Digital Camcorder Info: Major Features of a Consumer Grade Camcorder

Digital camcorder info can be pretty overwhelming for a novice and prove to be the source of a major pitfall while choosing the correct digital camcorder. Here are the basics and the major features of a consumer grade digital camcorder to make the process easier for you.

SD or HD?

SD stands for standard definition, while HD is for high definition. The difference lies in the resolution of the recordings that they make. Anything above 1280x720 pixels (720p) or 1920x1080 pixels (1080p) is called high definition. You should ideally go for HD recording capabilities, as the displayed images are much more vibrant and life like. HD camcorders are becoming the norm these days.

Aspect Ratio

A major difference between SD and HD recording is the aspect ratio. Simply put, the aspect ratio is the ratio of the height to the width of the recording or the picture being displayed. Traditionally, displays used to have an aspect ratio of 4:3, while these days all HDTVs sport a 16:9 aspect ratio. So, to make full use of HD recording, your camcorder should support an aspect ratio of 16:9.

HDMI Output

A camcorder needs HDMI output capability to make use of an HDTV. Therefore, to make sure the recording is put out in the intended format, HDTVs and camcorders need to be compatible over HDMI input and output connections.


The recording media for digital camcorders is either MiniDV tapes or optical media. MiniDV tapes are currently on their way out and it makes sense to use optical media, as it is more permanent in nature.

The above mentioned details should get you up to speed with the major features of a digital camcorder.