The Besteker HD camcorder makes a good budget option, but lackluster audio and video quality keeps it from competing with higher-end products. This camcorder is firmly cemented in the “mid range” category as it does provide HD recording as well as a very good night vision function, but provides a picture that lacks good sharpness (particularly in 1080p) and audio that’s somewhat weak. But for a budget recording option it’s hard to expect perfection. You’re unlikely to find another product that offers the same features as this unit for under $100. In fact, to get a significant improvement in quality, you’re likely to pay double the cost of this camcorder.

Pros:
– Very good night vision.
– 1080p resolution capable.
– Easy to set up and use.

Cons:
– Mediocre audio and video quality.
– 1080p has a maximum of 15FPS (frames per second).

c2The design of this camcorder is very standard and it’s visually similar to most models on the market. There’s very little difference design-wise between this unit and the Sony handheld camcorder. Even the options and features of the units are nearly equal. There are a variety of resolutions and settings for specific scenes. It’s in the hardware and quality of the product that the two become very distinct. For example, while this camcorder is capable of recording in 1080p, it does so at a maximum frame rate of 15FPS. Typically you’d like to see at least 30FPS, as anything lower than that is typically detectable by nearly anyone. Between 30 and 60FPS is where you start to see little difference in the perception of most people. But at such a low frame rate, the image can sometimes appear to “lag”. This is particularly true of any moving objects as those will appear to be jerky or blurry as there aren’t substantial frames to adequately capture the motion.

The video quality isn’t terrible however, and it the fact that it’s even capable of capturing video in 1080p is very good for a budget camcorder of this nature. And if you drop the resolution down to 720p (still HD), you get the necessary 30FPS for a better quality video capture. A lot of this depends on your specific needs and the device(s) you intend on playing the video back on. The audio is also right in the middle in terms of quality. It’s rather clear, but can have a somewhat weak presence. The microphone is located on the top of the unit, and faces upward. This isn’t really optimal for capturing the sound from what you have the camera pointed at. And the sensitivity is such that most things seem quieter than they probably should. I didn’t see an option for attaching a separate microphone or adapter for any other audio input.

Final Score: 3.75/55 Star RatingOverall this isn’t a bad budget camcorder, but it’s not going to be producing cinema-quality audio and video by any means. And although it captures in 1080p, you’d want to make sure there isn’t any action in your scene before you use that setting. This would be a good starter option for a student or younger person, or really anyone with a budget in mind when picking out their device. As I mentioned, you’d need to spend about double the cost of this unit to see a significant improvement in quality. But if you want an inexpensive but decent quality camcorder, this might suit your needs.

Besteker HD Night Vision Camcorder: $95.99 – Amazon.com

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