Choosing the right camcorder from so many different models is an arduous task. The more you are willing to spend on buying a camcorder, the more features will its offer. However, to make your camcorder shopping experience least confusing, you should go through its most important features.
Camcorder models are divided into two broad categories – analogue and digital. Analogue camcorders are cheaper and are not equipped with the sophisticated features of digital camcorders. The full sized analogue camcorders, which used VHS cassettes for recording, are no longer preferable. The current analogue models are the VHS-C camcorders, which use video cassettes.
With the help of VHS adapter, the video can be played in VCRs. Cables are not required for connection. The more advanced Hi8mm camcorders follow the analogue recording technique similar to VHS-C models. It however, needs to be connected to a VCR or TV via cable to play the video.
Mini-DV camcorders are digital camcorders, which use magnetic tapes for recording. DVD camcorders use mini-DVD for recording. The quality of pictures is best in the digital camcorder models.
First time camcorder users would prefer the auto-focus feature of the camcorder. However, overtime as you gain expertise in using the camcorder, you could turn off the auto-focus feature and manually adjust the focus of the lens.
The auto-exposure feature of camcorders automatically adjusts recording according to changes in light condition. Although, advanced users would consider turning off this feature in favor of manual adjustment, but most digital models could shoot even in low light condition.
Incorporation of optical or electronic picture stabilization technology in a camcorder model reduces the effect of jerks on the image quality.
Just like in the case of digital cameras, optical zoom is preferable to digital zoom in camcorder. Digital zoom crops a part of the image and digitally magnifies it. The quality of image produced in this manner is of poor quality.
By seeing the scenes on the LCD screen of your camcorder, you could accordingly adjust the shooting. It is easy to see scenes on a larger LCD screen than on a small one.