Guide to Buying Camcorders & Video Cameras – Reviews & Ratings
Find out what factors/features to look for while choosing the best digital video camera. Read reviews of various Digital Camcorder and Video Camera brands.
In today’s market, value is king. Consumers are not particularly hesitant to make purchases. However, they want to be assured that they are getting excellent value for their money. Features differentiate from one model to another. For example, when shopping for a car, options that shoppers may consider include Anti-lock brakes, Global Positioning Satellite (GPS) navigation system, and roadside assistance.
Likewise, when shopping for a digital video camera, several types of features can and should be considered.
One must first determine which general type of digital video camera one wishes to purchase. Each type of digital camcorder includes pros and cons, so first consider your personal needs.
Read here for more on what to look for in your first digital camcorder
How Does a Camcorder Work
You really don’t have to know the mechanics of how camcorders work, but it can really help you to understand the lingo, which is good to know in case you’re talking to a salesman or an expert in this area.
It will also help you to look at the details of some of the key features. If you intend to buy a camcorder for serious work, then it makes sense to spend more and probably buy a professional video camera, the likes of 3-CCD camcorders, rather than buy some entry level stuff.
Camcorders vs Cameras
Most cameras nowadays have the ability to take videos, so why is it that somebody should consider a camcorder?
To sum it all, if you want to shoot excellent pics as well as videos then you need both, a camcorder as well as a camera. However, if you are happy with the occasional video and not so concerned about its quality then your existing digital camera should suffice.
However, here are some more details of why a camcorder should be chosen.
Most digital cameras are capable of shooting HD (720p) video with some of the advanced ones even offering FullHD (1080p) video recording.
However, most compact point-and-shoot cameras cannot match the high-quality videos that one can get using camcorders.
In fact, if you watch the video on a HDTV, the difference in output, in terms of better color depth and sharpness, is almost always apparent.
Most compact point-and-shoot cameras record audio in mono, which when played back sounds a bit tinny.
Camcorders, on the other hand, have much better built-in mics and some of the better ones are even capable of delivering multi-channel surround sound.
So if you want videos of your little one giggling with joy, you may want to do that with a camcorder.
This is where camcorders are far better than compact point-and-shoot cameras. Most digital cameras used for still-photography come with optical zooms in the range of 3x to 5x, while camcorders boast of 25x to as high as 60x lenses.
Besides, the lens mechanism on digital cameras is not as silent or smooth, resulting in an audible sound when zooming in or out during shooting.
Few things can be more annoying than shaky videos. To counter this problem, camcorders are equipped with a improved image stabilization that ensure you get jerk-free videos even when you are travelling in a vehicle. So, using a camcorder, you can easily zoom out and shoot those landscapes when travelling in a train. With a digital camera, you won’t get good results.
Camcorders are designed specifically for shooting videos, whereas photo cameras are designed for taking pictures. So it is much more comfortable to hold a camcorder and shoot for hours. Besides, the buttons and zoom are ergonomically designed so that it can be operated only with one hand.
Even the LCD display on a camcorder can be rotated, which means you can hold the device above your head and till view what the lens is capturing. You can even rotate the LCD screen 180 degrees and shoot yourself when on a roller-coaster ride.
So if you are really serious about shooting videos, then you will need a good camcorder.
Still or Moving Pictures
One feature that is often included on a digital video camera is the ability to take a still picture, which can be transferred to one of two media: a removable memory card or a tape. While this feature does not warrant throwing away your digital camera, it is ideal if you intend to do much filming in a short period of time.
Next, the FireWire or i.Link feature is significant due to the fact that some DVD digital video cameras lack it. The FireWire allows you to transmit video to a personal computer. After filming video, the digital camcorder must then be connected to your computer’s FireWire connection. Then data is transferred to the hard drive. Then you can perform several editing tasks, such as adding titles and altering clips. Afterwards, you can transfer the video back to a tape, or burn it on a DVD.
Secondary But Not Insignificant
Lastly, several secondary features should be considered when you shop for a digital video camera:
Choose the digital camcorder with a control layout and shape that you are comfortable using.
People rarely use the digital zoom on a digital camcorder, so the digital zoom rating is relatively insignificant. Consider how you will use your digital video camera.
Filming at night would require a video light. Also, if you intend to transfer your VHS films to DVD, you will need analog video inputs. Next, a built-in flash is ideal if you will be creating numerous still photos.
You probably will be unable to find a fluorescent green or orange digital video camera. However, they are sold in a variety of dimensions and shapes. They can be vertical or horizontal; full-size or compact; and even look like a super-sized digital camera!
Like purchasing other products, you must consider several features when shopping for a digital video camera. However, the most important feature is its being perfect for you!
Various Types of Camcorders / Video Cameras
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