To the everyday person, the term “camcorder” might sound like a blast from the past – but in reality, high-end camcorders have quickly hit the forefront of video making over the past couple of years. With the power of modern filmmaking resolutions (such as 4K and more!), you have a recipe for some incredible video footage!
Here is our guide to the best professional 4k+ camcorders you can buy in 2022!
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1. Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro
The highest resolution camcorder on the market today, this one will make your high-res dreams come true.
In the video world, Blackmagic Design is a name that commands attention and respect – from manufacturing one of the best video editing software of all time (DaVinci Resolve), to creating absolutely phenomenal video cameras – you don’t want to overlook something that this company has put out. Which brings us to the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro, a unique interchangeable lens camcorder with an exceptional feature: the ability to record in 12K!
Yes, you read that right: The Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro records in 12K, a whopping three times the resolution of 4K. Now, although in reality computers and television can’t actually display 12K, the purpose of such a high-resolution recording medium is the ability to crop, edit, and significantly modify the footage without significant loss of quality in your footage. If 12K is too much for you, you can always switch it over to 4K or 8K with ease.
The warning, however, is that you can only record 12K resolution using Blackmagic RAW and no other format. The camera also lacks continuous autofocus and phase-detection autofocus. Basically, this is a camera that offers quality but it’s for the professional cinematographer, not someone looking to learn the ropes.
That being said, this is a great camcorder – it really does have impressive features that will please any serious videographer. Plus, its build is also pretty impressive, with a construction akin to a tank! The Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro will last you for years.
2. Canon XA55
Need a camcorder that does a ton? This is a great choice!
As long-time imaging professionals, Canon has a slew of creative tools – from world-famous cameras and lenses all the way to printers and projectors! As such, it would be a disservice to not mention their camcorders on our list.
One of Canon’s newer releases, the XA55 is a camcorder that is packed to the brim with features. This nifty camcorder’s primary goal is to take the camcorder you know and love… and stuff it with 4K resolution and some epic perks. The construction and build are familiar and in terms of handling, it’s easy to handle, and sports a rather large 3” LCD screen with touch control. Plus, with a weight of around 2 lbs, this isn’t a tank to carry around and use for extended time periods.
A very notable feature in the Canon XA55 is its handling of low light. Thanks to a large sensor, this camcorder performs better than most and really utilizes ambient light in the most effective way possible to get stunning footage, even when high ISOs are needed.
Focus is another strong suit of the Canon XA55, as it utilizes Canon’s patented Dual Pixel Autofocus technology to lock on to the subject and follow it around pretty accurately. There is even a face detection mode!
Basically, this is a camcorder anyone could love – it has plenty of features whilst still being accessible for beginners.
3. Panasonic X2000
If you need a camcorder that does it all, and does it all well, this 2020 award winner is a must-have.
Another staple in the imaging industry, Panasonic is known for their impressive TVs (alongside many other consumer electronics) – so camcorders are just second nature. The Panasonic X200 won Best Camcorder of CES (Consumer Electronics Show) 2020 and for the right reason; this one is a beast!
Weighing in at a teeny bit under 2 lbs naked, this camcorder is touted as one of the absolute lightest 4K professional camcorders on the market. Even when it is loaded up with accessories, you’ll seldom see it surpassing the 3 lb range! Add on the internal fan keeping the camcorder cool by dispersing heat, and you have a mighty tool in a compact and ergonomic package.
Shooting in low light? No problem, the Panasonic X2000 has a built-in video light to help you out! Need a more convenient way to adjust your settings and dials? There are two manual rings in the front and rear that help you focus and zoom with ease. Use the LCD screen a lot? Cool, Panasonic has graced you with a 3.5” LCD touch screen for your convenience. There are even 12 distinct user buttons that you can customize with whatever it is that you may need in easy reach.
For lens and focus, you have a great 25mm with up to 48x zoom paired with great autofocus tech that features face detection (that can even track faces as they turn to the side!) and a built-in stabilizer keeps your footage looking smooth.
For the live streamers out there, this camcorder can live stream – which is a feature seldom found in other professional-grade camcorders!
Also read: Best Cameras for Gaming and Live Streaming
If all of this doesn’t scream the ideal camcorder, we’re not sure what will. There’s so much to love about this setup and we’re sure you’ll keep finding even more if you get your hands on it!
