What is a Camcorder?

Camcorders are portable electronic devices that are capable of recording audio and video.

They contain both a video camera and a video recorder within their housing, which is where the name is derived from.

The earliest camcorders recorded onto videotape, though contemporary camcorders often use tapeless solutions like flash memory, optical disks and hard disk drives for example. Solid state camcorders are video recorders with removable media, and HDD-based camcorders typically have non-removable media.

Another type is a hybrid camcorder, which uses two different types of recording media, such as a memory card and a build in hard disk drive for example.

Buying the right camcorder to suit your needs begins with understanding what features truly matter in such a recording device. How do you intend on using your camcorder?

Casual Moviemaker – If you plan on making videos at home and while traveling or on vacation, you do not need to be as specific about the details with your camcorder.

You should be looking for a 10x or greater zoom with a switch or lens ring and variable recording formats including Mini DV, mini DVD, SD memory card and hard disk drive. Your chosen camcorder should have a FireWire or USB connector and a terminal for microphone and headphone.

You will benefit from a camcorder with automatic exposure, programmable scene modes and a backlight or low light mode. It would also be advantageous to look for bundled software for video editing, webcam functionality, recording capabilities in high definition and photo capture control.

Budget Moviemaker – If you are shopping for a camcorder on a budget, you can skip the bells and whistles and shoot straight for something economical and effective.

Your chosen camcorder should have a 10x or greater zoom with a switch control and flexible recording formats such as Mini DV and Mini DVD.

You should be looking for an automatic focus control and automatic exposure controls. If you can find bundled software for video editing, web cam capabilities, digital effects or remote control for less than $600, then you have found a good bargain camcorder.

Trendsetting Moviemaker – If you’re looking for all the bells and whistles, and to keep up with the times, then you’re a technophile and the details really begin to matter.

Your chosen camcorder should have a 10x or greater zoom with a switch or lens ring control or optical image stabilization capabilities. You should have a still image resolution of 2 mega pixels or greater and a minimum   illumination  rating between 2 to 7 lux, with lower being preferred.

Your ideal camcorder should have a flexible recording format, and the necessary ports and connectors to get microphone, headphones and connectivity to a television or computer. You should be looking for a lot of exposure and focus controls beyond automatic for greater customization.

A camcorder like this will offer greater functionality in terms of multimedia and other features, and you should have no problem finding a camcorder with high definition video, networking and Bluetooth functionality and plenty of other worthwhile features.

Although a camcorder like this will run you between $800 and $2000, for the technophile the investment is usually quite worthwhile.

Camcorders are worthwhile investments for casual users and future filmmakers alike. If you enjoy making memories, purchasing a camcorder will open up a completely new medium for creating keepsakes or becoming the next big filmmaker.