Camcorder Buying Guide

What do you want to do with your camcorder? If it’s only web chats you want to conduct with friends and family then a low end webcam will fit your needs our personal favorite is the Veho Muvi.

Before you buy a camcorder you need to think about how you are going to use it along with added features you might want such as built-in light or external audio inputs.

If you want a camcorder to record family gatherings, birthday parties or your kids sports events then you will need to buy a mid-range camcorder however if you think you’ll be using your camcorder for business purposes you’ll want to buy a higher end professional video camera.

Before recommending any products in this camcorder buying guide we’re going to first outline camcorder specs that matter to help you decide which camera is best for you.

Camcorder Specs that Matter

Video Resolution

Camcorder Video Resolution Bigger is Better

The video resolution is the number of pixels used to recorder your video. When you see a camcorder advertised as being 2.0MP, that means it’s that’s how many dots or pixels the camera records in so when you see a camcorder with a 2.0MP rating that means it records 2,000 dots or pixels of resolution. The higher the resolution the sharper your images will be.

High Definition

With high definition TV becoming the norm, it’s likely you’ve got a high definition TV and you’ll need to make sure your camcorder is capable of recording in High Definition.

When you see a camcorder advertised as being 1080p/1080i or 720p that’s the number of vertical lines your camcorder will record in

Image Stabilization

Another feature to watch for is image stabilization. Image stabilization uses technology to deliver a smoother video when you are

Minimum Illumination Lux Rating

If you are going to be shooting videos in low light conditions you will need to take into account the minimum illumination rating or Lux rating. The Lux rating is the minimum amount of light required by the camcorder to record video.

When looking at Lux ratings the lower the number the less light is required to record videos so when it comes to evaluating a camcorder’s Lux rating the lower the number the better the camera is.

Ports and Connectors

I’ve regretted not looking at the ports and connectors on a mid-range Sony Handycam Camcorder I purchased several years ago. One of the features I wanted was an external audio input so I could use a remote microphone for better audio recording.

Look for audio in and audio out connection as well as video out connectors in case you want to record videos direct to your computer.

Camcorder Video Storage Format

MiniDV Tape Camcorders

Mini DV tape camcorders record onto mini cassette tapes that are relatively inexpensive and are reusable. One advantage of MiniDV tapes is you can easily archive or store your recordings or simply transfer to your computer or burn to a DVD.

The disadvantage of MiniDV Tape format camcorders is it takes longer to transfer video from your camcorder to your computer because to transfer the videos requires playback on your camcorder to transfer the files which means for every minute of video recorded you can expect it to take one minute to copy files.

Best Mini DV Camcorder Picks

Recommended High End Mini DV High Definition Camcorder

Sony HDR-HC9 6MP MiniDV High Definition Handycam Camcorder

Sony Mini DV Camcorder

Get Best Price on the Sony MiniDV Camcorder – Click Here

Best Entry Level Mini DV Camcorder Top Pick

Canon ZR960
Canon ZR960
More Info Here

Hard Disk Drive (HDD) Camcorders

HDD Camcorders come with a built-in hard disk drive so you never need to be swapping mini tapes or DVD’s while you are recording video however the downside to HDD camcorders is you are limited to the space available on your hard drive

When buying a HDD camcorder you will want to take the GB’s or Giga Bytes into account this is the amount of storage the camera has available. The more capacity the camcorder has the more video you can store.

You’ll want to make sure when buying an HDD camera has a memory stick expansion slot so that you add external memory cards.

The best HDD camcorder is the Sony HDR-XR150 120GB High Definition HDD Handycam Camcorder because it’s a high def camera with tons of storage at an entry level price.

Sony HDR XR150 Camcorder
More Info Here

DVD Camcorders

If you want a camcorder where you can shoot video and instantly watch your videos on your DVD player without having to do any copying to your computer and burning discs then a DVD camcorder is perfect for you because it’s that easy, shoot video and playback instantly on your DVD player!

The best DVD camcoder
Sony DCR DVD650
Sony DCR DVD650 – More Info & Reviews Here

Flash Drive Camcorders

Flash drive camcorders typically have built-in flash memory which is similar to an HDD camcorder. As is the case with an HDD camcorder you’ll want to consider getting a flash drive camcorder with a memory expansion slot.

We’ve got 2 top picks for Flash Drive Camcorders

Flip UltraHD Video Camera

Flip UltraHD Video Camera

Flip UltraHD Flash Drive Camcorder – More Info Here

Veho Muvi

Veho Muvi

Read the full review of the Veho Muvi here

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