Which features and specs make our list of the best 4K camcorders this year? Size, price, and build quality are a few of the things we looked at in camcorders. These days, camcorders are a little harder to find than they have been in years past. With many of today's best mirrorless cameras and DSLRs shooting high-resolution video, the camcorder market is a lot smaller. However, if you're a diehard videographer, you know a camcorder is still your best bet for getting useable footage. Here are our top picks of the year.
This Sony shoots with a Zeiss lens backed by optical SteadyShot image stabilization. Video is always clear, never shaky, and the full 4K HD outputs stunning detail. Videos are shareable via onboard Wi-Fi, and the Sony can also stream your adventures live.
Infrared HD magic
Capture all the action day or night with this 4K Ultra HD camcorder with infrared night vision from Zohulu. The high-def wide-angle lens produces crisp footage, and the IPS touchscreen is a cinch to use. There's a 24MP Sony sensor in this model, and the inclusion of night vision makes it one of the best 4K camcorders of the year.
Advanced videographers, this is the best camcorder for you! The Panasonic X1500 is a 4K pro-grade camcorder with a 24X optical zoom, Wi-Fi, built-in ND filters, and 24-bit resolution. You can live-stream from this video cam or shoot footage at 60fps. The body is small and lightweight, the back houses a 3.5-inch monitor, and the touch panel makes it easy to control framing and focusing.
Best road cam
You'll get rock-steady footage with this camcorder from Kicteck. It records at 60fps in 4K, has Wi-Fi, a touchscreen, Night Vision, and 16x digital zoom. You'll also get a few extras like an external microphone, lens hood, stabilization cage, and a remote control. If you love bells and whistles, this is one of the best 4K camcorders around.
Sony's FDR-AX43 comes from their popular Handycam lineup. It has a built-in gimbal and SteadyShot image stabilization, making it the best choice for those filming action. This 4K camcorder has reliable autofocus, a 26.8mm wide-angle ZEISS lens, and 20x optical zoom.
Best vlogging camcorder
If you're ready to upgrade your vlogging equipment, look to the MELCAM 4K camcorder. It has 48MPs, an IPS touchscreen, infrared night vision, a stabilization cage and microphone, two batteries, and a remote control. The Wi-Fi and webcam functions work perfectly with the RoadCam app from MELCAM so that you can livestream or record on demand.
An underwater camcorder
The AKASO Brave 4 is one of the best action cameras on the market. You'll get 60fps video and 20MP photos out of the Brave 4, plus it's waterproof down to 30 meters. The IPS screen is visible on land or in the water, and the footage is sharp. This is a complete kit that includes the camcorder, two batteries, and a remote control wristband.
Which 4K camcorder should you buy?
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As we previously mentioned, camcorders are much harder to find these days thanks to the popularity of our phones, plus DSLRs or mirrorless cameras, which can take both video and photos. However, sometimes you need a 4K camcorder to get the job done and get it done reliably. Some camcorders can do underwater shooting, while others have features like infrared night vision for more versatility.
Our favorite 4K camcorder is the Sony FDRAX53/B. It's a hefty investment but offers the most versatile shooting experience available today. If a more affordable camera is what you need, go for the Zohulu 4K. It captures action day or night and has an impressive wide-angle lens. If you want to take video from above, take a look at our review of the Mavic Air 2.
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Jodi Owan works behind a keyboard and a camera. She's a freelance writer for iMore, Android Central, and Windows Central.