Finding The Right HDD Camcorder
With more dedicated features for video than a smartphone or regular camera, a camcorder gives you all the tools you need for shooting digital footage. The right camcorder for you will depend on the kind of video you want to take, so there are a few factors to consider when making a choice.
How Do I Get the Footage I Want?
- Different camcorders record at different resolutions. The higher the resolution, the more detail you can see in the footage. Standard definition camcorders record at a resolution of 720x480, HD camcorders record at either 720p or 1080p depending on model, and 4K camcorders like the JVC Everio record 3840 x 2160 pixel footage.
- Digital and optical zoom let you get closer to your subject without moving your feet, so they are very useful for recording things like sports and wildlife. Optical zoom comes from the camera lens, so you dont lose any resolution by zooming in further. Digital zoom effectively crops in on your image, so you lose some picture quality. Some JVC models like the Everio offer up to 40x optical zoom.
- Different camcorders shoot a different number of frames per second. Video at 24 frames per second is a common standard, but 60 fps camcorders are also quite common. Some models will shoot at much faster frame rates which is very useful if you want to be able to show slow motion video.
What Amount of Storage Space Do I Need?
- The higher resolution your camcorder is, the more storage space you are likely to need. Shooting 4K video at 60 fps will use up hard drive capacity very quickly. The type of video that you are shooting will make a big difference here. Shooting long documentaries will take up a lot more space on a hard disk than short clips will.
- Camcorders with internal hard disk drives tend to come with a lot of internal storage space. HDD camcorders are also more likely to record uncompressed video than those with SD cards, which gives you higher-quality video and more flexibility when editing your footage. Hard drive camcorders tend to be heavier, though.
- A lot of camcorders use removable SD memory cards instead. These fit better into compact camera designs than a bulky hard disk drive, but the trade-off is less hard drive capacity. If you are shooting high-definition footage, you may need to carry multiple memory cards.
Which Other Features Should I Consider?
- Image quality might be the only consideration when choosing a stills camera, but video camera users need to consider sound quality as well. Different cameras are capable of recording mono, stereo, or even surround sound audio. Some of these cameras can also accept an external microphone via a hot shoe or USB input.
- If you want to record outdoor adventures, look for a tough, weatherproof camera. Some models are designed to resist water, dust, and even freezing temperatures.
- Having lots of hard disk space in your digital video camera doesnt matter much if the battery runs out quickly. Choosing a model with a long battery life lets you shoot a lot of footage between charges.
- Ergonomics matter a lot, especially if you want to use your camera for long periods of time. You may want to look for a comfortable grip and easy-to-use touch-sensitive controls.
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