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10 Best Night Vision Camcorders in 2021

Last Updated on June 16, 2021

camcorder_Oleksiy Mark_Shutterstock

Few devices have dropped in price through the years more than camcorders. These devices used to be well out of reach of the average consumer, and now you get top-notch options filled with features like night vision for an affordable price.

But a new problem has emerged: Now that camcorders are more affordable, there are tons of options on the market, and not all of them are high quality. That’s why we compiled reviews of 10 of the best night vision camcorders on the market.

If you’re not sure what you’re looking for or looking at after reading the reviews, we created a comprehensive buyer’s guide that will walk you through everything that you need to know.

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A Quick Comparison of Our Favorite Night Vision Camcorders

Image Product Details
Best Overall
Winner
Zohulu 4K Wi-Fi Full Spectrum Camcorder Zohulu 4K Wi-Fi Full Spectrum Camcorder
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • Automatically compresses files
  • It has a mobile app
  • Best Value
    Second place
    Linnse Video Camera Camcorder Linnse Video Camera Camcorder
  • Affordable
  • With remote control
  • Motion detection
  • Premium Choice
    Third place
    Sony HXRMC50U Ultra Compact AVCHD Camcorder Sony HXRMC50U Ultra Compact AVCHD Camcorder
  • Optical and digital zoom
  • Unrivaled recording ability
  • LCD technology
  • Zohulu Digital Zoom Night Vision Camera Zohulu Digital Zoom Night Vision Camera
  • Built-in Wi-Fi
  • NovaCam app
  • 1-year warranty
  • Bestguarder HD Digital Night Vision Monocular Bestguarder HD Digital Night Vision Monocular
  • Night vision performance
  • Uses 6x optical zoom
  • 1,150 feet of night-vision range
  • The 10 Best Night Vision Camcorders — Reviews 2021

    1. Zohulu 4K Wi-Fi Full Spectrum Camcorder — Best Overall

    Zohulu 4K Wifi Full Spectrum Camcorders_Amazon

    • Frames per second: 60
    • Recording quality: 4K 1080p
    • Zoom: 30x digital zoom
    • Megapixels: 24

    When you’re looking for a great combination of performance and price, it’s hard to beat the Zohulu 4K Wi-Fi Full Spectrum Camcorder. Not only does it do a great job at recording at 60 frames per second, but it also has tons of features.

    This camcorder has built-in Wi-Fi and a mobile app, and that gives you the ability to start and pause recordings from afar. Moreover, this camcorder automatically compresses files when saving, then restores them to full 1080p when playing them!

    This saves you storage space without sacrificing the video’s quality. But what really sets this camera apart is its ability to record in colorful infrared and full spectrum. It’s an unrivaled feature that vaults this camcorder to the top of this list.

    Pros
    • Automatically compresses files while saving
    • Colorful infrared and full spectrum video recording
    • Built-in Wi-Fi
    • A great mix of price and performance
    • It has a mobile app
    Cons
    • No optical zoom

    2. Linnse Video Camera Camcorder — Best Budget

    Linnse Video Camera Camcorder_Amazon

    • Frames per second: 30
    • Recording quality: HD 1080p
    • Zoom: 16x digital zoom
    • Megapixels: 24

    While you used to need to spend a ton of money to get a top-notch camcorder, that’s simply not the case anymore. This Linnse Video Camera Camcorder is the perfect example of how far technology has come and how affordable it is today.

    While the 30 frames per second is lower than many newer options, it’s still fast enough to record in 1080p HD! It’s not 4K, but many viewing devices can’t even play 4K videos, so it’s rarely noticeable.

    While this camcorder doesn’t have all the newest features, it does come with a remote control and has motion detection and time-lapse features. It truly is an excellent choice at a great price.

    Pros
    • Affordable
    • It comes with a remote control
    • Has motion detection and time-lapse features
    Cons
    • Lower frames per second
    • No 4K recording

    3. Sony HXRMC50U Ultra Compact AVCHD Camcorder — Premium Choice

    Sony HXRMC50U Ultra Compact_Amazon

    • Frames per second: 200
    • Recording quality: 1080i AVCHD
    • Zoom: 10x optical and 120x digital zoom
    • Megapixels: 12

    If you’re willing to drop a chunk of change, you can get a camcorder that will truly blow you away: the Sony Ultra Compact AVCHD Camcorder.

