with “5-directional technology” is able to reproduce a much clearer sound as compared to a normal mic.
- Its low-light recording feature is a big plus, thanks to its newly-developed sensor.
- Manual control settings are not as easy to use as we would like them to be.
- While the focus works well while you’re moving and zooming when still, there are chances it may not work that efficiently while panning and zooming at the same time.
2. Canon Vixia HF G50 Camcorder (#2 Recommendation)
Canon is undoubtedly one of the pioneers in digital photo and video products. The Canon Vixia G50 camcorder is a prosumer camcorder that is capable of shooting in 4K UHD as well as full HD and is reasonably priced. Thanks to its compact size and a large number of premium features like advanced stabilization, it can be your go-to choice for shooting 4K videos indoors or outdoors.
The biggest USP of the Canon Vixia G50 video camera is its large-format, highly sensitive CMOS sensor and the DIGIC DV6 image processor which works in tandem to provide a very realistic 4K shooting experience. The image processor takes into consideration a large number of image parameters that make up the perfect image and subsequently provides a high video quality, whether outdoors in bright-light or indoors in low-light.
Canon Vixia G50 comes with a 20x optical zoom lens that is capable of providing a clear and sharp image quality even when zoomed. So if your object of interest is at some distance from you, the zoom feature along with the wide angle view of the lens together ensures that you get a real life-like video quality in true color.
Other noteworthy features include an 8-bladed circular aperture, a 3-inch LCD touchscreen, and an ability to shoot at 60fps full HD.
Pros and Cons of Canon Vixia G50
- It comes with a tiltable electronic viewfinder which gives you greater freedom while shooting videos.
- It has dual SD card slots for greater storage capacity.
- Unlike some other 4K camcorders, its manual controls are much more convenient to operate.
- The absence of WiFi capability was a bit surprising.
- You need to switch on the intelligent stabilization each time you turn on the camcorder
3. Panasonic HC WXF991K 4K Ultra HD Camcorder
Here is another 4K camcorder that lets you capture amazing still photos as well as Ultra HD video. You can use those photos to insert into your videos, or just to have memories of all of your special moments to put into an album, frame, etc. The Panasonic HC-WXF991K is a 4K, ultra HD camcorder that has built-in Wi-Fi, and it even has a multi-scene twin camera function, so you can get picture-in-picture videos.
Features of HC-WXF991K
This camcorder is loaded with features that make it ideal for beginning video enthusiasts. One of the coolest features is the in-camera editing, which lets you use such cool effects as stabilization, dolly zoom, regular zoom, 4K post cropping, and many more. This is going to eliminate the need to go out and buy expensive editing software. Another very useful feature which many people overlook is its ability to shoot videos in IR night vision mode. So if you’re looking for a good quality camcorder that can shoot videos in the dark, this can be a good choice. Other features include:
- Flip-Out Display – Sometimes you need to move the camera in a variety of directions, but then you can’t see the display. That is not a problem with this camera, thanks to the flip-out display that lets you view from multiple angles.
- Microphone – One problem with many built-in microphones is that they pick up too much external noise. The built-in microphone in this camera has a special wind reduction feature that gives you a much better sound quality for your videos. Easily one of the best features.
- Touch Screen – You can make all of your adjustments right on the convenient touch screen, without ever having to twist a focus ring or fiddle with other buttons. This makes re-focusing fast and easy, so you never miss a shot.
- Exposure – Enjoy a dynamic exposure range that allows you to work in just about any lighting condition, including low light. The camera has an auto-exposure feature that automatically senses when the lighting conditions change and makes the appropriate adjustments for you.
Pros and Cons of HC-WXF991K
- Great for Beginners – Even though this camera is loaded with features, it is easy to use, making it the ideal choice for beginners. It is lightweight, so you can even shoot handheld videos easily without a lot of camera shake.
- Price – This is not an expensive camera when you compare it to other similar camcorders. It offers more features than many other cameras that are on the market in the same price range and is similar in quality to many professional cameras.
- Noise – One of the biggest drawbacks of using this camcorder is that when you are shooting in 4K, you may notice that there is a lot of noise in the picture. This can be edited out, but that is just adding more time to the process.
4. Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K Video Camera
Sony never ceases to wow us with the quality of their camcorder. Whether they are full HD, 4K, or even DSLRs, you can be assured of superior build and picture quality of Sony camcorders. To add to this elite list is Sony FDR AX100. It is a 4K video camera with a 3.5 inch mega LCD screen and one that fits right into the palm of your hand. Although a few years have passed since it was launched, its quality and features are still comparable and sometimes much better than the camcorders released recently.
