What To Look For When You Buy A Mini DV Camcorder

By: Jim Johnson

If you want to capture those special moments and events of your life quickly and easily and know that they will always be as vibrant and clear as the day that you recorded them, a digital camcorder is what you need. And today the most popular format of digital camcorder is the Mini DV. Because all of the recording of both audio and video is done in digital instead of analog, the resulting images and sound are clear, crisp and vibrant. And thanks to digital technology they will not degrade over time or due to being copied over and over again. So here are some important things you should look for when you decide to buy a Mini DV camcorder:

* Get as good a LCD screen as you can. These small camcorders are so tiny that using an eyepiece for any extended period of time is wearing, but having a large clear LCD screen that swivels and tilts will let you get shots that you couldn't get if the camcorder was glued to your eye. It will also let you walk around and record while still keeping an eye out for where you are going, so make the LCD screen an important consideration.

* The mini DV camcorder that you select should also have a still picture capability. Most do these days, but just make sure that the one you choose does as well. This can be an extremely handy feature as it lets you take both moving video and still shots so you don't need to carry a camcorder and a digital camera at the same. They are both right there with you in the Mini DV recorder.

* Be sure that you get image stabilization in the digital camcorder that you select as this will go a long way toward helping you create smooth videos that others will enjoy watching, instead of feeling seasick after just a few minutes because of all of the camera shake introduced as you filmed.

* Try to get a Mini DV camcorder that conserves power as much as possible too. You will find a wide range of power consumption when it comes to camcorders. Some sip power and others drink it down fast. If you plan on using your digital camcorder a lot, it will be good to look for one that can go around 1-2 hours on a set of batteries before needing to be recharged. If the camcorder you choose does not have that kind of power consumption savings, be sure to stock up on extra betteries and have them ready and charged when filming.

* Autofocus can be extremely important if you tend to record fast action video scenes or need to film while moving. Focusing is just one more thing that you have to worry about in these cases, and removing that burden can be a big relief, allowing you to focus on the action itself.

If you are planning to buy a Mini DV camcorder plan on spending at least mid $300s for one, and of course more for those with advanced features.

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