Determining the Color Performance of a Camcorder

Buying a camcorder can be a fairly costly investment. You want to be absolutely sure that this is the right camera for you before committing to it. Unfortunately, your options for testing the performance are limited to the three inch LCD viewing screen when you're at the store. The only way to really test the camcorders color performance is to take it home. Before buying the camera make sure that you are positive you want it and that it can be returned without a hassle if the color performance is not up to your standards.

1. Use a Monitor

You'll get a better idea of the camera's color performance by testing it on a monitor. Simply connect the camera to a monitor or small TV with the A/V cables to get a bigger picture. Make sure that the monitor's color performance is excellent before using it because this is the equipment that you are using to judge with. 

2. Select a Subject With a Lot of Colors

Because you're testing color performance you need to find a subject that has a lot of variety of colors. It could be a wall mural, a garden, or a person wearing some crazy clothes. It doesn't matter what you shoot as long as all the colors of the rainbow are there.

3. White Balance

White balancing is the first thing that any videographer should do before shooting. Light comes in all different color temperatures. While our eyes naturally adjust to that our camcorders don't it's up to white balancing to let the camera know what it should consider as true white so it can adjust the rest of the colors appropriately. If you do not white balance then your test is severely compromised.

4. Examine the Lighting Conditions and Exposure

Your test area should be well lit and not too dark. Color's tones can be influenced by brightness so it's important that everything is proper so that your test does not become compromised. Likewise, the aperture should be properly set so that your exposure is even. An image that is not properly exposed can not tell you how accurate your camcorder's color performance is.

5. Test It in a Few Places

If you're not entirely convinced about being happy about the color performance then test it out in a few places. Shoot out doors, indoors, and in low light too so you can see how it performs. 

If you're happy with the camcorder then keep it. If not, then return it to the store and look for another one.

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