best 4k camcorder

Best 4K Camcorder 2019: Choose The Perfect 4K Video Camera For You

With a horizontal display resolution of around 4,000 pixels, the 4K format is now the new gold standard when it comes to video resolution. Footage shots in this format are so clear, vivid and lifelike that customers are now clamoring for devices that support this capability such as 4K camcorders.

You might be asking yourself why people would still want 4K camcorders when there are 4K enabled smartphones and cameras already available on the market. The answer is actually simple – there are areas that a smartphone can’t compete with the camcorder.

Bigger, Better Lens Size

One of these is the lens size. Since camcorders are bigger, they are equipped with bigger lenses which translates to higher quality images and videos as well as higher optical zooming capabilities.

Longer Record Time

Video recorders usually have a longer record time compared to cameras and cell phones mainly due to tariff considerations. Camera manufacturers usually limit their product’s maximum record time to under 30 minutes since these cameras will be considered video recorders if they go beyond that limit and will be charged with the corresponding tariffs.

More Powerful Battery System 

Battery life is also a major consideration why camcorders remain popular. Camcorders usually have an “open back” design which allows you to switch to a more powerful battery pack, a feature you won’t find in smartphones and regular cameras. For lengthy events such as weddings, the video recorder still reigns supreme.

Sony FDR-AX700 4K HDR Camcorder


Best Overall Pick : Sony FDR-AX700 4K Camcorder 

As an industry leader in the camcorder business for decades, Sony knows the niche like the back of its hand and has the perfect product for every price levels. If money is not an issue for you and you only want the best features in your gadget, then the Sony FDR-AX700 4K HDR Camcorder might be what you are looking for.

Of course, this pro level video quality comes at a price as the gadget currently sells near the $1900 level. As such, this product might not suit everyone as this price could seriously put a dent in anyone’s budget.

This is a true High Dynamic Range (HDR) camcorder so it has the ability to produce studio-level quality videos with its 4K High Dynamic Range2 feature. Yet, despite its professional level video capabilities, the gadget is surprisingly compact and easy to carry around at just 2.06 pounds that it’s basically taking the whole production team with you wherever you go.

Customer Review:

Jeffrey Powers @Geekazine - “I used this at CES and NAMM. It's a little bigger than the previous Sony cameras, but it performed above expectations. If you are doing live streams, the HDMI will not show any overlays in the display. You can then look at the LCD screen to see what's in focus while you are streaming the video. The ND filter allows you to go inside to out without putting on a lens.

The Sony Remote is the only part that doesn't work the way I want. It can be used to start and stop recordings, but won't take photos, or manage the camera like it's predecessors did. It's a small gripe, because you can also just use the Wifi remote.”

Read our full review of Sony FDR-AX700 4K HDR Camcorder.

Sony FDRAX53 HD Video Recording Camcorder


Best for Zooming In : Sony FDRAX53/B 4K Camcorder  

The Sony FDRAX53/B gives you up to 20x optical zoom capability, meaning it focuses on a particular target by recalibrating the camera’s lens, resulting to clearer zoomed shots. This feature alone puts the gadget at an advantage when compared to cameras with digital zoom only capability.

And while some professional photographers may not be so happy with the specs of this camcorder, especially if they’re looking for something more high-end, this Sony product still boasts great elements. Such as the Balanced Optical SteadyShot image stabilization w/ Intelligent Active Mode, which reduces unwanted shakes to a minimum, resulting to clearer videos and photos.

If you’re eyeing for this camcorder, you might as well want to know that some people are bothered with its photo button position. Of course, not a really big deal because we have this thing called adjustment period and learning curve. You can still get away with a decent camcorder with great zoom and image stabilization features.

Customer Reviews:

Davis Foulger “I am blown away by the resolution I got from this camera.”

Tammy M“As a video student, I have used it for several video projects, and people have commented on how great the quality is. It is also much cheaper than industry standard video cameras, and does a great job.”

Read our full review of Sony FDRAX53/B 4K Camcorder.

sony fdrax33 features


Best Value For Your Money : Sony 4K FDRAX33 Handycam   

The older model Sony FDRAX33 Handycam Camcorder is priced significantly lower than the newer FDRAX53 which makes it very attractive to buyers looking for the best value for their money. Surprisingly, this cheaper-priced model is also packed with top-of-the-line features such as a 10x optical zoom capability as well as image stabilization feature to ensure stable videos and photos.

