Pocket camcorders: How we test pocket camcorders
Which? tests every aspect of pocket camcorders, including video quality, sound quality and battery life, so you'll know exactly what to expect. Our in-depth pocket camcorder lab tests mean you can trust our Best Buy and Don't Buy verdicts and choose with confidence.
Our tests are independent and impartial, which means that if a pocket camcorder doesn't make the grade, we'll let you know. It also means that you can rely on our Best Buys being the best products on the market, without our verdict being compromised by outside influence.
- What's the video quality like?
- What's the sound quality like?
- What's the battery life like?
- How easy is it to transfer & upload video?
Trial Which? today for just £1 to find out which pocket camcorders impressed us enough to be rated as Best Buys.
What's the video quality like?
To evaluate the video quality on pocket camcorders, we set them up to record footage under a variety of lighting conditions. We test each pocket camcorder under natural daylight conditions, where they generally fare best of all.
We then test each pocket camcorder under artificial light. This is a greater challenge, and many pocket camcorders fail to capture colours accurately with some footage displaying a yellow tinge.
We test all pocket camcorders under challenging low light conditions. As pocket camcorders have small sensors that struggle in dim lighting, this test is designed to expose any low light shortcomings.
What's the sound quality like?
We test sound quality on pocket camcorders by recording voices and music tracks, then playing them back to a panel of expert sound quality assessors.
The best pocket camcorders capture sound with clarity and distinction, while the worst tend to capture muffled sound that's spoiled by audio disturbances.
What's the battery life like?
We fully charge the batteries on each pocket camcorder then measure how long each device lasts before it fully powers down. The best pocket camcorders can last for around two hours of continuous shooting.
We also precisely measure the length of time it takes to charge up each pocket camcorder, both by mains-charging and USB-charging via a computer.
How easy is it to transfer & upload video?
Our testers judge how easily and how quickly you can transfer a video file from the pocket camcorder onto a computer, using the camcorder's provided software.
We then judge how easily you can upload a file to YouTube using the camcorder's software.
If you're looking for better video quality, it may be worth considering a full-sized HD camcorder. See our expert Which? reviews of the best HD camcorders.
Pocket camcorder total test scores
Once we have all our test results in, we evaluate the data to determine the total test score for each pocket camcorder. The score is made up of the following components:
- Video quality 40%
- Ease of use 30%
- Sound quality 15%
- Battery life 15%