4K Camcorder

With the uprise of high definition content, standards when it comes to professional and even amateur videography have risen tremendously. However, shooting lifelike videos does come at a cost as high-end camcorders with 4K are pricey investments. Nonetheless, they are worth the effort for those who make an art out of filming the most precious moments in their life.

Top 5 4K Camcorders Comparison

1. Sony FDRAX53/B 2. Sony FDRAX33 3. Panasonic HC-WXF991K 4. Sony FDRX3000/W 5. GoPro HERO5
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General Info
Manufacturer Sony Sony Panasonic Sony GoPro
Dimensions (W x H x D) 2 7/8″ x 3 1/4″ x 6 3/8″ 2 7/8″ x 3 1/8″ x 6″ 2.7″ x 3.1″ x 6.4″ 1 3/16″ x 1 7/8″ x 3 3/8″ 1.26″ x 2.44″ x 1.75″
Weight 1.18 Lbs 1.32 Lbs 0.89 Lbs 0.25 Lbs 0.26 Lbs
Technical Specifications
Image Processor BIONZ X BIONZ X Crystal Engine 4K BIONZ X Dual Core Cortex ARM A9 with 4K
Battery Type InfoLITHIUM V Series InfoLITHIUM V Series 3.6V Lithium Rechargeable NP-BX1 1220 mAh Rechargeable Lithium-Ion
Power Consumption 4.9W 5.6W 7.8W 2.0W 3.8W
Optical Zoom 20x 10x 20x 3x
Shutter Speed 1/8-1/10000 1/8-1/10000 1/24-1/8000 1/30-1/10000 1/30-1/240
Exposure Modes Auto, Manual, Flexible Spot Auto, Manual, Flexible Spot Auto, Manual Automatic Automatic
Metering Modes Multi-Segment/Spot Multi-Segment/Spot Multi-Segment Multi-Segment Multi-Segment
Iris Control F2.0-F11 F1.8-F9.6 N/A N/A N/A
Sensor Type 0.28″ Exmor R CMOS 7.76mm Exmor R CMOS 1/2.3″ BSI MOS 7.20mm Exmor R CMOS CMOS
Effective Pixels – Video 8.29 Megapixels 8.29 Megapixels 8.29 Megapixels, 6.10 Megapixels 8.2 Megapixels N/A
Effective Pixels – Still Image 8.29 Megapixels, 6.22 Megapixels 10.3 Megapixels, 7.74 Megapixels 8.29 Megapixels, 6.22 Megapixels, abbr title=”3:2″> 7.00 Megapixels 8.2 Megapixels 12 Megapixels
Video Resolution 3840 x 2160/30p, 24p, 1920 x 1080/60p, 30p, 24p, 1440 x 1080/60i, 1280 x 720 30p 3840 x 2160/30p, 24p, 1920 x 1080/60p, 30p, 24p, 1440 x 1080/60i, 1280 x 720 30p 3840 x 2160p 30/24 fps, 1920 x 1080p 60/24 fps, 1280 x 720p 30 fps, 960 x 540p 30 fps 1920 x 1080 60p/50p, 1920 x 1080 30p/25p, 1280 x 720 30p/25p, 1280 x 720 120p/100p, 800 x 480 240p/200p, 3840 x 2160 30p/25p/24p; 1920 x 1080 120p/100p; 1280 x 720 240p/200p; 1920 x 1080 60p/50p/30p/25p/24p 4K30, 2.7K60, 1440p80, 1080p120, 960p120, 720p240
Recording Format – Video XAVC S, AVCHD 2.0, MP4 format MPEG4-AVC/H.264 XAVC S, AVCHD 2.0, MP4 format MPEG4-AVC/H.264 AVCHD, MP4, iFrame XAVC S, MP4 format MPEG4-AVC/H.264 MP4, AVI, MJPEG
Recording Format – Still Image JPEG JPEG JPEG DCF 2.0, Exif 2.3, MPF Baseline RAW, JPEG
Audio Recording Format MPEG-4 Linear PCM 2ch, Dolby Digital 5.1ch, Dolby Digital 5.1Creator, Dolby Digital 2ch Stereo, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2 ch MPEG-4 Linear PCM 2ch, Dolby Digital 5.1ch, Dolby Digital 5.1Creator, Dolby Digital 2ch Stereo, Dolby Digital Stereo Creator, MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2 ch AAC, Dolby Digital 2ch, Dolby Digital 5.1 MP4/MPEG-4 AAC-LC 2ch, XAVC S LPCM 2ch WAV
Microphone Built-in Zoom Microphone Built-in Zoom Microphone Built-In Focus and Stereo Microphone Built-In Stereo Microphone 3 Built-In Stereo Microphone
Speaker Monaural Monaural Dynamic Monaural Monaural
Automatic Wind Noise Reduction
Microphone Level Control 31 Steps 31 Steps
Type ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T ZEISS Vario-Sonnar T Leica Dicomar ZEISS Tessar Focus Free
Filter Diameter 55 mm 52 mm 49 mm N/A N/A
Aperture F 2.0-3.8 F1.8-F3.4 F1.8-F3.6 F2.8 F2.8
Focal Distance f=4.4-88 mm f=3.8-38.0 mm f=4.08-81.6 mm f=2.6-32.0 mm N/A
Fast Playback 5x/10x/30x/60x 5x/10x/30x/60x N/A
Slow Playback 1/5 Speed, 1/2 Speed 1/5 Speed, 1/2 Speed N/A
Wireless Functions
Live Streaming
Multi-Camera Control N/A
Input/Output Connections
HDMI Terminal
Multi/Micro USB Terminal
Microphone Input
Headphone Jack
4K Image Quality
Face Detection
Other Features
Smile Shutter Smile Shutter Level Shot Motion Shot LE 10-Second Self-Timer Delay
Motion Shot Video Motion Shot Video 5-Axis Hybrid O.I.S. Highlight Movie Maker Waterproof Design
My Voice Canceling My Voice Canceling HDR Movie Live-View Remote 2″ Touch Display
Dual Video Recording Dual Video Recording Cinema-Like Effects Adjustable Field of View Voice Control System
Highlight Movie Maker Highlight Movie Maker Electronic Viewfinder Burst Shooting Automatic Image Rotation
One-Touch Remote Twin Camera Time Code/User Bit Bluetooth Technology
One-Touch Sharing In-Camera Cropping and Editing Loop Recording Wide Dynamic Range Photo Capture
Underwater Housing GPS
Action Cam Movie Creator
Product Warranty 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year 1 Year
User Manual
Customer Support
Telephone Support 201-930-1000 201-930-1000 1-800-405-0652 201-930-1000 (855) 635-3578
Online Chat Support

