Here are things to keep in mind before buying your first digital camcorder.
As with most other things, your purpose and budget will play an important role to help you choose the right video camera.
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It is comparatively easier to buy a video camera if you have a fixed budget in mind, and if you know how you’re going to use it. Cost-wise these gadgets can vary from a few hundred dollars to even a few thousand dollars.
But if you know your budget is 500 bucks, then it becomes easier, as there is no point looking at the ones costing few thousand dollars, unless you’re looking at them from an educational purpose, to know more about the features they have.
However, it is also important to remember that, if you’re serious about shooting videos and intend to make a profession out of it, you should go for something that will stay with you for a few years. No point in cutting cost there!
Here are some of the other factors that you need to consider:
Determine your Budget
As mentioned, it helps you to stay focus. However, depending on the purpose you may have to stretch a bit.
Read here for the best camcorders for various price range.
What’s it Purpose?
Is it just for casual use, to be used for family get-together or while travelling? How important is zoom and microphone position? Do you intend to use it for commercial shoots?
Asking these questions will help you focus on the right video cameras.
Learn more about the Product
This is why you may need to visit stores and check for yourself how the product feels, how are the ergonomics, and so on. It is also a great way to familiarize yourself with the various features. Feel free to ask lots of questions to the sales people there as it is the quickest way to learn about the product and also to get some constructive feedback.
Also check online for more reviews and consumer feedback.
Analog or Digital Format?
For all practical purposes and considering that digital is all the rage now, one should definitely consider buying a digital camcorder. It is also very easy to capture video into your computer and edit the video, with a digital one.
But there are certain cases where you may require an analog one (VHS-C, 8mm and Hi8 format). Also you need to consider the fact that analog ones can be cheaper compared to a digital camcorder (you get lower video quality as well).
And just because it is an analog one doesn’t mean you cannot take the video into your computer.
You can still import video from your analog camera into your computer using an analog-to-digital conversion device (albeit with some loss in quality).
Here are more features that you should consider when choosing a camcorder:
- Firewire/IEEE 1394 port
- Lens Quality
- LCD Size
- Optical Stabilization System
- Digital Still Image Capability
- Support for HD video
The Firewire port is another important feature to have, and the good thing is that it is now available on almost all the models. It helps to quickly transfer the video to your computer.
Others are more like good-to-have features, and you should be sure if you really need them as having them can increase the price of the camcorder.
You also need to think whether you want all video related features and still photography related features, in one single equipment, or you should buy them separately.
For more options, checkout these digital camcorders
Checkout Digital video cameras for various price range here
As a beginner, you might be in awe of some of the expensive video camera, but the fact is that there are many professional videographers who use inexpensive digital camcorders to shoot several events. But to be able to do that, you need lots of experience! Besides, they also have multiple cameras, including high-end camcorders.
However, for most home users, it makes sense to use a budget camcorder, and upgrade to an expensive one later, as you get more experienced. Also, instead of buying one single equipment with all the features, you may consider best camcorders for various price range buying a basic videocam and a digital still camera separately, in case you want to shoot videos and take still pictures, as well.