If you are planning to buy an HD camcorder, you should know that you are going to end up spending at least a couple hundred dollars, if not more. There are a good amount of high-defintion videocameras for sale under $400, but most of the best models are priced closer to $500 or sometimes up to $1000 or more.

You can go about buying cameras at this relatively affordable price range in a few different ways. One option is to look for cheap new HD camcorders under $400, which means you will often have to settle for a model that does not have as many cool features or as advanced technology as the more expensive cameras.

The other two methods involve buying either a used or refurbished hi-def videocamera. By doing this, you can get a model that was a lot more expensive at one time and therefore probably has some nice features and components. Whichever way you decide to purchase your HD camcorder, you probably want to get the best-selling and highest-rated camera possible. If this is the case, then you are in luck, because you are about to find out exactly which models are widely considered to be the top choices.

Best Used, Refurbished & New High-Definition Camcorders Under $400 for Sale - 2012

Sony HD Camcorders Under $400Credit: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/31cERcee1TL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Sony HDR-CX160 Handycam

Brand New: $450
Used: $350 - $400
Refurbished: $320 - $350

Being that Sony is such a highly-regarded brand name, it should not be surprising for them to be an excellent option to consider. Most people have probably already heard of the Handycam, but this particular HDR-CX160 version is easily one of the best HD camcorders on the market for less than four hundred dollars. They feature a vivid 1920x1080 resolution, full hi-def 60p recording with 3-megapixel pictures, and a wide angle G lens that allows you to capture a a vast panoramic view of just about anything you want.

Even though the Sony HDR-CX160 Handycam already sounds well worth their relatively low cost, there are even more awesome features to list as well. The 42x extended zoom is pretty generous, and the back-illuminated "Exmor R" CMOS sensor provides an amazing low-light video experience. The only other thing that could make these used HD camcorders under $400 even better is a good amount of storage space, and this Handycam definitely has it with its 16GB of embedded Flash Memory able to hold up to 6 hours of recording.

Canon HD Camcorders Under $400Credit: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41-DBLJx4vL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

Canon VIXIA HF R21 Full HD Camcorder

Brand New: $450
On Sale: $370 - $400
Refurbished: $340

The Canon VIXIA HF R21 is a very popular hi-def videocamera and has tons of good customer reviews from all over the web. The main reason they are so well-received is due to how reliable and advanced they are for being priced less than four hundred dollars when bought through the discount above.

They feature the brand's own DIGIC DV III image processor which gives you a much faster playback and upload speed, as well as a 3.28-megapixel full high-definition CMOS image sensor, a dynamic IS that allows for a smoother recording process as it stabilizes movements, and an advanced 28x zoom. With a 32GB internal flash drive and 2 SDXC-compatible memory card slots, the Canon VIXIA HF R21 is also one of the best HD camcorders under $400 for sale in terms of storage capabilities.

Drift Innovations HD Camcorders Under $400Credit: http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41wi1BoKKWL._SL500_SL160_.jpg

Drift Innovations Full 1080p Helmet Action Camera Kit

Brand New: $370
Used: $320

This brand name is infamous for packing a ton of awesome features and additional components into one affordable package, and with the Helmet Action Camera Kit, you definitely get your money's worth. These 1080p HD camcorders come with an LCD playback screen, a rotating lens which allows you to position your camera in a variety of angles to get that perfect shot, a Micro HDMI connector for HDTV playback options, and a standard 1/4" 20-millimeter thread in case you want to mount it to a tripod.

The Drift Innovations packages are the only brand new HD camcorders under $400 on this list, and they happen to come with the most perks. In addition to everything already mentioned, the camera kit also includes:

  • Remote control
  • Spare rear cover
  • Goggle mount
  • Curved and flat adhesive mounts
  • Universal Clip
  • Velcro Strap
  • Lithium Battery
  • USB cable
  • Quick-Start Guide
  • External power pack accessory with 20 hours of recording time and night-mode options

Four hundred dollars is actually a pretty good price range to shop for hi-def videocameras, as you can find a lot of new, used and refurbished models that still have great quality, functionality and durability. These may be the best HD camcorders under $400 for sale right now, but you might be able to find a better one for your own personal budget and preferences if you shop around a bit.