Camcorders Shooting in 4K Reviews

1. Sony FDRAX53/B

A camera that you can use to record the most important moments in your life and much more, this Sony entry is a pro-level device that you will love taking with you everywhere you go. As it measures only 2-7/8 inches in width, 3-1/4 inches in height, and 6-3/8 inches in depth, you will find it easy to keep it in your hand when shooting. Furthermore, it only weighs 1.18 pounds, so you won’t feel your arms getting tired even after hours of shooting videos and stills. It features a 26.8-millimeter wide-angle lens that shoots in a 16:9 aspect ratio when used in movie mode to ensure as much of the landscape or indoor scenery will be captured as possible. When it comes to slow motion, all the details will be there as it provides a stunning smoothness and sharpness when you opt for this playback mode so that you can see details and actions that occur too quickly in real time and you cannot view properly otherwise.

Image Sensor

As this Sony device features what is the most innovative image sensor the company has developed to date, providing pixels of approximately 1.6x bigger in size than the previous technologies used, it offers a higher sensitivity that helps capture high-quality images when less noise regardless of the shooting conditions.

Balanced Optical SteadyShot

If your hands are shaky, you needn’t worry that you might ruin videos and stills anymore as the device has you covered. Its advanced SteadyShot image stabilization technology completely suppresses camera shake in order to provide a stabilized recording from one end to another. When used in the HD mode, trembling and vibrations are further reduced as it uses a 5-axis intelligent mode to rid of these issues, ensuring you can capture quality videos even when you run.

Fast AF Response

One of its best features is definitely the Fast Intelligent AF which achieves speedy contrast-detection autofocus as a result of minimizing lens motion, accelerating the drive of the lens, and predicting the range of the autofocus. Thus, you will be able to more accurately capture fleeting moments with it as a result of this fast autofocus response.

