The 8 Best Camcorders to Buy for Kids in 2018

Keep your children entertained with these great video cameras

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The Rundown

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Canon VIXIA HF R800

Canon VIXIA HF R800
Courtesy of Amazon.com

New camcorders are few and far between these days, but Canon released this VIXIA model in early 2017 to show that a mid-priced camcorder is still better than your smartphone for capturing great video footage. This camcorder especially excels at zoom. In fact, the VIXIA has up to 57x advanced zoom and SuperRange OIS. That means this camera is just as good capturing something right in front of you as it is capturing footage hundreds of feet away. Your kid will enjoy mastering 15 levels of Zoom Speed settings, allowing them to express their creativity. Dynamic Image Stabilization helps prevent camera shake, while horizontal, vertical and roll axis all result in distortion-free video. Kids don’t have the steadiest arm, so these features provide assurance that the final product will come out OK.

The camera also has a 3.2 Megapixel Full HD CMOS Image Sensor to capture high-resolution footage with natural color in 1080p and 35 Mbps bit rate, resulting in high quality footage. Other nice features include high priority mode to prevent loss of detail and high brightness areas. It also has zoom framing assist, slow motion recording and file lock function.

Runner-Up, Best Overall: Sony HDR-CX405/B

Sony HDR-CX405/B
Courtesy of Amazon.com

This Sony camcorder is a tried-and-true handheld at a great price. It has a 26.8mm wide angle Zeiss lens that can record beautiful widescreen footage. It has 30x optical zoom and 60x clear image zoom, capturing nature or stadium entertainment from a distance in high definition. The camera has plenty of features, including Optical SteadyShot image stabilization and the ability to automatically create highlight footage in MP4 from clips captured at different times. The battery lasts for two hours and it works well in low light. This camera may not have the most advanced features, but the zoom and image quality make this a great mid-ranged option.

Best Budget: Cabinahome Waterproof Digital Camera and Camcorder

Looking to thrill your kids with their very own video recorder but not willing to break the bank in the process? If so, consider the Cabinahome Waterproof Digital Camera and Camcorder. For the price, this little device offers unbeatable value thanks to 12-megapixel photos, 720P videos with audio and even 8x digital zoom. Best of all, the camcorder is waterproof up to three meters or 9.8 feet and floats when dropped in water so you can quickly retrieve it. The easy-to-hold design fits well in little hands, has a handy wrist strap and features an intuitive button design that even the smallest kiddos will have no trouble figuring out. The two-inch LCD screen allows kids to get a good view of what they're filming in real-time and view playback immediately. It even comes with a super bright flash to help achieve well-exposed pictures in dim lighting.

Best Value: SUNLEA HD Camcorder

The SUNLEA HD Camcorder is perfect for beginners, striking a balance between good audio/visual quality and user-friendly controls. Compact and lightweight with a simple touch-screen interface, this camera works best for everyday filming, documenting special events, or vlogging. The SUNLEA includes an HDMI input and supports live streaming, so it can be used for Skype, Whatsapp and Facebook, which may also appeal to your teen.

One of its more prominent features is the pause function, allowing you to stop and restart recording without creating a new file. Used well, it’s a handy function that eliminates some hassle in post-production. The camera also sports night vision capabilities with a ten-foot capture radius. Finally, its external microphone gives this product an edge over its competitors, because as any filmmaker will tell you, audio quality can “make or break” your video project.

Best Design: YI 4K Sports and Action Video Camera (US Edition) Night Black

The design of the YI 4K camcorder is a welcome departure from the traditional (and dated) camcorder designs. Measuring 1.7 x 2.6 x 1.2 inches and weighing just 3.36 ounces, it’s much more pocket-friendly than the other designs. It records 4K/30fps (100mbps), 1080p/120fps, 720p/240fps video using its 155-degree wide-angle lens with a F2.8 aperture and has a 2.2-inch, 330ppi Retina touchscreen, viewable from 160 degrees to make taking and reviewing your shots a breeze. With built-in Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) with 3-axis gyroscope and 3-axis accelerometer, you’ll capture steady video even when the camera shakes.

With the accompanying camera app, you can easily edit clips, add filters and insert music, then share to social media networks in real time. Long story short, it’s a great stand-in for the GoPro HERO5, and at half the cost, a more realistic option for active kids.

Best for Creativity: Panasonic HC-V770 HD Camcorder

Panasonic HC-V770 HD Camcorder
Courtesy of Amazon.com

This camcorder from Panasonic is a little pricier than most other options on the list, but the extra investment pays huge dividends in quality. It has more professional features, meaning your children can use it for their projects and you can borrow it to record a wedding or professional event. The professional quality comes from an exclusive high-dynamic range feature that reduces bright spots for a professional look. HDR capture allows for dynamic footage regardless of lighting, and 20x Optical Zoom gets you closer to the action. Your kids can harness their creative powers with neat features like Full-HD slow motion, miniature effect, silent movie and time lapse recording.

The other premium feature on this camera is its advanced WiFi functionality. It has NFC to connect to a tablet or smartphone in just one touch, where you can use the Panasonic Image app as a remote control for advanced features. You can also broadcast in real time, thanks to USTREAM Full-HD resolution. Many choose to use this feature as a baby monitor, since the app gives a push notification to your phone or tablet if the baby starts to cry.

Best for Sports: GoPro HERO7 Black

As far as kid-friendly cameras go, you can’t find anything much tougher than a GoPro — after all, they’re meant to be taken with you on action sports adventures like skiing, hiking, and biking. It’s great for kids, especially if they’re on the sportier side, because it’ll not only give you a rugged build but also simple, high-quality performance.

The HERO7 Black is a bit on the pricey side, but you get some great features. Central to the performance is a new GP1 chip that powers a super smooth optical image stabilization engine. This is hugely important for an action camera and is also an asset for young photographers who might not be able to get the steadiest shot. It can shoot 4K video at 60fps, and you can even capture stills at up to 12MP. The HERO7 Black also has some cool new functions like an 8x slow-motion video capture, a TimeWarp hyper-lapse shooting feature, and even some smart HDR SuperPhoto capabilities. It's waterproof up to 33 feet (adding to the durability factor) and if you pair it with any of the many GoPro cases, accessories, and grips out there, you’ll have a handy, rugged little camcorder.

Best Compact: Hausbell HDV-5052 Infared Night Vision Camera

Hausbell HDV-5052 Infared Night Vision Camera
Courtesy of Amazon.com

This small and compact camcorder is perfect for kids who like playing outside at night. If they want to capture their adventures or film a zombie movie with their friends, then they will love the incredible backlight that captures clear footage even at night. The camera captures footage in 30FPS and has 16X zoom with a 5MP CMOS sensor. It comes with a nice black carrying case and a 32GB SD card to store the footage. Kids who use Snapchat will love the Real-Time Broadcasting. A WiFi function controlled by a smartphone or tablet can be used as a remote to control real-time streaming of full-HD footage.