What Features of a Digital Camcorder Do I Need?
Making a big purchase on electronics is never easy, and knowing what digital camcorder to get can be very confusing. There are several options available, catering to every budget and purpose. There will never be one perfect digital camcorder, but you certainly can make a wise and informed decision to as to which camcorder will suit you best.
What to Look For in a Camcorder
Optical zooms, varying mexapixels, portability issues – these are only some of the factors you have to consider when buying a camcorder. To make the choice easier for you, you should first determine what you will be using it for. Is it merely for home videos and capturing family moments? Do you plan on making indie movies? Are you starting a video production business? Here are some of the features that you should look at closely when comparing digital camcorders:
- Resolution – This is one of the most crucial features that you should mind in a camcorder. Depending on your need, you will have to choose either between Standard Definition and High Definition. Though the trend is leaning towards HD, HD cameras are significantly more expensive. Bear in mind that HD formats can only be handled by more professional editing platforms. So, if your camcorder will be strictly for personal use, you might be better off with Standard Definition.
- File Format – From tapes to cards to tapeless, there are now several options on how your video will be stored. There are still DVD-R camcorders available, and MiniDV camcorders are also still acceptable. Hard copies of your video files are better for avoiding data corruption, but they’re subject to time and climate wear and tear. The more high-end camcorders record on memory cards or have built-in hard drives.
- Audio Options – Most camcorders come with a built-in microphone for capturing sound. For home video use, this is already acceptable. For business use, you might want to make sure that the unit has a microphone jack for using external audio equipment.
- Zoom Function – it’s best to get a camera with a powerful zoom function; this provides more flexibility. Bear in mind that you should compare the optical zoom functions. Digital zoom, though more powerful, is often too grainy to even be considered decent footage.
- Added Features – All camcorders will come with bells and whistles, especially the consumer-level ones. There are some that have built-in editing functions, special effects and photo functions. Think first if you really will be using these added features.
Where to Buy
There are many options on how to go about buying a camcorder. First, you have to do your research and compare the models online. Read reviews by users and professionals. Next, you should shortlist at least 2 or 3 camcorder models that you want to purchase. You can head to your nearest electronics shop to do a test run of the camcorders. When you’ve decided, try to see if you can find the exact model at an online store that offers discounts.
If you don’t mind buying it second hand, you can scout bargain shops and bid shops online. Hoepfully you will stumble upon the best bargain for your new digital camcorder.