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Digital Camcorders Buying Guide »

So, why buy a digital camcorder?



Like with most products nowadays, digital has almost completely replaced analogue and camcorders are no different. Digital camcorders have dramatically been reduced in size from their analogue counterparts. Also not only do you get sharper pictures with digital but more features too.

Digital Advantages

Size: The first and most obvious difference between analogue and digital camcorders is the vast reduction in size. Not only are digital camcorders smaller and lighter but they also allow greater versatility in the way they can be used to due to the increased amount of features on offer to the user.

PC and DVD compatible: A big plus point of digital camcorders is the simplicity of transferring recordings to a PC where your raw footage can be edited and viewed on your hard drive or you can quickly burn a DVD, so your movies can be enjoyed on the big screen.

Software: With most camcorders there is a varying degree of editing available within the device itself but additional software is normally included in the box, allowing more complicated actions such as adding soundtracks and effects. With more professional software packages readily available.

Still photo mode: Many digital camcorders now feature a still photo mode so you can capture that special moment without needing to bring your camera along as well. While this is useful, the picture quality tends not to be as high as you would expect from a digital camera.


Recording formats


MiniDV

MiniDV offer digital recording with a compact, lightweight design and also give you more recording time for your money, whilst the cassettes are easy to store and use. But the real advantage is in the versatility of editing footage. They use a DV encoding system which processes each movie frame individually, allowing you to extract any single frame you wish. The result is easier and more precise editing.

Benefits

•Outstanding picture and sound quality

•Ideal for connecting to a PC for editing

•Memory cards for digital still pictures



DVD

DVDs have three main recording formats: DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM. You cant play DVD-RAM discs in most DVD players, but with DVD-RAM and DVD-RW discs, you can do some editing of your film on the camcorder itself as opposed to transferring all the files to your PC. Whilst you can only record on DVD-R discs once, most DVD camcorders can usually use more than one format.

Benefits

•Record directly to 8cm DVDs with minimal fuss

•Easy playback

•View recordings on compatible DVD devices such as DVD players or computers with DVD drives



Hard Drive

The latest style of camcorder records straight onto a hard disc. So without the need for tape or DVD, hard drive camcorders tend to be both smaller and lighter. They either have a permanent internal hard disc drive or a smaller, removable hard disc.

Benefits

•Recording time at highest-quality setting: about 7 hours

•DVD-quality MPEG-4 digital movies

•Higher quality stills



Memory Cards

Camcorders that use memory cards for storage are growing more and more popular, as the capacity of memory cards is not only increasing but the price of the technology in general is coming down. The majority will use SD or MemoryStick media to store your images and footage, and because a memory card is a fraction of the size of the other recording medias such as DVDs, the unit itself is generally smaller and much more lightweight.

Benefits

•DVD quality MPEG-2 digital movies

•Higher quality stills

•Footage recorded as a file making it easy to transfer to a PC. 1 hour of footage copied over in minutes



Flash

The pocket-sized flash models are designed more for the "see it, shoot it and share it" generation, that has made sites such as YouTube so popular. Even though these camcorders lack some of the features of other camcorders, they sure make up for it with their ease of use and simplicity.

Benefits

•Low cost when compared to any other type of camcorder

•Point and shoot simplicity

•Easy upload of your footage to the web
 




Final Thoughts

Well, I hope this has helped you with your purchasing decision but the only way to find out which camcorder is right for you is to get out their and start browsing, so check out our great range of Camcorders now.

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