Camcorders vs. Cameras: For Video and Stills

Many digital cameras can take videos as well as still photos, which means that many people do not see the need for camcorders. Camcorders are also capable of taking still photographs. However, they are designed mainly to do a single job and are not capable of doing everything satisfactorily. A dedicated digital camera will, for example, be much better at taking photographs than a camcorder because it was designed specifically for it.

A camcorder is also much better at taking videos than a standard digital camera. However, why is this? Learning about the benefits of each camera should make it much easier to decide whether or not you really need to purchase two cameras rather than one.


The main purpose of a camcorder is to record videos, which means that they aren't that great for taking still photos. Modern camcorders are getting much better at taking stills, however, they still aren't normally as good as a digital camera. You can find some camcorders which take excellent still photos, however, these will generally be much more expensive than other models of camera. This means that you would normally be able to find a camcorder and digital camera for cheaper than one of these high end camcorders.

If you are choosing a camcorder which you want to use for still photos, then ensure that the sensor is at least 2 Mega Pixels. While this is nothing compared to most digital cameras these days, it will mean that you can take reasonable photos which will be able to be printed at 4" x 6" size. However, anything larger will normally be a push.

Don't just focus on the resolution of the image sensor. You must also take a look at the quality and color depth of the image. The color depth is actually much more important than the resolution because otherwise the image will look flat and washed out.


A digital still camera has a number of different modes which can be used for shooting different types of pictures. Most cameras can be set into video mode, and this means that you can record videos. However, the videos aren't as high quality as a dedicated camcorder. These do not normally capture great videos, however, they might be okay to remind you of certain special events. Top of the range digital cameras do offer better video shooting capabilities.

The video will be saved to your cameras memory card. This will normally limit the length of video that you can record. You might need to choose a high capacity memory card to make recording videos easier.

Do You Need Both?

If you want to take high quality videos and still photos then you will probably want to buy both a digital video camera and still camera. This will ensure that you will easily be able to take high resolution photos and high quality images. If you only want to take videos occasionally and aren't that concerned with the quality, then a digital still camera will probably be okay.