It comes equipped with Sony’s flagship 1” Exmor R CMOS sensor with Direct Pixel Read Out. This sensor technology is extremely useful in shooting in low-light situations. Because of this sensor’s high sensitivity, there is an almost 50% reduction in unwanted noise in the picture, thus resulting in almost flawless video quality in dark settings.
It has autofocus which works best when the contrast is high. The higher the contrast, the better is its autofocus, like in scenes of sunset, dawn, or lower light scenes. For bright conditions, the manual focus works like a charm and there is no need for autofocus.
When you’re using a 4K camcorder, the type of lens fitted becomes of the utmost importance because of the zooming requirement and the clarity that will be offered. The Sony FDR AX100 comes with the Carl Zeiss Vario Sonnar T* lens which has withstood tough performance tests and offers 12x optical zoom and 24x clear image zoom, thus offering an even greater zoom function.
The Electronic ViewFinder is of the OLED type which helps reproduce rich color and deep black contrast. The ViewFinder allows for a 33-degree wide-angle view which I feel is sufficient for a prosumer camcorder. Another notable feature of this camcorder is the BIONZ X Processor which enables high-speed recording at 120 fps, while at the same time enabling slow-motion video at 24p (one-fifth) of the highest fps in post-production settings.
- Optical Image Stabilization ensures that the image captured is stable and limits handshake
- Supports near-field communication as well as WiFi connection to a smartphone for better control
- Includes a multi-accessory shoe for fixing additional accessories
- Offers excellent contrast and manual control options
- The image can be a bit blur while recording very fast-moving objects as the focus takes time to adjust
- Battery life is not very impressive. Always better to carry an extra backup if you’re shooting outdoors
5. Panasonic HC VX981K Ultra HD Camcorder
If you want to capture ultra-sharp footage in full 4K, Ultra HD resolution, the Panasonic HC-VX981K is one of the best video cameras for 4K video for you to consider. It is loaded with features that make capturing great videos easy, even for beginners. You can even use it to do a lot of in-camera editing, so it isn’t always necessary for you to download your videos to edit them, and you won’t need a lot of expensive editing software. Some of the things you can do in-camera include post cropping, panning, zooming, and subject tracking stabilization.
Features of Panasonic HC-VX981K
One of the coolest features this camcorder has to offer is the multi-camera scene picture-in-picture recording technology. To use this, all you have to do is add a Wi-Fi link to a mobile device camera, and you can use it with the Panasonic HC-WX981K to get this feature in your videos. While this isn’t something that you are likely to use all the time, it really is a handy little feature to have. Other features include:
- HDR Mode – The HDR mode is an innovative feature that makes it easy to capture great quality videos, even in low light conditions. It helps to pick up highlights and shadows that many other camcorders cannot, so you always get a clear, crisp picture.
- Lens – This camcorder has a Leica Dicomar lens that gives you a 20X optical zoom range. At the wide end, it is the equivalent to the 35mm focal length of 30.8mm. The 20X zoom can be combined with the intelligence zoom to make it 25X when shooting in 4K, and 40X when shooting in full HD.
- Multi-Camera Functionality – While this camcorder isn’t a twin camera in itself, it does have that capability when you connect a Wi-Fi connected mobile device. You can enjoy the picture-in-picture recording that will give a whole new depth to your videos.
- Remote Control – When you are using the Wi-Fi functionality, you can use remote control so you can control the camera even when you are not standing right next to it. You can even use it from a distance, so if you notice something awesome happening, you won’t miss it because the camera isn’t right in your hands.
Pros and Cons of Panasonic HC-VX981K
- In-Camera Editing – Enjoy using a variety of editing tools that let you do most of the editing as you go, without the need for extra software. The only downside is that you can’t save your edited videos in 4K. You can only do it at 1080p resolution.
- Still Photos – We love that we can take regular photos with this camcorder. It’s not quite the same as a regular camera, but you can easily extract any still images you like from your video frames, and they are as high quality as any regular photos.
HDMI – When the camera is in Wi-Fi mode, there is no HDMI output, so you can’t control it remotely when broadcasting on HDMI.
6. GoPro HERO8 Black
If action and adventure is your specialty, and you are someone who is always on the move, a GoPro is a good option for you, particularly the HERO8. This camera shoots in 4K, and you can also capture 12MP still photos in single, burst, and time-lapse modes. This is a durable and waterproof camera that you can take pretty much anywhere, and it is loaded with features that make creating great videos fun and easy.