    It’s the only option on this list that can record in 1080i AVCHD, and the 200 frames per second are almost three times as high as the closest competitor. Even better, Sony loaded this camcorder with different technological features, including Xtra Fine TruBlack LCD, SteadyShot Image Stabilization, and Active Mode SteadyShot.

    These features improve playback, contrast, and brightness. Moreover, this is the only option with an adjustable optical zoom. This gives you the ability to hone in on your target without losing image quality.

    The only ding on this camcorder is the camera itself. While 12 megapixels is fine, almost every other camcorder does it better.

    Pros
    • Optical and digital zoom
    • Unrivaled recording ability
    • Optical SteadyShot Image Stabilization, and Active Mode SteadyShot technology
    • Xtra Fine TruBlack LCD technology
    Cons
    • Expensive
    • Disappointing camera

    4. Zohulu Digital Zoom Night Vision Camera

    Zohulu 4K Video Camera Camcorder_Amazon

    • Frames per second: 60
    • Recording quality: 4K 1080p
    • Zoom: 16x digital zoom
    • Megapixels: 48

    Zohulu makes many great options! This digital zoom night vision camera is an outstanding choice. There aren’t many technological advances, but the quality of the video is solid.

    This camera only comes with a 16x digital zoom compared to newer models’ 30x zoom. But you actually get a better camera, and you don’t lose all the extra features!

    The NovaCam app is yours to use, the camera operation is fantastic, and you get a 2-year warranty. It’s a great choice that’s available for less money, so it’s worth considering if you don’t care about extra features.

    Pros
    • Outstanding camera operation
    • Built-in Wi-Fi
    • NovaCam app gives you extra versatility
    • 1-year warranty
    • Good mix of performance and affordability
    Cons
    • Not as many features as Zohulu’s top model

    5. Bestguarder HD Digital Night Vision Monocular

    Bestguarder 6x50mm HD camcorder_Amazon

    • Frames per second: 30
    • Recording quality: 960p HD
    • Zoom: 6x optical and 5x digital zoom
    • Megapixels: 5

    Looking at the specs, it’s easy to overlook the Bestguarder Monocular. There’s nothing that jumps off the page as impressive, and the lower recording quality actually makes it seem a step behind. But looking at nothing but the specs misses a few crucial points.

    The Bestguarder Monocular specializes in night vision. So, while its daytime modes might be lacking, it performs remarkably better when things get dark.

    This monocular can record images up to 1,150 feet away, and that’s in large part to its 6x optical zoom. However, while that’s a great feature for seeing distant objects, you can’t adjust it! That means for close-range targets, it’s hard to get any usable video.

    But if you’re looking for a distant target, this is a great choice through and through.

    Pros
    • Dedicated night vision performance
    • Good mix of performance and affordability
    • Uses 6x optical zoom
    • Up to 1,150 feet of night-vision range
    Cons
    • Lower recording capabilities
    • Uses 6x optical zoom
    • Lower picture-taking capabilities

    6. Cleveland Paranormal Supply Infrared and Night Vision Full Spectrum Camcorder

    Cleveland 4K Ultra HD camcorder_Amazon

    • Frames per second: 60
    • Recording quality: 4K 1080p
    • Zoom: 30x digital zoom
    • Megapixels: 24

    If you’re into everything spooky and paranormal, the Cleveland Paranormal Supply Company is going to jump straight off the page for you. But even if you’re just looking for something to record the nightlife with, it’s a great option.

    It has ab IR mode and a full spectrum mode! Even better, you can switch between the two options with the click of a button, making it extremely versatile. Not only that, but this camcorder also records at an impressive 60 frames per second, and you can control everything with a remote control.

    But all these high-quality features come with a tradeoff: the price. It’s not the most expensive camcorder out there, but it’s not the cheapest either.

    Pros
    • You can switch between IR and full spectrum mode
    • Built-in Wi-Fi
    • Incredible 60 fps recording quality
    • It comes with a remote control
    • Great 24-megapixel camera
    Cons
    • More expensive option

    7. FamBrow 4K Video Camera Wi-Fi Camcorder

    Fambrow 4K Video Camera_Amazon

    • Frames per second: 60
    • Recording quality: 4K 1080p
    • Zoom: 16x digital zoom
    • Megapixels: 48

    A top-notch night vision camcorder is the FamBrow 4K Video Camera Wi-Fi Camcorder. As the name implies, it records in 4K HD, but it also records at an impressive 60 frames per second! As another perk, you get an outstanding 48-megapixel camera, and it comes with a remote control.

