9 Best Camcorders To Record Your Family's Memorable (And Funny, And Embarrassing) Moments

We only recommend products we love and that we think you will, too. We may receive a portion of sales from products purchased from this article, which was written by our Commerce team.

Originally Published: 
best camcorders
Getty Images

If you’re looking for the best camcorders for your family — or even a video recorder for your kids — you’ve come to the right place. Sure, with a cell phone in your pocket, it’s easy to record all your family’s everyday moments — the highs, lows, and everything in between. But if you’re looking to capture memories via higher quality video, you may want to look into buying a camcorder. Maybe you want a separate device from your phone because if that got lost or stolen, you’d lose a lot more than your most recent videotaped memories. Or maybe you need something especially durable to take on vacation or waterproof to let you capture your little ones in their first kiddie pool (how cute!). Perhaps you’re after one that’s easy enough for the kids to use. In any case, a camcorder is handy to have, whether you’re recording your fam’s Disney trip or your kids’ go-kart races in the backyard.

You may remember your parents lugging around giant video equipment during your family vacations, but camcorders these days are not only compact in size, they can also record in HD video. That means you can relive all your family’s best and most embarrassing moments over and over in crystal clear resolution. Yesss!

Whether you’re looking for a video camera for easy recording, something rugged to keep up with your active family, or you need a kid-friendly device to prevent them from stealing your phone for selfies, here are nine of the best family camcorders.

Best Camcorders

This Sony HD camcorder measures 2.13” x 2.34” x 5.04” and only weighs 6.7 ounces, but it’s packed with features including 27x zoom, a wide lens, low-light sensitivity, image stabilization, face detection, video effects, and intelligent auto mode. It records 1920 x 1080 HD video (as well as 9.2MP still images) in AVCHD and MP4, which you can transfer to your computer via USB cable. Despite all these fancy-sounding features, reviewers assure that it’s easy to use.

One Reviewer Says: “We love it. We got this camera for our wedding shower/wedding since we couldn’t afford a videographer and knew we wanted to start at-home videos anyways. We’ve since used it to record home projects, birthdays, holidays, daily life, etc. and it’s been just perfect. Recommend if you’re looking for a classic at-home video cam.”

To capture all your family’s adventures, you need a video camera that can keep up with the action. The compact GoPro HERO9 is rugged, waterproof down to 33 feet, and has video stabilization built in. It records 5K video and takes 20MP photos and has live streaming capabilities. There’s a front display and a rear touch screen, a hindsight feature (this captures video 30 seconds before you press “record”), time-lapse, and slo-mo features — more than enough options to capture all your best memories while on the move.

One Reviewer Says: “By far the most impressive GoPro I have ever owned. The 20MP camera functionality makes this great to bring to my kids' sporting events and the 14.7MP frame grabs have been fun to pull out of the videos... I have been playing around with the ‘Hindsight’ feature (captures something like 30 seconds before you hit the button) at my kids' baseball game which is really cool because I don’t need to record the whole game to find a good action shot or miss a spectacular play. By far one of the sweetest options.”

The Canon EOS Rebel 7 DSLR can upgrade both your video and photo skills, even if you’re a beginner. It has a 24.1-megapixel sensor, fast autofocus (to make sure you get non-blurry photos of your kids who can’t stay still), and an LCD monitor. You can record HD video in various sizes and frame rates depending on what you’re shooting. It also has built-in WiFi to connect to compatible devices so you can share photos easily or control the camera remotely to let everyone be in family photos.

One Reviewer Says: “You cannot beat Cannon for reliability, functionality, and picture quality. This camera takes very good pictures, especially considering the price paid. The availability of fairly priced interchangeable lenses helps this camera take better pictures [than] the price would indicate. It is actually fairly light in weight and balanced for its size. The auto setting works well, but there is plenty of manual functions for those developing their skills so that the camera can grow with them. Really an excellent beginner DSLR, and hard to match for the money.”

Best Camcorders with Microphones

This camcorder not only shoots in full HD video and 24MB photo, but it also has night vision so you can record in low light or even darkness. Record your family memories in one of the multiple video modes including low-speed, time-lapse, self-shooting, and continuous shooting. There’s an included external microphone, 16X digital zoom, and remote control, and you can connect it to your computer to use as an extra webcam.