Mention Worthy Features and Specs
  • As people are most likely the main focus of your pictures, the Face Detection feature it comes with helps improve shot quality by optimizing focus, color, and exposure on your subjects.
  • Smile Shutter feature ensures a beautiful smile won’t go undetected as it automatically captures still shots of people smiling, even when you are recording and not taking pictures.
  • Golf Shot feature enables it to capture stills and video footage of your all steps of your swing, eliminating the need for complicated gadgets when you are on the course.
  • As it features the My Voice Canceling technology, it reduces the voice intensity of the person filming to focus more on the subjects of the recording.
  • Allows dual video recording, one in XAVC S and the other one in MP4 so that you have a small file that is perfect for sharing on the spot, and a pro-style bigger filter that you can edit for your own use.
Night Shooting

Want to capture your beloved pet, spouse, or child when they are sleeping, but you don’t want to turn the lights on to capture that moment as you know it will wake them up? The NightShot feature has you covered as it uses quality infrared light to make taking stills and recordings of a high quality possible even in complete darkness.

  • Image sensor delivers superior sensitivity in order to capture high-quality images
  • Produces less noise under dark as well as bright shooting conditions
  • Rapid AF response allows you to capture decisive moments with ease
  • High-quality slow motion ensured by high-speed recording
  • Microphone is designed to gather clear sound from five directions
  • Infrared light allows you to take images even in conditions of complete darkness
  • Automatic focusing is not as reliable as it is with other models

Perfectly combining innovative features and old-school design elements people have grown attached to like the manual focus ring, this is our recommendation if you do not want to sacrifice quality and you are willing to pay an extra buck in order to enjoy it. Design as well as performance-wise, it is the ultimate choice for serious video shooters and photographers looking to embitter the quality of their projects.

2. Sony FDRAX33

Just like the previously reviewed Sony product, our second entry features innovative image stabilization, ensuring clear videos will be shot even when you are following the action and your hand is shaking. Boasting a neat and compact design, it is perfect if you like to capture the essence and beauty of each moment in your life.

The 10x optical zoom alongside the 20x clear image zoom allows you to get up-close and personal with the sceneries you are recording without having to move an inch. This capability greatly expands your horizons in terms of the footage you are able to capture with it, pushing limits to allow you to express yourself through your videos.

If your area of interest is capturing still images, you will be glad to learn it takes up to 20.6 megapixel interpolated images. It is equipped with a quality wide-angle lens, ensuring professionalism in the videos you are recording each and every time you use it. Additionally, its simplistic design greatly enhances ease of use.

  • A sound-analysis algorithm is used to reduce wind noise from video background as you are filming
  • Behind-camera sounds are reduced to not ruin video quality
  • Perfect night shooting ensured by infrared light
  • 29.8-millimeter wide-angle lens
  • Automatic adjustment of target frame size to produce quality images of subject’s characteristics
  • White pixels are used to boost screen brightness and more clearly display subtle tones and details
  • Does not allow remote control over the smartphone or tablet

With little to no commentaries existing when it comes to its downsides, it is the ideal gear for any aspiring video shooter or photographers. Getting still images of a perfect quality has never been this easy, and when it comes to recording footage, the clear images and the crisp sound make you instantly become addicted to using it.

3. Panasonic HC-WXF991K

Delivering not only 4K video recording capabilities, but professional in-camera editing as well, this Panasonic device is a simplistic yet powerful tool you will grow to love fast. Capable of wirelessly connecting to up to 3 smart devices – tablets or smartphones – at the same time, it allows a convenient operation regardless of your work style.

The amazing multi-camera wireless function it features allows up to two picture-in-picture video feeds when the Wi-Fi connection is set with other smart devices or when the secondary flip-out LCD screen camera is used. This functionality alone allows you to capture unique footage as you can focus on multiple angles and viewpoints simultaneously.

Other advanced features it brings to the table include built-in cinema-like effects, in-camera zooming, panning, cropping, and tracking, automatically stabilizing the footage, HDR movie mode, and so on. Thus, despite the spicy asking price, it is indeed an option worth taking into consideration when you draw the line.

  • Camera tilting is automatically detected and corrected by the Level Shot function
  • Distortion suppression and accurate scene rendering ensured by Crystal Engine
  • Dedicated HDR button allows a quick combination of different exposure images to eliminate blocked shadows and blown highlights
  • Built-in Wi-Fi allows wireless connectivity to a maximum of 3 smart devices
  • Automatic adjust eliminates shaky images
  • Video subjects are automatically kept inside the cropped area
  • Does not provide the best quality footage in low light conditions

Although a bit spicy for some people’s taste, this Panasonic model is an investment worth making when you draw the line and put in balance what it has to offer. Other worldly image quality and clear, crisp audio are only two of the benefits put at your disposal when using it, so our insistence that you buy it should come as no surprise.