    Furthermore, you can live stream to various platforms, including YouTube and Facebook. The problem with this camcorder is that it’s outstanding for daytime use, but its night vision mode is a bit subpar.

    Pros
    • Built-in Wi-Fi
    • Affordable option
    • It comes with a remote control
    • Outstanding 48-megapixel camper
    • You can use it to livestream to various platforms
    Cons
    • Night vision mode is subpar

    8. Bestguarder Infrared HD Night Vision Monocular

    Bestguarder Infrared HD Night Vision camcorder_Amazon

    • Frames per second: 30
    • Recording quality: 720p
    • Zoom: 6x optical and 5x digital zoom
    • Megapixels: 5

    This is a Bestguarder Infrared Monocular. It can gives you images up to 1,500 feet! Of course, that adds to the price a bit. It’s not that the range isn’t worth the extra cost, but once you hit this price point, there are better options out there.

    This monocular has a 6x optical zoom. While that’s a great feature, you can’t adjust it all, which ruins the overall versatility. You can see distant objects but nothing up close.

    Pros
    • Uses 6x optical zoom
    • Great night vision mode
    • 1,500-foot night vision range
    Cons
    • Low recording capabilities
    • Uses 6x optical zoom
    • Expensive
    • Low picture-taking capabilities

    9. Alsone Video Camera Camcorder

    Alsone video camcorder_Amazon

    • Frames per second: 30
    • Recording quality: 1080p HD
    • Zoom: 16x digital zoom
    • Megapixels: 26

    This Alsone Video Camera Camcorder is an affordably priced option that leaves a few things to be desired. While it has built-in Wi-Fi and the ability to live stream to different platforms, including Facebook and YouTube, the 30 frames per second that it records at is on the lower end of things today.

    More importantly, the night vision mode struggles to produce crisp images. While it does an excellent job recording events like fireworks and nighttime city skylines, in true night vision settings, it struggles to create a usable image. For a night vision camcorder, that’s more than a little disappointing.

    Pros
    • Affordable option
    • Built-in Wi-Fi
    • It comes with a remote control
    • You can livestream to various platforms
    • 1-year warranty
    Cons
    • The night vision mode is lacking
    • 30 fps is on the lower end

    10. Actinow Video Camera Camcorder

    Actinow Video Camera Camcorder_Amazon

    • Frames per second: 30
    • Recording quality: 1080p HD
    • Zoom: 16x digital zoom
    • Megapixels: 26

    The Actinow Video Camera Camcorder is extremely affordable, has built-in Wi-Fi, and comes with a remote control! Furthermore, it has a motion detection function and a time-lapse mode.

    But while the 30 frames per second is decent, that’s on the low end for cameras today. More importantly, while it’s a decent daytime camcorder, it’s a below-average night vision camcorder.

    It does have a night vision mode, but it doesn’t hold up to the rest of the options available. It’s not a terrible choice; it’s just not the best night vision camcorder out there.

    Pros
    • Affordable option
    • Built-in Wi-Fi
    • It comes with a remote control
    • There is a time-lapse and motion-detection function
    Cons
    • The night vision mode is lacking
    • 30 fps is on the lower end

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    Buyer’s Guide

    When you’re shopping for a night vision camcorder, you’re bound to have a few questions. Tons of specs and features get mentioned, and you might not understand what they mean or why they matter.

    That’s why we created this buyer’s guide: to walk you through everything that you need to know before you make your purchase. This way, you can get the right night vision camcorder the first time and start getting high-quality videos!

    Optical vs. Digital Zoom

    When you’re looking at zoom options, two terms often get thrown around: optical and digital zoom. But there’s a big difference between the two, and it’s critical that you understand them.

    Digital zoom isn’t an actual zoom. It makes the picture look bigger, but you’re not getting any more megapixels in the image. So, while you might be seeing a bigger image, you’re losing resolution when you use a digital zoom.