Some owners say that there are rare instances where colors get oversaturated in video outputs. But generally speaking, colors in both videos and photos are vivid and lifelike thanks to its high quality sensor and ZEISS Vario-Sonnar lens.

If you’re serious in getting this gadget, you need to know that some owners complain that video quality declines in dimly-lit backgrounds. However, this is just a minor inconvenience that can be solved by proper lighting.  This minor lighting issue is a small price to pay for a great 4K camcorder that supports XAVC S3, AVCHD and MP4 codecs and packed with high-end features such as optical zoom and stabilization feature.

Customer Reviews:

Martin Brossman“This is outstanding quality for the money even at non 4K level. I use it to record my presentations with a shotgun sony mic. It gives me enough resolution to make it look like I am panning in and moving the camera. If feels solid in your hands and has amazing optics. Even stills are great.”

Jeri Zerr – “I like standardization and consistency in my life, particularly since I was a road warrior for most of a decade. Sony has brought back the most important key features in this model by including a microphone jack and returning to the full size SD card slot (as opposed to the micro SD card.)

The perfect handycam, records in all common formats, allows for stills and much much more. Now with 4K video format.”

Read our full review of Sony FDRAX33 4k Handycam.

Rraycom 4K Video Camcorder


Best Entry-Level Option : Rraycom 4K Video Camcorder    

If you are looking for an entry-level video recorder and are willing to forgo some of the features found in high-end models, then the Rraycom 4K Video Camcorder could be perfect for you. It delivers decent videos and photos which should be perfect as long as you don’t plan on using it for professional photography or filming.

This camcorder is packed with impressive features and specs such as a 16x digital zoom, WiFi connectivity, remote control feature as well as decent video and audio quality. Unfortunately, it lacks an image stabilization feature - which is probably to be expected from a gadget priced under $250 – so you’ll need to have steady hands or a tripod to get the best photos and videos.

If you are keen on getting this affordable 4K camcorder, please note that some buyers say that the remote control feature do not seem to work when filming 4K videos, which is probably not much of an issue for most users anyway. In addition, the Amazon does not ship this item to some locations such as the Philippines.

Read our full review of Rraycom 4K Video Camcorder.

Ablue 4K Ultra HD Camcorder


Best for Casual Users : Ablue 4K Camcorder   

Not all buyers have the same requirements when it comes to their 4K camcorder. For casual users who just want to shoot videos are not too particular about professional-level specs and features, then the Ablue 4K Video Camcorder will be a good choice.

Aside from its affordability, it has all the features a casual user would need. It has a 13-megapixels CMOS sensor, 16x digital zoom, IR night vision, WiFi connectivity and good battery life. It is also very easy to use so it’s perfect even for amateurs who want to start their own vlog.

At such price level, you can expect some issues with the gadget. It lacks image stabilization feature which could be a problem for those who want to film without using a tripod. In addition, image and video quality deteriorates in low-lit areas.

Read our full review of Ablue 4K Camcorder.

sony fdrx3000 underwater camcorder


Best Camera for Underwater Use : Sony 4K FDRX3000/W Camcorder 

Watersports enthusiasts need a 4K camcorder that is rugged enough to handle the demands of their lifestyle, such as the Sony FDRX3000/W Underwater Camcorder 4K. Specifically designed for use in the water, this camcorder has a durable, splash-proof body with a housing that is waterproof up to 197 feet.

It is also slimmer than its land use-only cousins which makes it super easy to carry around while swimming. Unfortunately, some users complain that the housing tends to affect its audio sensitivity but it’s a good enough tradeoff for its capability to film underwater.

For those who plan to get this product, be warned that some owners say that the remote feature is unreliable at times. But with top-of-the-line specs and features such as ZEISS Tessar lens, Exmor R CMOS sensor camera, BIONZ X processor, and Balanced Optical SteadyShot that give it the ability to film crystal clear and stable video footages underwater, most owners won’t probably mind an unresponsive remote feature.

Customer Review:

Jennifer Arrington - “Got this camera as a GoPro replacement, and I'm super happy. It took a few minutes to figure out the menu and etc, but once I got it set up I really like the footage I've recorded with this camera. I really like the one touch on/record option. The image stabilization is really remarkable. The colors are super clear and vibrant. And, I'm no longer married to the GoPro connection products. A simple tripod mount works great. Thanks Sony for a great product! I 100% recommend this product.”

