Consumer vs Professional Video Camcorder: 4 Major Differences

A consumer video camera may serve the same function as a professional video camcorder, but many differences exist between these cameras, both in use and in output. A consumer camcorder simply captures moving images and plays back video. On the other hand, a professional video camera has more settings and features that will ensure your final product looks sleek and professional. Here are the key differences you can find between a consumer and professional camcorder.

1. Size and Weight

Most consumer cameras go for smaller and more compact. They’re often referred to as handycams because you can hold them with one hand. Professional video camcorders are heavier and bulkier and are designed for shoulder-mount. This helps make the shots more steady.

2. Lenses

Consumer videocams have very simple lenses that are designed simply to capture moving images and nothing more. Most professional video camcorders allow for interchangeable lenses with the help of an adaptor. You can also attach different filters and sun shields on them. This helps in capturing in macro, wide angle and more. Also, the high-grade lenses allow for a deeper depth of field, resulting in a more professional and film look.

3. Manual Controls

Consumer videocams are made for point and shoot. Just press the record button and you’re good to go. With professional video, you need to adjust a number of manual settings. There’s the White Balance, to make sure that the light registers properly. You can also adjust the opening or Aperture, to control the amount of light that goes in. There are also speed settings, manual focus, audio adjustment and more.

4. Resolution and Quality

One of the most obvious differences in the final output between consumer and professional cameras is the image resolution and quality. Aside from having a higher resolution, pro videocams often also have 3CCDs or Charge-Coupled Devices. This means that they register the primary colors separately. This results in crisper, broadcast-quality images.