    In fact, if you plan on editing the video after the fact, it’s almost always recommended that you don’t use a digital zoom. That’s because you can zoom in through editing and achieve the exact same results as a digital zoom.

    However, optical zoom is different. Optical zoom is a true zoom. That means if you’re getting a 24-megapixel image at 1x magnification, you’re still getting a 24-megapixel image at 10x magnification!

    That’s why optical zoom is better than digital zoom and why it’s far more expensive. In fact, the only option on the list that has an adjustable optical zoom is the Sony HXRMC50U Ultra Compact AVCHD Camcorder, and it’s far more expensive than any other option.

    camcorder zoom_Pixabay

    Deciding What Features Matter to You

    There are tons of extra features in different camcorders. You can opt for motion detection, live streaming capabilities, built-in Wi-Fi, mobile apps, and much more.

    The thing is that no single camcorder offers every feature, so it’s up to you to decide what features you want in the perfect camcorder for you. There’s no wrong answer here, and the best way to narrow it down is to find out what’s out there.

    Luckily, this guide breaks down many of the different options and features, which can help give you a better understanding of what you can get. But if you’re looking at a camcorder that has a ton of extra features that you’ll never use, chances are that you’re overpaying for something that you don’t need.

    Be honest with yourself: More isn’t always better. Get what you’ll use, and go for quality the first time!

    Motion Detection — A Perk All-Around

    woman wih camcorder_StockKK_Shutterstock

    Image Credit: StockKK, Shutterstock

    Whether you’re looking for paranormal activity or setting up a high-tech trail cam, the best way you can do this is with a motion-detection camera. This kind of camera allows you to set up your camera and record activities over a long period of time and saves you from recording hour after hour of nothing happening.

    Let’s face it: when you’re recording things at night, a large portion of it is often a great deal of nothing. Motion detection saves you from having to skim through hours of film for a few minutes of action. Moreover, it’ll also alert you when something happens.

    So, if you are hunting paranormal activity, what better way than by setting up a camera that will only turn on when something is moving, even if nothing should be?

    How Many Frames Per Second (FPS) Do You Need?

    camcorder_Deborah Windham_Pixabay

    The lowest quality night vision camcorder here offers 30 fps, while the highest quality gives you 200 fps. That’s one heck of a jump! So, what’s the difference and what do you need?

    The truth is that 30 fps is more than fast enough for most people, but you might notice small differences up to 60 fps. From there, you’re only going to notice differences if you watch the recording in slow-motion.

    According to many experts, the human eye can only see up to 60 frames per second, which means any camera offering more than that is working faster than your eyes can process!

    In fact, 30 fps is so fast that many humans can’t tell the difference past that. So, you can spend extra money to get a camcorder that can record faster frames per second, but it’s often nothing but a waste of money.

    A Note on Megapixels

    using camcorder_PublicDomainPictures_Pixabay

    Let’s be clear about something: Each megapixel is a ton of pixels — one million, to be exact. So, a camera with 30 megapixels actually has 30 million pixels in each frame, which is a ton! Considering that a top-notch camera in 2000 had fewer than 3 megapixels, it’s not hard to see the advancements in technology through the years!

    We say all this to point out that even the lowest quality options here have a 5-megapixel camera, and that’s not even its primary feature! But if you know what you’re doing, it’s still more than enough to take high-quality photos, and you can do it in night vision!

    So, don’t make your camcorder a single-purpose device. Take plenty of photos with it too!

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    Conclusion

    We’re confident that the best possible night vision camcorder for you is on this list. Hopefully, we’ve given you everything that you need to know to help you make your decision, but if you’re still unsure after reading the reviews, why not go with the Zohulu 4K Wi-Fi Full Spectrum Camcorder? It’s our top choice for a reason and will have you recording top-notch night vision videos in no time. But if you’re looking to save more money, the Linnse Video Camera Camcorder can deliver fantastic results at a fraction of the cost.

    You might also be interested in:


    Featured Image Credit: camcorder_Oleksiy Mark, Shutterstock

    About the Author Robert Sparks

    Robert’s obsession with all things optical started early in life, when his optician father would bring home prototypes for Robert to play with. Nowadays, Robert is dedicated to helping others find the right optics for their needs. His hobbies include astronomy, astrophysics, and model building. Originally from Newark, NJ, he resides in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where the nighttime skies are filled with glittering stars.