Best video camera under $100?
August 18, 2019 5:47 AM   Subscribe

What is the best video camera for under $100?

My son has requested a video camera for his 7th birthday. I don’t want to invest in anything expensive, because 7, but I would like to get the best I can in the range within which I’m willing to spend. I know nothing about video cameras and he really doesn’t have any requirements, though I’m sure he would appreciate fun stuff like night vision. I assume they all take SD cards for memory, but correct me if I’m wrong. Suggestions? Things I should consider?
posted by amro to Technology (8 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I may mean camcorder? Not sure if there’s a difference anymore.
posted by amro at 5:51 AM on August 18, 2019

At the consumer level, there isn't really a difference any more between "camera" and "video camera." It's been a long time since I saw a modern camera of any stripe that didn't shoot video.
posted by jon1270 at 6:13 AM on August 18, 2019

Response by poster: I think that looking like a camcorder/video camera versus point and shoot camera is an important distinction for my son.
posted by amro at 6:21 AM on August 18, 2019

I would look for a used gopro hero4 black on ebay and make sure it comes w/ a case. It creates great images, has a million available accessories, takes microSD cards, and has a user replaceable battery. You can pay a little more to go to a newer generation which mostly has the advantage of better audio recording, but there are external mic adapters anyways if you decide later that the built-in mic is not enough.
posted by mattamatic at 7:54 AM on August 18, 2019 [3 favorites]

If “looks like a camcorder” is really a requirement, searching for “Sony Handycam” on eBay will get you functional results. The cameras will be outdated and secondhand at the $100 level, but they’ll do their job fine if you take the time to read the manual.
posted by a box and a stick and a string and a bear at 8:54 AM on August 18, 2019

I just got a Canon HF R200 from ebay for about $40. Any of the Canon models from the past 10 years should be fine, just make sure it takes SD cards.
posted by Sophont at 10:44 AM on August 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Sub-$100 camcorders on Amazon. I don’t recognize any of the brand names; all Chinese, I imagine. This one is specifically for kids. I’m not sure how durable any of these are, so buyer beware.
posted by Eikonaut at 10:45 AM on August 18, 2019

I would look for a used gopro hero4 black on ebay and make sure it comes w/ a case.

Probably this. The GoPro cameras are easy to use, designed to be pretty durable, and take great pictures/video. There are also tons of cheap GoPro mounting accessories out there in case he wants to attach a video camera to a dog or a bicycle or something.

The usual caveat with GoPros is that the battery life kind of sucks, but there are knockoff batteries available for dirt cheap so it's not hard to keep a few on hand.
posted by neckro23 at 8:23 AM on August 19, 2019

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