4. Sony FDRX3000/W

Crossing boundaries and delivering nothing but the best in terms of tech devices, Sony manages to surprise us once again with the design and manufacture of the FDRX3000/W. Although it is indeed a bit inferior to the other two Sony models we previously reviewed, what makes it stand as their equal is the cheap asking price.

Ideal for beginners and professionals alike, it suits those who are into action cams most as it is compact and capable of reducing camera shakiness to deliver perfect footage quality. Thus, if you like to capture moments in life and nature as they unfold, without any prior preparation, this is the device for you.

Adjustability and versatility in use best describe this device as it allows you to shoot at whatever angle you desire. In addition, due to the simplistic user interface it boasts, you will have no problem operating it even if this is the first technologically advanced camera you hold in your hands.

  • Balanced Optical SteadyShot allows you to effortlessly capture stable images
  • Cutting-edge sensor allows you to shoot video in the dark
  • Simplistic user interface ensures an intuitive operation
  • Ideal action cam – perfect for those who are always on the go and want to catch important events as they are unfolding
  • Rugged shielding ensures resistance to shocks, dust, and water
  • Time-Lapse Capture allows you to shoot stills series over a period of time
  • When is close proximity to engines and vibrating motors, image quality distortion might occur

One of the easiest devices to use at the moment, this Sony device is a dream come true for beginner video shooters and stills photographers. Featuring augmented video recording capabilities and a plethora of features while still managing to come at an accessible price, it is a recommendation we strongly make and hope you seriously take into consideration.

5. GoPro HERO5

By now, GoPro gear is renowned worldwide as no other manufacturer seems to produce better quality action cams. Capable of shooting in 4K and delivering video quality beyond your wildest dreams, clear and crisp audio and images being prioritized, the HERO5 is GoPro’s biggest achievement to date.

One of the new and interesting features that make it a huge upgrade from its predecessors is the hands-free control it allows through simple voice commands. For those who want to not only film the moment but live it as well, this functionality is of an immense importance. Built to resist and boasting a waterproof design, there is no limitation to how and where you can use it.

Seeing how convenience is the key trait with GoPro devices, it comes as no surprise that the device features automatic recording – simply press the shutter button and the camera will activate and do its business. If all the aforementioned details did not suffice to impress you, the smooth, stable, shake-free footage it ensures regardless of whether or not you mount it surely will.

  • Shake-free recording ensured whether handheld or mounted to gear
  • Waterproof housing allows you to shoot underwater videos of an exceptional quality
  • On the 2” display, you can easily trim videos and check out shots
  • Simple voice commands allow you to take hands-free control over the device
  • Always ready to record – just press the shutter button and you are good to go
  • Compact design makes it a breeze to shoot footage with the device all day long
  • Does not feature optical zooming capabilities

Built to last and allow you to capture the most important moments in your life – even the ones where you are underwater – the GoPro HERO5 is a gear piece you need if you want to capture the essence and beauty of each passing moment. Boasting a comfortable asking price and numerous features, it is indeed a video shooter’s best friend.

6. Ansteker 48MP 30FPS

Although it isn’t manufactured by one of the well-known companies on the market, the Ansteker still presents a viable option for video fanatics as it provides quality recordings regardless whether you are filming during the day or at night – obviously, its infrared night vision is what makes it capable of filming professional footage when the dark comes. It is equipped with a 0.39x wide angle lends, and it features a quality microphone that both add to the quality of the recording experience.

It features dual card slots and it supports SDHC class 6. The 3-inch LCD screen rotates to 270-degrees for a more convenient use. When recording video, it provides a high-quality 48-megapixel image resolution for utmost clarity. The LED light it features makes using it at night or in poor light conditions easy, while the 16x digital zoom enables you to shoot footage from afar without worrying about distorted image quality.

It utilizes a 2500mAh rechargeable lithium-ion battery as a power source, battery which enables it to take recordings for up to 2 hours or take pictures for approximately 2 and a half hours. Furthermore, it only takes up to 3 hours to fully charge the battery, so not a lot of time is wasted on this procedure. When it comes to PC system compatibility, it is highly versatile as it works with Windows 98SE and up, all the way to Windows 10.

