I want to show you today the best HD camcorder under 300 dollars that is not only affordable but offers high quality videos and tons of features!
When it comes to taking photos and recording videos, most people nowadays are using their smartphones. Even when I upgraded my old Samsung Galaxy S4 to the new iPhone 6S, I noticed that the video recording capabilities are limited. Yes, the iPhone 6S has a high-quality censor and camera but it honestly cannot be compared to a proper camcorder so I end up compromising on the quality and zooming options while shooting important events.
Also, smartphones do not come with image stabilization technologies or hand straps that can make the video recording experience much comfier let’s say. So, taking advantage of this situation, camera manufacturers have upped the ante and are making entry-level camcorders that can let you do all the above and a bit more. Canon VIXIA HF R700 is one of those camcorders that I felt in love with.
When I’m looking for a good HD camcorder, the Canon VIXIA HF R700 simply cannot be ignored. Why? This one-of-a-kind camcorder that comes in a compact size makes it easy and simple to create professional quality videos. What’s more? This device comes along with an assortment of useful and interesting features that are sure to give you value for money. Be its 1080p/60p recording capabilities or an incredible zoom, the Canon VIXIA HF R700 has got it all covered for under $300!
Product: Canon VIXIA HF R700
Cheapest Place to Buy: Amazon.com
My Rating: 9/10
The All-Powerful Zoom
The zoom capabilities of Canon VIXIA HF R700 are among the first things that stroke me when I looked at it closely. In fact, the camcorder comes with an advanced 57x zoom so I won’t be missing out on any part of the action, so shooting from a distance wouldn’t be an issue.
Thanks to the outstanding zoom capabilities of the device; my subject was sure to remain focused and clear even when the device is zoomed in and out at rapid rates. Given that the telephoto power extends from 32.5mm to 1853mm, I got a lot of options to choose from while I was capturing the action. I won’t need my GoPro cameras to record fast paced action sequences like football, soccer, or baseball games, this camcorder can do it all for me.
It can be quite frustrating to deal with a bumpy shot or a shaky hand while I’m attempting to record a video. Therefore, Canon has incorporated the Optical Image Stabilization feature in the camcorder to make sure my video recordings are as sharp and steady as they can be. In fact, to ensure there is an effortless quality shot, the device will provide an automatic proper balance of correction.
The Full HD CMOS Image Sensor with an internal 3.28MP that this camcorder has been provided with can capture all the action I needed with a true definition at a resolution of 1920*1080. Because of this impressive configuration and powerful sensitivity that has been built into this device, I’ll be able to bring out all the natural colors in the frame, even in the absence of proper lighting.
Powerful Image Processor
It’s not just the HD CMOS Image Sensor that camcorder has been provided; even the DIGIC DV 4 image processor that has been incorporated in it is equally impressive and useful. The DIGIC 4 image processor lets me capture quality action videos in both extremely bright and dark scenarios. What’s more, this intelligent processor also lets me record videos in both MP4 and AVCHD format.
Record Videos to SD Card
This camcorder records Full HD videos to a removable SD memory card. SD memory cards let me copy and share my videos quickly and easily. The VIXIA HF R700 also lets me use SDXC cards (high-quality and capacity cards). These are SD cards with extended capacity which can hold up to 2048 GB and provides ultra fast data transfer. Have a look at the table below to get an idea on the different recording modes and time per memory capacity.
