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A Beginners Guide to Choosing a Video Camera

6/10/2011 9:41:02 AM

Upon taking even the smallest glimpse of a store or website that offers video cameras, you likely be overwhelmed with the mass amount of models that are offered.

Upon taking even the smallest glimpse of a store or website that offers video cameras, you likely be overwhelmed with the mass amount of models that are offered. There are probably features that you do not even understand the meaning of as well as confusing capabilities and reasoning for designs. If you are in the process of shopping for a new camcorder, just the sight of the sea of options available can be a discouraging sight.

However, with the proper preparation and the ability to understand what all of that confusion technology language and terms mean, you will be able to find a camera that is perfect for you and will bring you and your family entertainment for years to come.


Old-School Recording VS New-Age Recording

First and foremost, the decision that should be made when you are trying to decide on a video camera to purchase is what kind of recording you would like for it to do. By this, I mean would you prefer for your camcorder to document your videos onto a tape or onto a DVD?

Although it may be a surprise to you, there are in fact still video cameras with VHS recorders on them. Many people prefer the traditional feel of these camcorders and simply refuse to upgrade to modern innovations, with good reasoning. These cameras are timeless, a classic, and will always be a favourite of many camcorder users. 

If you prefer a DVD video camera, you are certainly not alone in that sense. Even though there are those who enjoy the traditional feel and look of the VHS tapes, most would rather follow revolutions in technology and enjoy all of the features that DVD camcorders have to offer. These video cameras also provide a much clearer and crisp quality than the older cameras that recorded on VHS.


The Higher The Resolution, The Better

If you are already somewhat technology-savvy and understand just what this means, you can feel free to skip this section of the guide.

For those of you that are not aware of just what I mean by “resolution” do not fret. Resolution simply refers to the number of pixels that make up the image you are recording. Pixels are small dots that create a grid to establish the image that you are shooting. When there are a higher number of pixels (or resolution), you will have a cleaner image without interruption and the ability to shoot the true colours. That being said, you will want to search for a camera that has a high resolution for the high-quality image that everyone seeks. 


Low Light Performance Is Everything

When you are on the hunt for a reliable camera that you will be able to trust to provide you a quality that will make you feel as though you are truly back in the moment while watching photos, you want to ensure that there is a good amount of low light performance. 

Because most everyone uses their camcorders mainly for indoor use in their home, this is an incredibly important feature that should be considered. Some camcorders may have an automatic setting for low light situations, but ideally you will want a video camera with not only the automatic adjustments, but also the ability to manually fine-tune the camera so you will end up with the picture-perfect video.


Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

Though it is not commonly thought of as an important feature in video cameras, it is probably one of the most essential in the function of the device. At one time or another, you will be in need of a zoom that allows for you to enhance your image without distorting it. To avoid this, look for “optical zoom” on the features list of the camera. This ensures that you will be able to have a high-quality zoom without ruining the picture of your video.


LCD Screens and Viewfinders

Some people may think of an LCD screen or even a viewfinder as just another piece of the camera that you do not need. However, I can guarantee that if you skimp on this feature of a camera you will greatly regret it. While you may think that you will be able to judge exactly where your camera should be positioned with the power of your vision, you should take into consideration the reality of the situation. 

You will likely be shooting things that are in a different position and you cannot judge by just your eyes where exactly the camcorder should be aimed. The viewfinder will provide you with an easy solution to this problem.

After you get tired of having your face against the video camera, you will be able to flip out the LCD screen and get a computer-generated live image of just what you are shooting. Some LCD screens even offer a swivel feature that you can shoot yourself or behind you if wanted.


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