One Reviewer Says: “It works great. It doesn’t come with a memory card, but I have plenty, so keep that in mind in case you don’t have memory cards in hand. It has a tripod and mic mount areas. The remote is perfect for [use] with the tripod. Once I get set up and in position, I just use the remote to start and stop recording without having to touch and disturb the camera placement.”

This well-priced video camcorder is great for a vlogger in training. Thanks to its 8X digital zoom and optical image stabilizer, your footage will be smooth and sharp. It’s also perfect for kids to practice, offering anywhere between 60 to 90 minutes of uninterrupted film capturing after fully charging. It also has a time-lapse feature and a self-timer, so your kids can get really creative with the projects they make.

One Reviewer Says: “This HD video camera was purchased for my two youngest as a shared device to record those silly moments. This item displays images surprisingly nice and is very user-friendly, unlike much modern tech. This device also frees up my phone away from the kiddos as they love to play around on my camera and document everything they do with such amusement. This camera displays videos in HD 1080p and still images in 24 megapixel! Also, the built-in stereo sound mic will certainly ensure a great sound to match image quality.”

Best Handheld Video Cameras

This tiny camera has both a front and back screen to capture your family’s action from all angles with a press of a button. It has stabilization technology built-in, a wide angle, and is waterproof up to 11 meters. You can shoot 4K HDR videos at regular speed, in slow motion, or in time-lapse mode. It’s mountable on different surfaces and there are five voice commands so you can film, take photos, and power down hands-free.

One Reviewer Says: “I compared a bunch of these cameras for about a year before pulling the trigger on this one. It does everything [that] you would expect from the camera like this, and more. The picture quality is amazing, the different modes of shooting perfect slow-mo are smooth, [and] hyper is even smooth. The stabilization for regular video is amazing, just want to save you money by not having to buy a gimbal. The front-facing camera makes vlogging a joy.”

Best Video Cameras for Kids

Instead of letting your kids play with your phone, give them this digital camera that will let them take selfies and record their own videos. There’s a color LCD screen, front and rear-facing cameras, over 70 photo effects, interactive games, and a built-in recorder. You can download videos and photos to your computer via a micro USB cable, and the camera is durable enough to withstand a few drops and bumps. Choose between blue, pink, and camouflage versions.

One Reviewer Says: “This was my son's big gift for his fifth birthday and he LOVES it. He has yet to discover the games, which we're pretty happy about as he has other options for screen time. It's very sturdy (he's definitely dropped it a couple of times). I'm glad we spent a little extra to get the one that takes selfies since he loves making videos of himself. The photo quality seems okay -- he's gotten a couple of decent ones (but I'm not sure he's the world's best photographer yet either). It's great for his purposes, however, and has really gotten him interested in photography and creating his own videos.”

Kids are rough with their toys and gadgets, so you won’t feel bad about handing over this affordable, durable video camera to them. In addition to recording 1080p videos, it can take photos, has voice recording, and has five different built-in games. There are fun photo effects and frames so your kids can personalize their pics and it has 32GB of memory and a rechargeable battery that lasts 2-4 hours (long enough to keep your kids occupied for an afternoon). It’s available in four different colors as well.

One Reviewer Says: “I was on the hunt for a little camera my 6-year-old daughter could use so she’d stop stealing my phone to take pictures. The price was right on this one so I decided to give it a shot. It arrived quickly and is packaged nicely. At first, I didn’t think the memory card came until I realized it was already inside the camera. It has a user-friendly interface and works [with] a couple of buttons so it seems easy for kids to operate. (Who am I kidding, she shows me how to operate my iPhone). It’s very lightweight. Great size for small hands. Takes good quality pictures for the price. Super easy for her to use!”

What’s better than a child-friendly camera and recorder? A child-friendly camera and recorder that also happens to be waterproof. If your kids are looking to record some fun summertime memories, the Ourlife is a good option. Available in three colors, the camera is recommended for kids between the ages of eight and 12. It contains AI face detection and built-in frames, adding to the fun. Just make sure that the waterproof case is on before hitting up the pool.

One Reviewer Says: “My boys love this little camera! From filming their own little skits to silly photos and action shots, this little camera brings my boys hours of joy. I like that there are silly photo effects, but not games that would distract them from its intended use. The camera comes with a lanyard and also [a] thick case to protect it.”

For other great family-friendly products, check out our other Home & Kitchen picks.

This article was originally published on