|VIXIA Recording Time Chart*1|
|1920 x 1080 Recording||1440 x 1080 Recording|
|Memory Capacity||NTSC: 60P (Approx. 28 Mbps)*1||MXP (Approx. 24 Mbps)*1||FXP (Approx. 17 Mbps)*1||LP (Approx. 5 Mbps)*1|
|8GB||35 min.||40 min.||1 hr.||3 hrs.|
|16GB||1 hr. 15 min.||1 hr. 25 min.||2 hrs. 5 min.||6 hrs. 5 min.|
|32GB||2 hrs. 30 min.||2 hrs. 55 min.||4 hrs. 10 min.||12 hrs. 15 min.|
|64GB||5 hrs. 5 min.||5 hrs. 55 min.||8 hrs. 20 min.||24 hrs. 30 min.|
|128GB||10 hrs. 10 min.||11 hrs. 55 min.||16 hrs. 45 min.||49 hrs.|
|1920 x 1080 Recording||1280 x 720 Recording|
|35 Mbps*1||24 Mbps*1||17 Mbps*1||4 Mbps*1|
|8GB||30 min.||40 min.||1 hr.||4 hrs. 20 min.|
|16GB||1 hr.||1 hr. 25 min.||2 hrs. 5 min.||8 hrs. 40 min.|
|32GB||2 hrs.||2 hrs. 55 min.||4 hrs. 10 min.||17 hrs. 20 min.|
|64GB||4 hrs.||5 hrs. 55 min.||8 hrs. 20 min.||34 hrs. 45 min.|
|128GB||8 hrs.||11 hrs. 55 min.||16 hrs. 45 min.||69 hrs. 30 min.|
|*1 Variable Bit Rate|
The Smart IS
If you’re not used to filming with a camcorder, then chances are that you may not select the right settings all the time while shooting a video. This experience could be bitter for you as the resulting video could be lackluster, while you are sure that it could have been a lot better.
Thankfully, you’ll not have to worry about anything like this with the Smart IS the Canon VIXIA HF R700 has been provided with. This intelligent feature automatically analyzes the situation in which you’re shooting and selects the best mode for it. Some of the modes available are – Tripod IS (suitable for stationary), Macro IS (suitable for close-ups), Powered IS (suitable while you are zooming), and Dynamic IS (suitable for movements).
The LCD touchscreen of the Canon VIXIA HF R700 is a bright and luminous 3-inch display unit, even with sunlight, I was still able to see the screen clearly. It has a very simple layout and I can use my fingers to point and touch different functions. Furthermore, it’s easy to navigate through the menus as it’s quite user-friendly.
Canon has made sure to include a reliable and powerful Li-ion BP-727 battery that gave me the ability to shoot up to 7 hours of video before I’m required to charge it up again. There’s also an on-screen indicator that will accurately indicate the amount of battery life remaining so I do not have to worry about shooting in an emergency.
Fast and Slow Motion Recording
Another interesting feature the Canon VIXIA HF R700 has is the ability to adjust the speed of the recording. In fact, with this device, I can lower the recording speeds down to 0.5x in case I want to capture fast moving objects or events to get a better view of them. Similarly, I can increase the speed of the recording to an outstanding 1200x that will give me a chance to capture an event spanning 20 hours compressed into a 1-minute scene.
Highlight Priority Mode
The Canon VIXIA HF R700 has a Highlight Priority Mode to give your footage the best possible range of colors and tones. If you want to capture an object that looks brilliant to the naked eye with realistic and saturated colors then this is the feature that comes in handy. How does it go about doing this? In the standard gamma mode, it lowers the mid to high brightness compression so there isn’t any loss in those areas of the scene that are particularly brighter than other areas.
If you’re looking to capture videos directly from your Canon camera to your PC, then go can check my article “How to use a GoPro camera as a webcam“, it’s also applicable to other cameras as long as the camera has an HDMI output so you can connect it to your capture card.
>>Here’s a video from “Camcorder Test” channel showing the R700 quality and zoom capabilities, make sure to set the YouTube video settings to 1080p60!
The Canon VIXIA HF R700 certainly didn’t disappoint me, especially when looking at its high-end features and the value it offers. It’s an excellent camcorder that has been loaded with a wide range of features that made my video recording experience so much better while keeping in mind its affordable price. If you want the best HD camcorder under 300 dollars then you need to give the R700 a shot, you won’t be disappointed 🙂
I hope you enjoyed my Canon VIXIA HF R700 review, please feel free to leave a comment below in case you have any questions 🙂