  • Rechargeable lithium-ion battery which powers it provides up to 2 and a half hours of pictures or 2 hours of video recording
  • 0.39x wide angle lens makes it a professional recording tool
  • Features infrared night vision which enables you to record videos and take pictures even when it is dark outside
  • 3-inch touch screen rotates to 270 degrees for a convenient use
  • Features a 13 megapixel CMOS sensor, allowing up to 48 megapixels interpolation
  • Is produced by a lesser known brand – less qualitative than other entries manufactured by bigger companies

Easy to use, reasonably priced, and providing you with clear video footage and pictures even when it is dark outside as it features infrared night vision, it is one of the best selections you could opt for right now.

7. Rraycom 48MP

We start off the review by praising the easy and intuitive use boasted by the Rraycom. Moreover, its design makes it easy for you to carry it with you and shoot spectacular footage whenever you spot beautiful sceneries. It measures 7.4 inches by 5.9 inches by 4.2 inches, and it weighs 2.1 pounds. It boasts a 3-inch LCD touch screen that can rotate to 270 degrees, a cool feature that comes in handy when filming.

It features a built-in speaker and a microphone, so you need not worry about audio or its quality as it is good. The IR night vision function it comes with makes it possible to shoot even as darkness settles and in poorly lit rooms. With it, you can zoom on the target you want to record up to 16 times. What powers it is are 3.7V 2500mAh rechargeable lithium-ion batteries that provide up to 2 hours of continuous use in video mode, and 2 and a half hours in pictures mode.

The batteries take approximately 3 hours to fully recharge, which is more than perfect. It features dual card slots, allowing you to insert SD or TF cards inside it. Furthermore, it is backed by a 1-year warranty against defective parts and faulty manufacturing.

  • 48 MP maximum image resolution
  • 16x optical zoom allows you to zoom in on subjects of interest without losing image quality
  • Features the CMOS optical sensor technology
  • Features an HDMI slot and an USB 2.0 slot
  • Manufacturer offers a 1-year warranty for it

As it is one of the more user-friendly devices out there, the Rraycom has gained quite the popularity. Its companion app makes it even more intuitive and it brings the video recording device into the modern scenery, while the relatively reasonable asking price ensures that you will be able to afford it, regardless of your budget.

Editing 4K Footage – What Software You Need

In order to edit the footage that you shoot with the recorder, it does not suffice to have a PC that can handle processing the video as you also need a specialized video editing software. As luck would have it, there are more than enough video editing suites to choose between. However, there are not many feature filled software out there but rather just a few programs that amateurs and professionals alike will appreciate using due to their usefulness.

The software we recommend you install and use is Apple Final Cut Pro or Adobe Premiere Pro, but you must take many considerations into account before picking the right program to work with as each editing software interacts differently with file formats, so our recommended programs might not be optimal for your needs.

  • Sharing the videos:

After editing the video you have shot with the device, you might sometimes want to share it with the whole world via the internet. However, it is not as easy as it seems as full-resolution videos are not yet well-supported by all online video hosting services. Among the hosting services available at the moment, YouTube is the best as it allows you to upload as well as stream the videos.

PC and Display Requirements

After shooting a video with it, you will most likely end up on the computer, editing the footage. However, it is not as easy as it was with HD and full HD as there are different PC, and display requirements for 4K editing and maneuvering precisely due to the superior recording quality. Basically, the big amount of pixels that it comes with translates into more data being pushed around.

  • PC Requirements:

First, let us analyze whether or not you should make a PC/laptop upgrade in order to edit and share the videos. What is interesting is this type of video footage does not only require more physical storage space but that it requires more processing power when it comes to editing and handling the resulting footage. When analyzing your PC to figure out if it has what it takes to handle video processing, you must take a look at the following specs: RAMs, processor speed, hard drive type and capacity, and graphics card quality.

For stress-free handling of this superior type of footage, the recommended processor is a high-end quad-core, preferably an Intel as these models tend to deliver better quality when it comes to speed. When it comes to random access memory, the PC should have at least 16GB installed to not encounter any hiccups along the way. The hard drive that the laptop or desktop computer must use should be at least 1 TB large and it must boast 7200rpm, or it should feature a large SSD. Also, in terms of graphics card, you need an AMD R5 series model or higher, or an NVIDIA 600 series or higher model.

