Digital camcorders

Buying Guide to Digital camcorders

Enjoy making home movies? A digital video camera (digital camcorder) makes the shooting easy and fun. So, what do you need to look for when buying one?

The first key difference between models is how they store your video :

  • Flash memory cards- SD is now becoming the typical format, but check the individual model description.
  • Internal hard disk drives- much the largest and most convenient storage format.
  • 8cm DVDs that work in most DVD players.

The other key difference is size, in that some models are classified as pocket camcorders. The others are larger, but still easy to carry and to use.

  • As the name indicates, pocket camcorders are lightweight and generally just as small as a compact camera or a mobile phone.
  • They are typically point and shoot devices, though most have a variety of extra features built in too.

Resolution (megapixels) is less important in digital camcorders than in cameras, since they're designed to match existing TV and video. They can usually be used to take still pictures as well however.

  • High-Definition (HD) TV gives a crisper, clearer picture... and many digital camcorders can record in this format, so your movies will be future-proof.
  • Of course, camcorders record sound too.
    • Look out for surround sound and Dolby if you want a great soundtrack to your movie.
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