Cheap digital camcorders or superb, high specification digicams, Review Centre has all the info you need. Read on for five great value camcorders recommended by our users, including some amazing bargain buys.
Dimensions - 77mm x 179mm x 96mm
Weight - 600g
Panasonic camcorders have a glowing reputation for value for money and this is one of the best cheap camcorders from their range. For anyone seeking a quality digital machine at a bargain price the Panasonic Nv-Ds38b could be the right model for you. With a reputation for ease of use the silver finished Panasonic Nv-Ds38b is highly rated at Review Centre in the digital camcorder reviews category. It scores consistently high ratings for battery quality, sound quality and overall value for money. Reviewers have also endorsed the Panasonic Nv-Ds38b's picture quality. Features include zoom lens with auto focus, digital still camera, search modes, audio dubbing, tripod stand and remote control plus SD Memory Card and a wide range of set up connections. The clear LCD TFT active matrix 2.5inch colour display is also there to help ensure you get the right shot and there are even a number of features to help you handle different light conditions. Also included is a super image stabilizer which prevents camera shake. Shooting modes include normal movie mode, digital photo mode, sand and snow, spotlight, portrait mode, night mode, sports mode. Special effects include wipe, solarisation, negative, sepia, mosaic, monotone, mirror and gain-up. The Panasonic Nv-Ds38b comes with lens cap, shoulder strap and software kit. Overall, it's a superb budget cam corder. In fact, when you check our price guides you will find that the latest Panasonic Nv-Ds38b is so cheap for what you get in return that you won't believe it!
Dimensions - 109 x 72 x 73mm
Weight - 355g
Sony DCR-SR72 is a digital cam corder ideal for people who do not want to miss a trick. Its main selling feature is an enormous 60GB hard disk capable of almost 42 hours of storage, making it perfect for holiday makers or anyone who does not want the fuss of constantly downloading data or changing discs. It's also very small and light, again making it a good choice for those on the move. Other plus points identified by users include ease of use and the excellent picture quality. The 1 Megapixel CCD is perfectly adequate for providing good pictures, ideal for downloading onto Youtube or viewing on your PC. Most reviewers say picture quality is also very good on their TV. Features include massive 25x optical zoom and 2000x Digital Zoom via the quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens. The wide range of functions includes ten scene selections - twilight, sunrise/sunset, landscape, portrait, spotlight, sports, candle, fireworks, beach/snow. The Sony DCR-SR72 also comes with easy-to-use menus, 2.7inch LCD screen with touch panel, hi-speed USB2.0 output plus memory stick. It's PictBridge compatible for easy printing and there is an automatic shooting function making it simple to use for the whole family. Also comes with Super Steady Shot, Sony's picture stabilisation technology as seen in its Cybershot digital camera range. Utilising gyroscopic sensors the system detects shaking and reduces potential problems with blurring. Remember, if this camera's not for you can always read some more digital camcorder reviews from the Sony range
Dimensions - 49mm x 92mm x 115mm
Weight - 380g
Canon MV930 16:9 widescreen camcorder is a compact, lightweight digital device capable of stunning video and still picture quality courtesy of Canon's market leading DIGIC DV processor. The DIGIC DV uses two processing paths dedicated to video or stills. As well as allowing photos and video to be shot at the same time this provides great sensitivity in capturing the required shot, allowing the camcorder to adjust automatically to the appropriate setting. Weighing only 380g and tiny with a classy snow silver finish the MV930 also provides high resolution video/photo capture to SD card. The Canon MV930 is also totally geared for the 16:9 widescreen with superb colour definition courtesy of Canon's DIGIC DV technology. During recording, footage is monitored as it will appear on the TV, either on the camcorder's wide 2.7inch 16:9 LCD screen or via the colour viewfinder. Other features to keep you on track for the best shot include a LCD level marker for easy subject line up, built-in lens cover, huge 25x optical zoom, additional 4:3 shooting, electronic image stabilizer and variable zoom speeds. Also included is a fully functioning digital camera with Canon's superb 9-point Artificial Intelligent Auto-focus system that lets you accurately focus on off-centre subjects. A one button automatic mode is also at hand to make it easy to use and even the advanced settings are presented in a logical, ergonomic way. At Review Centre the Canon MV930 currently scores a high 8/10 rating for video quality and value for money and 9/10 for ease of use. When you consider the current low prices for this product, it's clearly a bargain. Remember, if you have owned a Canon MV930 you can also add to the digital camcorder debate by writing a review!
Dimensions - 9.9 cm x 4.2 cm x 7.2 cm
Weight - 0.29 kg
The Sony DCR-PC55 is another terrific digital mini DV camcorder. It's ideal for someone looking for a small and light digital camcorder which is easy to use. Users describe the DCR-PC55's size and easy operation as major benefits over other cameras and especially in this price range. In fact the ultra compact design is so small it fits succinctly in the palm of your hand. The Sony DCR-PC55 makes an ideal present for youngsters, teens or students on a budget but is suitable for all ages on account of it being so easy to use. As well as being incredibly portable, the Sony DCR-PC55 Camcorder provides good video recording performance with the help of the advanced CCD and professional quality Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar lens. The 3-inch Hybrid LCD display provides a clear, sharp monitor and rotates up to 270 degrees for multiple viewing angles. Sony's Hybrid LCD screens help the camcorder display stay readable in any kind of light. It does this by using reflective LCD technology providing excellent visibility, even in intense sunlight. This cheap MiniDV Handycam also adds a touch of style courtesy of the metallic silver design. It comes with remote control and a range of special effects - including beach-snow, dusk, landscape, sports, night, portrait, spotlight, sunset classic film, flash motion, negative, pastel, sepia and solarisation. One reviewer describes the DCR-PC55 as slim, robust and trendy with a magic menu system. Why not give one a go?
Dimensions - 199 x 101 x 89mm
Weight - 810g
Sony's best selling compact D8 camcorders offer excellent standards, value for money and performance and the Sony Dcr-Trv145e has been one of the best value options on the market. D8 is a consumer digital video format developed by Sony Digital. The D8 camcorders work exactly like a Mini DV camcorder but at lower cost, with less down time than many Mini DVs. Good picture quality, hi-fi sound and massive battery capacity are all hallmarks which have made the Sony Dcr-Trv145e a popular choice. The Sony Dcr-Trv145e is 100 per cent recommended at Review Centre and is also described as ultra solid and reliable. One reviewer, in particular, was impressed by how picture quality was unaffected by shaking and especially recommends the Sony Dcr-Trv145e for action sports (which is what he bought if for). Other features include zoom key for ease of use, digital program editing, built in stereo microphone and speaker, 6 Programme AE, automatic focus and white balance, and a range of scene settings. Also comes with i.LINK, an innovative ultra high-speed data bus. Recording time with supplied battery and viewfinder is a minimum of 115 minutes. The Sony Dcr-Trv145e also comes with 20x Optical Zoom / 560x digital zoom, 2.5inch colour LCD and 8 picture effects. Remember, if you are seeking a good value Sony camcorder or would like to check products from another trusted brand you can search our digital camcorder reviews by all the leading makes including Sharp, Panasonic, Canon, JVC and Samsung.