  • Display Requirements:

You should know right from the get-go that it is indeed possible to shoot, edit, and publish the video without viewing it on a 4K monitor. Thus, this is not a mandatory change to make in case you do not own this type of display. However, it is not recommended that you skip on the upgrade as your work and the quality of the resulting footage is greatly enhanced.

If you are willing to make the upgrade, look for the IPS spec as these types of panels deliver superior coloring accuracy regardless of the viewing angle you take up. In case your monitor is color-accurate enough, consider buying a cheaper monitor as a second display to more easily cut the footage together and make your work easier overall.

Rating Our Picks

Criteria Impact/Importance Best Product
Design – Size and Weight Although size and weight are not indicators of its quality, they are indicators of the device’s convenience in use. As we made it a point to take your needs into consideration, we had to rank the devices according to how easy it is to shoot videos with them according to how light and compact they are. GoPro HERO5
Optical Zoom The capability to zoom in on targets and sceneries comes especially in handy when shooting sports and wildlife videos. Sony FDRAX53/B, Panasonic HC-WXF991K
Exposure Modes Proper exposure when recording is vital as it influences the manner in which differently lit elements in the scene are shot. High-end devices feature automatic exposure, tending to change settings appropriately to deliver quality footage where all of the scenes are clear and visible. Sony FDRAX53/B, Sony FDRAX33
Effective Pixels A model might display a certain MP rating, but the spec you should look into to find out the truth when it comes to shooting and still photography quality is an effective pixel rating. We broke down the effective pixels delivered by all of our devices in video effective pixels and still image effective pixels to better display the capabilities of these devices. GoPro HERO5
Wind Noise Reduction Wind noise reduction is crucial to video footage quality as it shows that wind noise on the background will be automatically reduced as you are filming, thus the resulting video not being affected by the annoying background noise. Instead of hearing the wind, you will be able to hear the voice of your loved ones or the humming of birds. Sony FDRAX53/B, Sony FDRAX33, GoPro HERO5
Wireless Functions Wireless functions like Wi-Fi, NFC, live streaming, and multi-camera control play a vital role in the quality of the device as these stats indicate the device’s degree of versatility in use. Sony FDRAX53/B, Sony FDRAX33, Sony FDRX3000/W

How It Video Recording Specialists and Photographers

Wondering why an upgrade from HD to 4K is a must? Then wonder no more and read the following lines to learn how video recording specialists, as well as photographers, can benefit from using the device. We have divided the benefits section into two categories to focus on specific advantages brought by the device depending on the purpose for which you purchase it, to begin with.

  • Video Shooters

Your ideal if you like shooting quality video is for your work to not become impossible to watch as technology evolves. Sure, we might not know at the moment what is instituted for us in 20 years, but for now, it is the future-proof content to go with. There are plenty of benefits to adopting a 4K workflow, and in the following, we will list the most important advantages you will reap from this massive change in gear.

  • Quality downscaling: When using an HD camcorder, you will undoubtedly obtain quality 1080p videos. However, video quality is enhanced beyond your wildest dreams when recording with a 4K model and downscaling the video to HD resolution. What endorses this occurrence is the x4 oversampling of each pixel, images looking sharper and crisper than ever.
  • Editing techniques: Editing techniques like cropping, zooming, and panning videos are not possible with other technologies except for 4K. Regardless of the technique you want to take up on your latest project, as long as it is shot in 4K, the high number of pixels allow you to work freely on it.
  • Footage stabilization: The extra pixels provide another important advantage – image stabilization. While non-linear video editors include image stabilization algorithms, they affect image quality when you are working with HD or full HD videos as there are not enough pixels to play with, an issue that obviously does not exist with it.
  • Quality green screen shooting: You have probably taken up the common video technique of shooting against a green screen at least once, inserting the background desired when editing the footage on your PC. Chroma keying is made a lot easier when there is four times the density of pixels in the footage, to begin with, the quality of the resulting video being superior to anything else you have created up to that point.
  • Superb still images: You might want to take a still image from the video for creating posters, prints, or for other purposes. Quality-wise, if the video was shot in 4K, the resulting still image will look superb as you will be able to easily extract an 8 megapixel shot from it.
  • Photographers

Although camcorders are not the main gear that photographers must focus on, those who like to take a lot of still photos will appreciate the quality delivered by 4K models. Basically, the device allows you to shoot 24 to 30 8MP images per second, so you are more likely to find the perfect picture for your album, Facebook cover, or whatever purpose you have in mind if you film the footage and extract a still image from it. Certain camcorders even allow you to extract frames from videos in playback mode, while others let you mark out the frames you want to grab when you hit the shutter button during a recording session.

