Tips On How To Choose A Digital Camcorder

By: Jim Johnson

Not too long ago digital camcorders were very pricey, and so most bought an analog camcorder instead, but as always technology marches on and what was expensive yesterday can be very affordable today. So it is with digital camcorders. They have a lot of advantages that make them the clear choice if you can afford it, and here are some tips on how to choose a digital camcorder:

* It's a good idea not to buy any camcorder until you have had a chance to actually hold and use it yourself. This is true because miniDV camcorders are the most popular camcorders out there, and they are so small that they may actually be too tiny for some folks with large hands to even use. They typically only weigh about a pound, and they can fit easily into the palm of your hand. So just imagine how difficult it can be for some to fiddle with the tiny controls and dials on these petite camcorders.

* Be sure that you understand the zoom feature and how it works so you get what you need when you buy. There two kinds of zooms used on digital camcorders, the optical zoom and the digital zoom. An optical zoom refers to the lens capability itself and zooms in on a subject before it is digitally recorded. The digital zoom is done by taking the digital image that has been recorded and magnifying it. What you need to know about this is that the optical zoom does not result in any video degradation, but because the digital zoom is just magnifying the image that is already recorded, you can easily begin to see graininess in the video image. So try to rely on the optical zoom as much as possible for most shots, and choosing a camera that has at least a 10z optical zoom should work fine.

* It good to try to get a digital camcorder that can also take still shots too as this makes it so much more convenient to take both video and stills at the same event. Otherwise, you would have to carry along both a digital camera and a digital camcorder at the same time and switch back and forth. But getting a camcorder that allows you to take still digital shots eliminates this hassle. Often the camcorder will even have a built-in flash for low light camera situations too. Most often the digital pictures are saved onto a removable media card that you can use to upload them to your computer and print them out later on.

A digital camcorder opens up lots of possibilities as it allows you to even transfer the video to your computer and add text or music if you like. In essence, you can become your own little movie director with the high quality miniDV camcorders that are available today.

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