I would like to record sport events happening in the evening. This would be recorded from static points, around 150 m from where the sporting people move.

I'm choosing the camcorders for this. What technical parameters should I pay attention to?

I've tried a few. They are excellent at a shorter distance, but as the zoom increases, the image becomes blurry and/or grainy - even in a direct sunlight from the right direction.

I have read some theory about how camcorders work, and it seems to be a physical phenomenon, going to the quantum nature of light. It improves with the size of the sensor and the camera lenses. But the zoom cameras tend to have rather smaller sensors.

What qualities should I prioritize to have a decent FHD picture?

  • What is your budget per camera?
    – tomh
    Commented Sep 2, 2022 at 16:02
  • The budget I intentionally left out, to find out what drives the quality of the zoomed recordings, and then adjust the budget expectations. But it's between $1000 and $2000. Commented Sep 3, 2022 at 11:59
  • Out of budget, but better than 50k, the Sony Z280 ain't bad. The Z190 is lesser and cheaper, but might still be ok for your needs. I'm considering selling my Z190, if you're interested.
    – user3643
    Commented Sep 9, 2022 at 20:22

1 Answer 1


For high zoom, low light you need all these things.

  • Large sensor.
  • Long lens [not software zoom].
  • Large aperture.
  • High ISO capability with low self-noise.

This is not a cheap combination, by any stretch of the imagination.

I would very, very much doubt any 'camcorder' can do all the above. I don't know of any camcorder with a large sensor at all. They sacrifice sensor size because it's factors easier & cheaper to make a long-throw lens for a tiny sensor.

I could suggest a good combination, but you'd need a spare $£€ 50,000 in your sock drawer.

  • 50k is way to high. I am not a professional. Currently I have Panasonic HC-VX9xx, which is quite decent up to cca 14x zoom. But at 20x it gets grainy / blurry. I would be happy with something that would be okay-ish at 20x zoom. The low-light may be understood as "partly cloudy, 6 PM in the summer". Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 17:16
  • 1
    x-number-zoom tells us absolutely nothing, I'm afraid. It's just a marketing number, comparing the shortest with the longest focal length, without describing either in real terms. I looked up the spec - Focal Length 4.08 – 81.6 mm… which means it has a tiny sensor - 1/2.3, comparable to an old smart-phone. See newatlas.com/camera-sensor-size-guide/26684 for a guide.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 17:30
  • 1
    Focal lengths are usually compared using "35mm equivalent" values, which are a known quantity. The VX9xx has an equivalent of 37.0 – 752 mm which would be absolutely colossal in a real camera, in size, weight & cost. In real terms such a lens may not be possible to make at all. The one I was referring to in my answer is a 45 - 250mm, at a mere £42,000. [The extra cost was a basic 35mm camera body to fit it]
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 17:34
  • So, if i want a bit better picture on a higher zoom, I need to look most importantly for a larger good sensor, but still small enough to allow a construction of a zoom lens which would not cost tens of thousands, correct? Is Panasonic X1000 or X1500 such? Commented Sep 4, 2022 at 21:19
  • The X1500 has the same tiny sensor. I don't think what you're looking for is going to exist in a consumer format.
    – Tetsujin
    Commented Sep 5, 2022 at 6:49

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