With all the options available today to shoot and share, why would anyone in its right mind buy a camcorder? The main reason is because of quality: to record a real video, that you still will be happy to show in a few years’ time, is better done with a camcorder than with, say, a …
With all the options available today to shoot and share, why would anyone in its right mind buy a camcorder?
The main reason is because of quality: to record a real video, that you still will be happy to show in a few years’ time, is better done with a camcorder than with, say, a smartphone.
Moreover, there are enough models out there to satisfy every budgets and needs, being that you are an occasional shooter or a semi-professional knowing its full HD on the tip of his fingers.
But this large choice is also the main problem: how to make sure that the camcorder you purchase will be right for you, particularly when knowing that the price range is comprised between £50 and £3,500?
Before shaking with fear and giving up altogether, here are some tips that should help you decide on which camcorder is the best suited to your needs.
If you have already been online and typed “camcorder” on Google search engine, you already have realised that there are so many models and so many prices that it is difficult to know what is right for you.
So, the first thing to do is to define a maximum budget: in doing so, it will help you pinpoint the camcorder you are likely to use and enjoy doing it!
For beginners, a simple camcorder (or “consumer camera”) is all you need because they are compact, easy to use, but still have enough features to allow you to shoot in any given circumstances.
It goes without saying that those camcorders are also the cheapest of the range and the best way to learn how to handle one before moving on to something more sophisticated.
Moreover, before buying any type of camcorder, you have to ask yourself what is the purpose of your purchase?
Why will you use your camcorder?
In reality, if you only intend to shoot family gathering, a low-key camcorder will do the trick; if you intend to shoot commercials, you will need something more high-end.
Pocket camcorders are more and more common on the market, those days, and with good reasons: easy to use, they can be slipped in a bag and carried about anywhere and cheap (usually less than £200).
On the contrary, you can go for full-featured camcorders which offer a better image quality and more features than a pocket camcorder, but are sold at a higher price.
Furthermore, camcorders come packed with built-in microphones, which is easier to record audio files; pocket camcorders have smaller built-in microphones than full featured ones, meaning the sound on the pocket camcorders won’t be as detailed as on a full-featured one.
Then, it is a good idea to look more closely at a few features, common on camcorders, to determine which ones you will likely be using.
First of all, you should look at the optical zoom: according to the camcorder you choose, the optical zoom won’t have the same power.
Secondly, you should look at the Image Stabilization feature: this particular component is essential in order to take clear shoots, as opposed to blurred ones.
Make sure the camcorder you purchase have one, either digital or optical: the optical option is the best to make sure the images are smooth.
And thirdly, think about sound: all camcorders have some sort of built-in microphone but they should also have provision to connect an external microphone via a mini-jack connector (standard on camcorders), and for more high end camcorders, they even have a three-pin XLR connector.
So, are you ready to take the plunge and buy a camcorder? Below is a quick selection for most budgets.
There are many camcorders on the market at the moment so we rounded up the best ones to buy in 2014.
For those of you that don’t want to invest into too expensive a camcorder, Sony has a very good range, particularly the “Bloggie PM5KW”, priced at £79.99.
Fit enough to easily settle in a pocket, this is the perfect camcorder to shoot films of family or friends gatherings with good clarity.
Featuring full HD, this camcorder also has a rotating lens, which allows you to take panoramic views and selfies.
The second camcorder we think deserve to make this selection is the “Panasonic HX-DC1”, priced at £128.
Designed with a pistol-grip style, this camcorder features 14 mega pixels, a 12x zoom and the obvious full HD; moreover, the two-channel audio means that you will be able to record sounds on all your shoots.
It even allows you to connect it directly to the TV, thanks to the HDMI plug.
The “Toshiba Camileo X400”, priced at £115, is a classic camcorder but is full of good surprises.
With its sensor at 5 mega pixels, and its illuminated backside, this camcorder is a nice little machine to operate to shoot videos of families or friends.
Comprising full HD, and a 23x optical telephoto zoom; it also boast of a 3-inch LCD screen where you can choose different features.
For those of you that know their camcorders inside out and want an almost professional camcorder, the “Sony HDR-CX730E” is a good purchase to consider.
Obvioulsy, this camcorder is not for those on a budget: priced at £799, it is an investment camcorder that will last you very long.
Full HD, 10x optical zoom and a 17x zoom are all featured in this camcorder and ensure that the quality of your shots is of amazing quality!
Finally, to round up this list, we ought to evoke a professional camcorder: the “Canon Legria HF G30”.
This is the top of Canon’s range of camcorders and its price is accordingly high: £1,140.
Weighting 900 grams, you will find its well-padded hand strap very comfortable if you use this camcorder for any length of time.
And obviously, three main different modes – cinema, manual, automatic – are there to help rendering your shooting even better!