Features of GoPro HERO8 Black
You can take this camera out in the rain without worrying about damaging it, and you don’t even need to use an external housing. This camera is waterproof to 33 feet without a housing, so you can use it for many of your favorite water sports. The battery will give you up to 90 minutes of continuous 4K video recording. Other features include:
- In-Camera Editing – You can do a lot of editing right on the camera, without having to download anything to your computer. Preview and play shots back, change the settings, and even trim footage, quickly and easily.
- Voice Control – One of the coolest features is the voice control. Enjoy hands-free operation simply by using a few voice commands. This camera is likely going to be one of the easiest that you have ever used.
- One-Button Control – All you have to do is press the shutter button to turn the camera and automatically begin recording everything around you. There are no additional buttons and settings to fiddle around with.
- Uploading – If you get a GoPro Plus subscription, you can automatically upload all of your videos and photos right to the cloud, where it is easy to view, edit, and share, even while you are on the move.
Pros and Cons of GoPro HERO8 Black
- Advanced Features – This camcorder is loaded with advanced features that are easy to use, and help you to create stunning videos. These features include 4K video and 12MP photos, RAW + WDR photos, exposure control, stereo sound, GPS location tagging, and more.
- Price – While this camcorder may not have as many features as others we have talked about today, it is great for creating awesome videos, and it is easy to use. The best part is, you can get it for a much lesser price as compared to the other camcorders in the list.
- Mods cost extra – The different Mods which make recording videos a more enjoyable experience like the Media Mod and the Display Mod are not included in the package and have to be purchased separately.
If you want to get into making your own YouTube videos, or you simply want to have fun making videos to share with family and friends, you don’t have to spend thousands of dollars to get started. Any of the cameras we have discussed today will suit your needs perfectly, whether you are going to be shooting stationary videos and photos or want to get right in the middle of the action.
Benefits Of 4K Video
A higher video resolution means more file size, hence you need more storage. You can do well with a 2K camcorder but more benefits are expected if you use 4K camcorders. Here are some of them:
Better Crop And Zoom Results
One of the great things about 4K camcorders is that you can crop your videos without affecting the quality. Let’s say you try to crop 1920 pixels to 1800 pixels, the change in quality would be hardly noticeable. With all those extra pixels, you can zoom in and out while keeping its HD resolution.
Saves Time In Recording Cut-Ins
Higher resolution videos, like 4K, save you time in shooting a scene several times for close-up shots. You can simply grab a function of the frame and make more cut-ins with big-picture dimensions.
Larger video frames are great for putting visual effects. For example, you want to make a human head bigger on the original footage. Simply resize the original footage and you have a fascinating video.
Better HD Quality
Compared to 1080p HD footage, 4k footage is more detailed in results. The footage is also significantly sharper than 1080p. Additionally, the color is also better and crisper.
An out-of-focus video isn’t as bad as a still photograph. However, sharpness is still important. If you’ve been sloppy in taking a video on a 4K camcorder, you can fix it easily by downsizing the resolution.
Longer Recording Time
Compared to cameras and smartphones, video recorders tend to shoot longer. Camera manufacturers typically offer a maximum of 30 minutes in their products. More than 30 minutes is already considered a video recorder and entails a different tariff.
Extracts High-Quality Pictures
Forget to take pictures when shooting a video? Don’t worry. A 4K video footage allows you to extract an 8-megapixel picture. That’s sufficient for a good-sized print.
Things To Look For When Buying A 4K Camcorder
Optical And Digital Zoom
Optical zoom allows you to capture far-away objects while maintaining a high-quality resolution. Bigger zoom factors enable you to capture more details. Unless the camcorder is from Sony, some camcorders offer digital zoom options that lead to a significant downgrade in quality.
A 4K camcorder can give about 8 megapixels in video output results so having a bigger sensor isn’t necessary. However, bigger sensors can help gather more light and record stunning videos even in low light conditions. Bigger lenses simply mean higher-quality videos and pictures.
If you have shaky hands, you’ll want a camcorder that offers an image stabilization feature. As its name suggests, this feature stabilizes your footage.
The LCD is where you can preview the pictures and videos of your camcorder. That’s why you need it to be sufficiently bright and detailed even in bright sun. Touchscreens can be useful but they’re not as important as a good button location.
If you’re a serious videographer, you might want to look for extra features, like microphone input and headphone jack. Stereo mics are better than mono mics, but a multi-channel offers surround sound and is often found in the best 4K camcorders.
What Are The Best Brands of 4K Camcorders?
Sony rules the camcorder market, providing different models for all current consumer formats. Other good brands are GoPro, Canon, and Panasonic. Samsung and Vivitar are also starting to get hold of the competition.