Buying Tips

Shopping for a new camcorder but encountering a plethora of terms you are not accustomed to and various options you do not really understand the usability of can be quite confusing, making this a tougher purchase than you initially expected. For this reason, we made it a point to ease your life a little bit by offering some useful insight in terms of what you must look for. Read the following lines, and you will know what to expect and what to take into consideration to end up making a successful and satisfying purchase.

  • Tip #1 – Sensor Size and Type

    The camcorder part that plays the most important role in the quality of the recorded footage is the sensor as footage is actually recorded on it. Thus, sensor size and type play an important role in video quality, so it is understandable why we advise you to look into this feature first. While most sensor types are qualitative, size is what you should pay attention to as it is easier to establish resulting video quality based on this sole element. Large sensors capture higher resolutions, so you should remember to stick with the device that offers a bigger sized sensor.

  • Tip #2 – Image Stabilization

    Shaky footage is one of the few flaws to irremediably destroy video quality. This is the reason why we recommend you take image stabilization seriously into consideration when purchasing the device as it prevents shakiness, ensuring crisp footage each time you use the recording device. Image stabilization usually comes in one of two forms, electronic or optical, and the type we advise you to go with as it is superior from all points of view is optical image stabilization. The reasoning to our recommendation is that optical image stabilization is more effective as a result of the glass lens movement in the interior of the device, movement that automatically steadies the video you are filming.

  • Tip #3 – Aperture

    In case you plan on shooting footage in low light scenarios often, a feature you must look into is maximum aperture. What is aperture you ask? To put it in simple words, the aperture is the size of the opening in the lens that allows light to protrude. The larger this opening is the better as images recorded under low light conditions will be more qualitative. For low light footage shooting, an aperture of f1.8 like the Sony FDRAX33 and the Panasonic HC-WXF991K offer is perfect.

  • Tip #4 – Zooming Capabilities

    The capability to zoom in on targets when you are filming is crucial especially if you plan on shooting wildlife and sports videos. However, make sure to check optimal zoom and no other stat as it works by adjusting the lens of the camera, thus providing enhanced quality when recording images you zoom in on. On the other hand, how much zoom you need is debatable as it depends on how you plan on using it. However, we do recommend you a 20x optical zoom like the Sony FDRAX53/B and the Panasonic HC-WXF991K deliver if you do not want to take chances with recording quality and versatility.

  • Tip #5 – Audio

    What you must not forget when making the purchase is that video quality is not the only technical spec to put an accent on as audio quality is equally important. After all, the footage is composed of images and sounds, so it goes without saying that you must look into audio specs as well. The best indicator of audio quality is the type of microphone used, and we are glad to tell you that all of the products in our ranking feature quality built-in microphones which make a huge difference in audio quality.

  • Tip #6 – Wi-Fi

    Our last buying tip is for you to look into a device with Wi-Fi as this feature alone completely upgrades versatility in use. What Wi-Fi does is allow you to connect it to a tablet or smartphone, two devices all modern people own. The importance of this connectivity feature is that it allows remote control over the device, thus giving you the possibility to more conveniently operate it.

Frequently Asked Questions

?Will filming and downsizing the video to Full HD give better detail than directly filming in Full HD?
Yes, if you shoot the video in this format and downsize it to 1080p afterward, the image will look cleaner and crisper. This transformation even allows you to zoom in up to 200 percent without images losing their quality when working in 1080p.

?What is the role of image stabilization?
A feature that we have put an accent on in this article, image stabilization plays a decisive role in the quality of the device as it shows the capability of the device to automatically compensate for hand movement and shaking. Basically, it eliminates blurring caused by faulty video shooting.

?My smartphone is 4K video-capable, is there a need for me to purchase a camcorder too?
Although smartphones have indeed come a long way, these devices have not yet managed to surpass cameras of any kind. Despite modern smartphones being capable of recording these videos, the small sensors that these devices feature, the lack of zooming capability, and the lack of space make them immensely inferior to camcorders that shoot 4K videos.

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