If a digital camera is your best bet for capturing stills, a camcorder is ideal in capturing video. The falling prices of camcorders have brought it within the reach of many consumers who'd love to preserve their precious moments forever.
However, when you go to the market to buy a camcorder, you suddenly find yourself confused by the extraordinary choice of models that are available. And with each model advertising something more than its competitor, the buying decision only becomes more difficult. This is where we come in. In this article we have listed ten things that you need to look for before buying a camcorder. We are sure that after reading this, you will surely be in a position to make an informed buying decision. Please note that we are only considering digital camcorders and not DV or DVD camcorders.
1. Image stabilization
Image stabilization is a feature in most camcorders today. What it does is, it reduces the effects of shaky hands while shooting a video, thus producing a comparatively stable result. Image stabilization comes in two flavors: optical and electronic. While electronic image stabilization attempts to compensate for shaky camera by using electronic algorithms in conjunction with the CMOS sensor, optical image stabilization does it by actually slightly shifting the position of the lens elements. Naturally, optical image stabilization achieves a much more effective result than its electronic counterpart. The gist of this story is to look for optical image stabilization (rather than electronic stabilization) because it helps a lot in making a watchable video, especially when using zoom.
2. Ease of use and comfort factor
Ease of use and comfort factor must be taken into account as it does make a very big difference if you are shooting for long durations. The camera controls should preferably be placed well within the reach of the fingers and thumb of the hand that holds it (usually the right hand). Certain cameras have touchscreen only controls and not everyone will find it easy to use them. The grip of the camera and the strap that harnesses your hand to it should be comfortable and adjustable. The camera should not be too heavy, as it becomes difficult to shoot with a heavy camera for long hours. It should not be too light either, as that takes away some of the stability that weight can give it. Check out different review websites for information regarding this before buying.
3. Storage capacity
Expandability of storage should be possible. This is a non-issue these days because most camcorders have memory card slots and there usually exists no size limit. But be sure to check the specifications of the camera to find out if it supports large capacity memory cards.