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Best Camcorders

Consumer Reports Ratings for Best Camcorders

Best Camcorders

We tested 48 camcorders to determine the best-performing models. Our expert lab technicians tested each Camcorder based on the following criteria:

  • Picture quality
  • Battery life (min.)
  • Audio quality
  • Display quality
  • Low-light picture quality
  • Ease of use
  • Versatility
  • Auto focus
  • Image stabilizer
  • Still camera

Below lists the Camcorders that rated best in each of the tests our experts looked for. Learn about how these tests were performed and find out which Camcorder is rated best when you subscribe.

Consumer Reports Ratings for Best Camcorders

Best Camcorder for Picture quality

Picture quality is based on the judgments of trained panelists who viewed recorded video images shot in good light at the highest quality setting available.


This Camcorder which tested best for Picture quality has the following features: Weight (lbs.), LCD size (in.), Largeness, HDMI output and Microphone input.

Best Camcorder for Battery life (min.)

Battery life is how long the camcorder can continuously record images with the LCD viewer in constant use and occasional use of other features such as the zoom lens.


This Camcorder which tested best for Battery life (min.) has the following features: Weight (lbs.), LCD size (in.) and Largeness.

Best Camcorder for Audio quality

Audio quality represents accuracy using the built-in microphone, plus freedom from noise.


This Camcorder which tested best for Audio quality has the following features: Format, Weight (lbs.), Optical zoom, LCD size (in.), Built-in light, Largeness, HDMI output, Microphone input and Headphone out.

Best Camcorder for Display quality

Display quality reflects image clarity, color accuracy, and contrast of the LCD as judged by panelists who viewed recordings of various scenes made in our lab. It also includes our judgment of the onscreen informational displays, the video playback under bright sunlight, and (if applicable) touchscreen usability.


This Camcorder which tested best for Display quality has the following features: Weight (lbs.), LCD size (in.), Largeness and HDMI output.

Best Camcorder for Low-light picture quality

Low light Picture quality is based on the judgments of trained panelists who viewed recorded video images shot in dim light at the highest quality setting available.


This Camcorder which tested best for Low-light picture quality has the following features: Format, Weight (lbs.), Optical zoom, LCD size (in.), Remote, Largeness, HDMI output, Microphone input and Headphone out.

Best Camcorder for Ease of use

Ease of use takes into account ergonomics of the controls and displays, and user manual readability.


This Camcorder which tested best for Ease of use has the following features: Weight (lbs.), LCD size (in.), Largeness and HDMI output.

Best Camcorder for Versatility

Versatility indicates features that increase a camcorder's utility or capabilities. These might include the presence of a built-in lamp, eyepiece viewfinder, manual image control settings, external microphone input, headphone output, and so on.


This Camcorder which tested best for Versatility has the following features: Weight (lbs.), LCD size (in.), Largeness, HDMI output and Microphone input.

Best Camcorder for Auto focus

Overall assessment of the autofocus system, which takes into account speed and accuracy.


This Camcorder which tested best for Auto focus has the following features: Format, Weight (lbs.), Optical zoom, LCD size (in.), Largeness and HDMI output.

Best Camcorder for Image stabilizer

Image stabilizer reflects how well the model reduces the shakes in a scene. While it can be effective, using a tripod is the surest way to get a steady image.


This Camcorder which tested best for Image stabilizer has the following features: Weight (lbs.), LCD size (in.), Largeness, HDMI output and Microphone input.

Best Camcorder for Still camera

Overall quality of the photo functions of the camcorder, which includes picture quality and handling.


This Camcorder which tested best for Still camera has the following features: Format, Weight (lbs.), Optical zoom, LCD size (in.), Built-in light, Largeness and HDMI output.