4. Sony FDR-AX43
Aimed at pro-vloggers, this budget-friendly model makes it easy to create great quality video.
Sony is quite a diversified electronics company and their imaging gear (cameras, lenses, and camcorders) is renowned worldwide. If you have a need, Sony probably has it. In this case, perhaps your needs include something that is budget-friendly but comes with professional features while still being portable? The Sony FDR-AX43 checks all three of those boxes!
Part of the ‘Handycam’ line, this camcorder is meant to be, well, handy in your hand! With a small stature and discreet footprint, the Sony FDR-AX43 can easily fit into any travel pack – making this camcorder a top contender for the adventurous videographer. Likely intending to hit the pro-vlogger demographic, this 4K camcorder packs a mighty punch in terms of video quality while offering a price under $1,000.
The built-in stabilizer helps smooth shaky footage, and the premium Zeiss Vario-Sonnar lens offers a whopping f/2.0-f/3.8 aperture! Creating a beautifully creamy bokeh and letting in some great light in dimmer shooting conditions.
5. Sony PXW-Z90V
Small but packed with fun features, this camcorder is easy to use – making it user friendly for the passionate videographer.
Continuing the trend of small-but-mighty camcorders comes another Sony option on the list, the Sony PXW-Z90V . The camera model might be difficult to remember, but you certainly won’t forget this camcorder’s capabilities!
This model fits nicely in the hand and is lightweight enough not to fatigue even the newest user. Although this is considered a professional camcorder, it has been designed to be easy-to-use, so hobbyists and enthusiasts shouldn’t feel daunted taking the reigns. Although the price may keep most enthusiasts at bay, the ease of use is actually quite worth the price tag.
This camera sports great phase detection autofocus keeping your subjects crisp, as well as an HDR mode to bring those deep shadows and brilliant highlights to the forefront!
The glass mounted to the front is similar to our budget-friendly option above, another gorgeous Zeiss lens.
A fun feature included with the Sony PXW-Z90V is the Slow Motion and Quick Motion options, allowing you to film in the correct speed right off the bat rather than having to manually do these settings (and then proceed to edit in post processing). Fun!
6. Canon VIXIA HF G60
Consumer reviews don’t lie – this camcorder is quite beloved by the public.
With a slew of 5-star reviews on Amazon, the Canon VIXIA HF G60 will likely catch your eye. Honestly, this model has the same features as the Canon XA55 but with slight modifications for a more consumer-friendly option, despite being a professional 4K ultra high definition camcorder!
The stabilization system, however, is quite intriguing – the camcorder’s internals balance on a 5-axis stabilizer, helping keep it steady even when going handheld in low light conditions. This is quite impressive and alleviates the need to carry a tripod around.
There are two memory card slots to record all of your media, allowing either simultaneous recording to two cards (one card being the backup in case something happens to the first card) or an automatic switchover when one card is full.
7. JVC GY-HM250U
If live streaming to Facebook is on your mind, this camcorder can make it a quality reality.
Although our Panasonic suggestion above makes waves with its ability to live stream (as this feature is quite rare), the JVC GY-HM250U can kick it off of the pedestal on that front as a camera that feels specially designed for live streaming! You can simultaneously record to your memory cards and live stream the footage all in one go.
With enough ports for all of your accessories, the JVC GY-HM250U almost feels modular in its approach, allowing you the ability to add various mics and other controls to the camcorder. This camera may not have the most dynamic range in comparison to other models, but it can handle proper exposure beautifully and the results are lovely.
This camera is hardy and dependable, and if you’re looking for consistent results – the JVC GY-HM250U is your new friend.
Which of the Best Professional 4K Camcorders is Right for You?
In conclusion, the best 4K professional camcorder is one that offers you what you’re looking for – whether it’s resolution, features, or price!
As a consensus, our overall favorite is the Panasonic X200 thanks to its impressive array of features to make any videographer happy! The Canon XA55 is also a great pick, with its impressively large sensor, allowing good low light capability.
If resolution is what you care about above all, the Blackmagic Design URSA Mini Pro offers the highest resolution of all! For a professional 4k camcorder on a budget, the Sony FDR-AX43 is the lowest price offering on our list.
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