Read our full review of Sony 4K FDRX3000/W Camcorder.

kenuo 4k camcorder


Best App-Enabled Video Recorder :  Kenuo 4K Camcorder  

This brand is known for its affordably-priced products and one this Kenuo 4K Camcorder is no exception with its price tag of less than $250. But aside from being affordable, this gadget set itself apart with its capability to connect to your mobile devices via a downloadable app.

Just download the NovaCam" app and you can use your smart phone or tablet as a real-time remote control for the camcorder. This gadget is also packed with cool features such as 16x digital zoom, 13 MP CMOS sensor which can be enhanced to 48 megapixels via interpolation, IR night vision, additional storage and a screen that can be turned 270 degrees for ease of use.

Of course, you can’t expect a camcorder at this price level to have all the high-end features. For instance, this product lacks images stabilization and customization options. While it may not impress professionals, the Kenuo 4K camcorder is certainly perfect for casual users as well as beginner level photographers.

Customer Review:

Peter Larson – “I usually don't write reviews on Amazon. My friend referred me to this product. I bought the latest one with the upgraded screen. The product is just like it is described. The screen looks better compared to my friend's. I no longer worry about dying batteries because it came with two! Awesome! The detachable microphone and lens makes the audio and screen quality even better. Looking forward to using it on my coming trip!”

Read our full review of  Kenuo 4K Camcorder.

Panasonic HC-V180K Full HD Camcorder


Best For The Budget Conscious : Panasonic HC-V180K Camcorder   

Panasonic is a well-known global brand in consumer electronics, which makes it rather surprising that the brand offers a very affordable 4K camcorder priced under $250. In fact, this combination of low price and high quality is probably the reason why it is tagged as Amazon’s Choice for its niche.

Despite is affordable price, the camcorder is packed with impressive features usually found in more expensive gadgets. For instance, it has a very impressive 50X Stabilized Optical Zoom capability and up to 90X intelligent zoom, which ensures that taking footages of faraway subjects won’t be a problem.

Equally impressive is its 5-axis Hybrid Optical Image Stabilization for ultra-stable video outputs. But one issue some buyers pointed out is that it lacks manual controls, which could be a downside for users who want to customize their camcorder’s settings. Some owners also complained that video quality declines when used in low-lit environments so an external light source might be needed.

Customer Review:

Brian & Samantha - “I LOVE this camera. The zoom is amazing. I read reviews and watched YouTube's of it and realized the clarity in the dark was poor. So i got a universal LED camcorder light to attatch to it. A small one. It works PERFECT. completely fixes that problem. It recently snowed at around 3am here in texas (rarely happens), i took the kids put with it and turned on the light, PERFECT shot and beautiful video to show the kids when they are older. I couldnt be happier! And the stability is incredible! It also allows you to take pics while recording! Too cool!”

Read our full review of  Panasonic HC-V180K Camcorder.

sony fdr-ax100/b


Best for Amateur Videographers : Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K Video Camera 

The Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K Video Camera with 3.5-Inch LCD is perfect for beginner-level videographers who want to explore the 4K niche. While the gadget is not Sony’s most affordable camcorder offering, it is relatively cheaper compared to more high-end models currently available on the market which makes it attractive for amateurs who are shopping for video equipment on a limited budget.

The camcorder also comes with specs and features that would satisfy most videographers. You can capture 4K videos with a resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels (QFHD) at 30p or opt for a lower resolution output but higher frame rate of 120p. In addition, it has a 1-inch Exmore CMOS sensor which gives it the impressive capability of high quality videos and photos even in low-light situations. It is versatile and gives you multiple options when it comes to formats as it supports XAVC-S, AVCHD and MP4 codecs.

Of course, it has some minor issues. Some users say that using the touchscreen menu is tricky especially when you go to the submenus where the buttons get smaller. However, the issue can only be considered a minor flaw and can be overcome the more you use the product since some smartphones even have smaller on-screen keypads. Overall, this product is perfect for anyone just starting out on their road to 4K filming.

Customer Review:

Andreas Hohl - “Considering that we get 4K for less than 2K is awesome. Love the lens designed by Zeiss for Sony. Love the fact that you can go almost 100% manual with settings. Love the fact that it has a 3 level ND filter system built in. Have shot some pretty interesting goodies with this from tight macro shots to night shots (infra red) - as well as night shots of the moon. Unbelievable detail in the imagery. But I must forward you, you need to learn the manual settings to achieve such greatness. All auto isn't bad, but for those special shots, learn the manual settings. This camera produces way beyond consumer level and is definitely "pro-sumer" class.”

Read our full review of  Sony FDR-AX100/B 4K Video Camera.