What's a Good, Cheap Camcorder for School?


Episode 1774

Jeff from Thunder Bay, Ontario, CAN

Jeff is looking for a dedicated video camera to make YouTube videos at school. Leo says that these days, kids have a perfectly good 4K camera with their smartphones. That may be great for TikTok, but a dedicated camera is a better idea. Leo recommends the AAEBLOY Camcorder. They're under $100 and the quality is pretty good. 36mp sensor, 16x digital zoom. And it's affordable enough that he can include a tripod and lights as well.

Is my camera media card defective?

SD Card

Episode 1627

Hector from Napoleon, OH

Hector has a Sandisk 64GB SD card from Best Buy, and now he's getting error messages due to "insufficient write speed."  Is there something wrong with his camera? Leo says that most SD cards today can keep up with the cameras they are used in. You need a class 4 card for the Vixia Camcorder, and Hector's is a class 10. So it's plenty fast. But it could be that the card is wearing out after steady use and it's starting to fail. When you start getting errors like that, you're living on borrowed time. So it's time to get a new card.

What happened to camcorders?

Canon Vixia camcorder

Episode 1429

Vinesh from Riverside, CA

Vinesh has noticed that nobody calls about camcorders anymore. Leo says that the show evolves as technology evolves. It used to be primarily about Windows issues. Then it transitioned to internet issues. Then just about any hardware imaginable including cameras, mobile phones and the like. So it evolves constantly because technology is constantly evolving. Now that camcorders are becoming less useful due to how good the cameras have gotten in mobile phones, we don't get those calls much.

What's a good camcorder for video podcasting?

Canon Vixia HF

Episode 1288

Isaiah from San Bernadino, CA

Isaiah has a video podcast and he's looking for a better camera with which to shoot not only in his studio, but also on location. Leo says that camcorders are on their way out, but they're still around. He'll want one that has live video out (via HDMI is best) that he can then connect to his PC (the HDMI port has to be on his PC as well). It really comes down to how much he'll want to spend, and if he already has a still camera, then chances are he already has a camera to do the job.

How can I burn the date and time onto my videos?

Episode 1263

Shane from Costa Mesa, CA

Shane is a video guy and he has to edit together video files for court cases. He wants to know how he can put time code onto the image. Leo says that some video cameras will burn the data onto the image as it records. It's a setting in the menu. It does vary by make, model and year of the camcorder. Effen Dunn used to be a videographer for the LAPD and if he can see it on the camera, there should be a way to get it onto the image directly.

What camcorder should I buy?

Sony RX100

Episode 1218

Timothy from Michigan

Timothy wants to know what camcorder should he buy. Leo says that point and shoot cameras have great video recording capabilities now and the Sony RX100 is great. The Olympus OM-D will allow him to have interchangable lenses. But the bottom line is, he'll likely shoot most of his video with his mobile phone anyway. So he shouldn't get a separate camcorder. But what about long shots? Leo says he doesn't really want long video shots.

How can I stream live through my camcorder?

Episode 1186

Nick from Santa Cruz, CA

Nick has a camcorder with HDMI out and he wants to know if he can run Wirecast with a tablet. Leo says probably not. He'll need a computer because tablets don't have HDMI in, only HDMI Out. He'd also need HDMI live as a feature in the camcorder. If it will only be live in playback, then it won't help. Do any notebooks have HDMI? Leo uses Canon Vixia's with a Blackmagic converter to run into the computer. Imogen also makes an HDMI Input card.

What camera should I buy to record dancing?

Canon Vixia

Episode 1108

Chad from Portland, OR

Chad is a ballroom dancing choreographer and he wants to start recording his dances and archive them. He's trying to raise money for equipment on He's looking to get a camera and he doesn't know if he should get a Canon 5D Mk. III or if there's a more affordable option that will give him broadcast quality. Leo suggests that if it's a live performance, he should record with multiple cameras to get close ups, medium shots, and establishing shots.

What camcorder should I get?

Canon Vixia

Episode 1099

John from Marvista, CA

John would like to get a camcorder. Leo says this is a dying category and since John is currently using a DSLR for still photography, upgrading his Canon Rebel to a new body like the T5i would be excellent for HD video. He also wouldn't have to carry more than one camera on his vacation. A point and shoot camera also offers good HD video as well. But if John really wants one, Leo uses the Canon Vixia models. They're very affordable, between $100-700.