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Buying a Camcorder Guide

Created by Alice Lynn McMichael
Maintained by LEADR under the direction of Alice Lynn McMichael

Last Updated: 10/18/2021


Overall, there is no perfect camcorder option, and any equipment that lets you collect adequate data can be the right choice. What matters is that you are able to operate the equipment easily in the field. Here are some resources and suggestions for purchasing a camcorder for research.

What Camcorder should I Buy?

LEADR’s camcorders are Canon Vixia HF 620 and Sony HXR-nx30u. Both are handicams/compact camcorders, and both have image stabilization built in. (These are about eight years old, so the companies probably have newer models). Most students get camcorders for “consumer” use (rather than “professional” equipment). Canon and Sony are both popular, usable brands.

Good Places to shop online and compare are:

Sometimes these places sell used equipment as well. Look at bundled kits that have accessories (and that show the compatible accessories such as extra batteries, chargers, or tripods).


Decide on a reasonable price range. Determine what features are absolutely necessary, and which are just useful.


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