The Panasonic V160 is the manufacturer's budget model for 2015, offering a pretty minimal list of specifications for a pretty attainable $230 price tag.
The sensor is a 1/5.8" backlit version, which is on the small side, but Panasonic does have a few models closer to $500 that still sport that same sensor. The 38x optical zoom is a nice thing to see. Wi-fi is also a surprising feature to see on a budget model as well. The V160 has image stabilization, but it is the less effective electronic type over optical. The bit rate is low, at just 17 Mbps, so don't expect stellar video quality. It will do the job, however, and is certainly affordable.
If you can swing another $70, the Panasonic V160 offers a higher bit rate at 28 Mbps, a longer zoom at 50x and optical image stabilization. All three are differences that will make a pretty substantial difference for a marginal increase in price.
See Also: Best Budget Camcorders