Difference between Camcorder and Handycam

Key Difference: Camcorders are shortened phrase for ‘camera recorders’. It is a portable device that captures video and audio. Handycam is basically a camcorder. It is also portable electronic equipment to record videos and audios.

Camcorder and handycam are the devices which are used for the same purpose. Both are the devices that are used in recording live motion video. Then what is the difference between camcorder and handycam?

Camcorder is basically a mixture of two words camera and recorder.  It is more formally known as a video camera recorder. It is a portable device that is able to capture numerous videos and audios. There are three major components in a camcorder that are very essential for an effective recording: 

  • First is a lens that gathers and focuses light,
  • Second is an imager that converts light into an electrical signal, and
  • Last is a recorder that converts electrical signals into digital video and encodes them for storage.

Today, camcorders record information in forms of bits and bytes in 1’s and 0’s. If one wants to store memories of their life’s precious moments, then there is nothing to beat a camcorder’s high quality videos when it comes to sharpness and clarity.

Technically, handycam is also a camcorder. It is also a type of portable electronic equipment used to record videos and audios. The term itself refers to a handy camera, which was first come into existence in 1985, by Sony. Sony developed varieties of models such as Hi8, Digital8, DV, HDV, etc. In essence, Sony branded handycam is a small handheld camcorder. As time passed by, small camcorders were customarily called handycams. The smaller it gets the it becomes more like a handycam.

Comparison between Camcorder and Handycam:





Camcorder is a device that captures video and audio.

Handycam is portable electronic equipment to record videos and audios.

Short for

Camcorders are shortened term for camera recorders.

Handycam is a shortened term for handy camera.


The name on the package and manual is often "video camera recorder".

Handycam is a trade name of a camcorder by Sony.

Can be referred to

Any brand which is still considered technically correct.

Although an entirely Sony product and has become so well-liked that even other related products made by competitors are also referred to as handycams by common people.


Camcorders usually have heavier weight.

Handycam is usually lighter and smaller as compared to camcorders, but that depends on the model.


Camcorders require less technical knowledge than those of professional level videos cameras.

The Sony handycam includes a variety of tools that improve its ease of use. One such tool is face detection.


Camcorders do not allow changing lenses.

Sony NEX-VG10 handycam is an exception to this rule which allows one to change lenses.

Image Courtesy: rationalphotographics.com, brorsoft.com

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