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Last updated: 07 February 2017

We test and review 18 HD and 4K video cameras in the CHOICE labs, including models from Sony, Panasonic, Canon and more. Our video camera buying guide will help you choose the right model to realise your movie-making vision and our how we test page explains our testing methods.

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The video cameras in this test may not be as versatile as a smartphone or as robust as an action camera, but they are the most mature category in all the video capture product types you could choose.

Our review will help you find the best action camera based on:

  • daylight quality
  • low light quality
  • artificial light quality
  • still photo performance
  • maximum recording time

We also give you good and bad points for each video camera, and our Recommended list will help you see quickly which models come out on top.

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List of brands we tested in this review.


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Recommended retail, as of January 2016.

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4K resolution

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The latest models with 4K resolution deliver approximately four times as much detail as HD resolution. However, while support 4K video capture may seem like a great feature, don't buy based purely on this feature as it'll take some time before 4K has the same penetration as HD.

Optical zoom

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Camera resolution (Mp)

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Accessory shoe

Smartphone device control

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Smartphone connectivity through NFC (near-field communication) and Wi-Fi means you can use your smartphone to view the footage remotely, control the camcorder settings or even transfer footage to the smartphone to post online.

Microphone input


LCD monitor size (mm)

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Test results

Artificial light score

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An expert viewing panel assesses the resolution, sharpness, colour and overall image quality of recordings in artificial light.

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Low light score

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Testing for low light is carried out with an ambient light measurement of 8 lux. Our testers also look at low light performance when panning across a scene as well as operating the optical zoom.

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Length of operation (min)

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We measured the battery life of each model from full charge to when the camera stopped capturing video.

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Included in this review

Members-only access
  • Recommended
  • Overall score
  • Ease of use score
  • Daylight score
  • Artificial light score
  • Low light score
  • Sound quality score
  • Autofocus score
  • Image stabilisation score
  • Still photo score
  • LCD monitor score
  • Length of operation (min)
  • Start up time (sec)
  • Good points
  • Bad points
  • Brand
  • Availability
  • Model
  • Price
  • Remote control
  • Video lamp
  • Photo flash
  • Accessory shoe
  • SDXC removable memory
  • Memory stick
  • Zoom audio microphone
  • Surround sound
  • Microphone input
  • Headphone socket
  • Pico projector
  • Smartphone device control
  • Wi-Fi
  • HDMI
  • USB 2
  • 4K resolution
  • Optical image stabiliser
  • AVCHD recording
  • Touchscreen
  • Can be used as external drive
  • LCD viewfinder
  • LCD monitor size (mm)
  • Built in flash memory (GB)
  • Optical zoom
  • Weight (g)
  • Dimensions (cm, H x W x L)
  • Camera resolution (Mp)
  • Contact
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