Small video cameras are the best way to preserve your memories. Products have come a long way and now offer incredible video quality at affordable prices. But how do you pick the perfect portable, handheld video camera when there are dozens of options? To help you make the best choice we have researched 30 new and bestselling cameras and picked the top ten. All winners offer excellent technology, great features, and a fair price. Modern video cameras may seem small, but they are packed with features! Here are the most important specs to look for when you are shopping.
Video Quality: Video quality comes down to the resolution of the camera. The two most popular standards right now are 1080p full-HD and the future-proof 4K Ultra-HD. Both work great and deliver sharp, lifelike videos. Which one should you get? If you are looking for value, choose 1080p. If you are looking for the best image quality, pick 4K.
Zoom: Zoom lets you film far away images as if they were within your grasp. As you may know, it is represented by a number and an “x” (e.g., 5x, meaning you can magnify the image by up to 5 times). High zoom capability is useful for exploring new environments or capturing video from afar.
Touchscreen: Does your handheld video camera have a hands-on screen? A touchscreen makes using the camera easier but isn’t a must-have. Generally, we do recommend it since ease of use can make your adventures more fun, especially in fast-paced situations. Don’t let your camera controls slow you down!
Battery Life: Maybe someday the infinite battery will be invented, but until then we have to use our heads and make the most of the battery life we have got. Small cameras are made for use on the go, and where power is not available, so it is important to choose one with a battery life that fits your needs.
Size: You are looking for a small video camera so size is a big factor (pun intended). The camera’s size determines what you can do with it and where you can take it. There is no one-size-fits-all, though, and the correct measurements depend on how you plan to use and store the camera. In general, smaller is better.
Weight: Your handheld video camera should not weigh you down. It should be light and easy to take anywhere without much thought. Whether your camera is attached to your body or helmet trip or in-hand, a lightweight option will provide optimal comfort. We have purposefully selected small, lightweight cameras.
Time for the camera reviews! If you’re in a hurry, check out the Top Pick and Budget pick, they’re really great choices. Let’s go!
If you want to capture all the little moments in life, then a small video camera could be perfect for you. These cameras are easy to carry and store while coming with a variety of options to make your recording experience a breeze. This guide will go over all the small video camera basics so that you can choose the perfect model for your life.
Should you go ahead and splurge on a 4k camera, or is 1080P all your going to really need? Below we go over the differences between 4K and 1080P cameras.
4k is the better option and will capture video footage at a much higher quality than a 1080p camera can. A 4K camera is able to capture all the little details that a 1080p camera doesn’t quite have the clarity to record.
No, you don’t need 4K if you aren’t a sucker for details, then the quality of a 1080P camera will be perfect for you. Also, keep in mind that to use 4K playback, your tv or computer will need to have 4K resolution.
Keep in mind that smaller screens may have a more difficult time displaying all the details of a 4K video. Unless you’re up close to the device your playing back the recorded video on, you may not notice much of a difference between 4K and 1080P.
Yes, the myth that human eyes can’t see 4K is a complete myth. Our eyes only have issues when we use a small TV or are too far away from the screen.
Here are all the important details you will need to consider before purchasing a small video camera.
Depending on what your planning to record the zoom feature could be extremely important. If you want to take your video camera to sports events or concerts, then you will want to be able to zoom in on the event. If you just plan to record some home videos, then zoom may not be all that important. Check to see how far each model can zoom in clearly before deciding on a camera.
A touch screen isn’t needed to make a good video camera. Still, the convenience of being able to just tap through on-screen options is enough to make some people want to pay for the luxury.
Some video cameras will come with advanced features built-in to help you record anywhere and everywhere. Whether you need night vision or a camera that helps adjust to the lighting around, you check the features of each model before purchase.
Ease of Use
Make sure that the video camera has a user-friendly display. Some cameras will make it difficult to do simple actions like zoom in on a target.
Look for a camera that can stand up to a few drops. Accidents happen, especially when your recording exciting events; a slight fall shouldn’t bust your camera.
If you plan on recording a long event, then you need a lightweight option. A heavy camera can make your arms get tired quickly causing your footage to become unsteady.
Depending on the events you plan to record a longer battery life may be a must. Check each model's details to see the max time the battery of the camera can last for.
Here are some of the best tips for keeping your camera working for years to come.
Protect The Lens
Make sure to keep the lens covered, dust-free, and oil-free. If you need to wipe off your lens, never use your fingers to avoid making the problem worse. Always use a soft cloth to keep the lens clean.
Avoid The Sun
Never point your camera directly at the sun, your image sensor can be damaged by the intense rays.
Keep it Cool
Make sure your camera is never running too hot. If you plan to use it in the summer, then make sure it’s rated for hot weather. If the camera becomes hot to the touch, turn it off for an hour to give it time to cool down.
If you’re not using it, put it in a bag or a case. This way, you’re not leaving your camera exposed to the elements.
If you’re going to be carrying around your camera, then these accessories can make your life much easier.
A camera strap can be used to hand your video camera from your neck or at your size. This gives you quick access to record events without having to worry about digging through your purse or a bag.
A carrying case is a must for getting your camera from point A to B safely. A case will protect the camera from drops, unexpected weather, and even spills. While at home, a carrying case will give you the perfect spot to store your small video camera.
If you are going to be standing, then a tripod is a great tool for getting a perfect shot of the game. Tripods are simple to set-up and can fit a wide variety of cameras.
Some of us are just naturally shaky; a stabilizer can help you capture clear footage. Handheld stabilizers help to hold your camera steady even if your hand isn’t.
Many companies produce microphones that can be added onto your camera for better sound quality. These can be great for doing up close and personal interviews with your family during small events.
Extra SD Cards
If you’re going to be using your camera to record a lot of events, pick up some extra SD cards. By keeping SD cards on hand, you’ll never run out of space for great events.
Expert Researcher and Writer
Jennifer Trimbee, a lead researcher and writer at GeekWrapped, is an expert writer with many years of experience. Jennifer writes about technology, sports, outdoor, and gear products.
Article last updated on:
October 23, 2019