Friday, November 15th, 2019

How To Choose A Good Digital Camcorder


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With the evolution of the digital camcorder you no longer have to deal with the grainy amateurish home movies you have been used to. Now you can even edit, copy, and email your movies right on your computer.

You can now get much higher quality videos by using digital camcorders which offer good to excellent picture quality, excellent sound, ease of use, and compactness. Some camcorders even double as a still camera for photos.

Sony is still the leader in camcorders with many models available in many different formats. Some other top brands include famous camera maker, Canon as well as JVC, Panasonic, and Samsung.

The most popular format these days is the Mini-DV format, which is the camcorder I personally use. Other formats available include the DVD-RAM and DVD-R.

Let’s look a little more in depth at some of the formats available.

MinDV’s in my opinion give you a lot of bang for your buck. Some of the newer models can fit in a shirt pocket and they record super-high quality images. The typical recording length of a miniDV tape is 60 minutes and the cost per tape is around $6.00. Prices for these camcorders vary from $300 to $2,000. Expect to pay more for the smaller versions with higher zooms.

The Digital 8 or D8, gives you the quality of digital using Hi8 or 8mm cassettes. These record at a faster speed so a 120 minute cassette lasts 60 minutes on SP. These camcorders run from $300 to $800.

The disc based camcorders use a DVD disc, which offers durability that tape cannot. These camcorders record standard MPEG-2 video, which is the same format in commercial DVD videos.
Recording time varies from 20 minutes to 60 minutes depending upon the quality level you choose. DVD-R is supposed to be compatible with most DVD players but are write once only, the rewritable DVD-RW is better but also more expensive. Expect to pay $700-$1,000 for these camcorders.

So how do you decide which one to go with?

First decide on your price range and how you will be using the camcorder. If you are using it to record sporting events you will probably want one with a long recording time and a good optical zoom. The tape based camcorders will usually bring you better picture quality, so bear that in mind. With digital formats that use MiniDV, Digital 8, or MicroMV tapes, you can get at least 60 minutes of recording on a standard cassette. MiniDV and D8 cassettes are the least expensive and easiest to find.

Most flip out LCD viewers measure 2.5 inches on the diagonal, but some are larger, adding about $100 to the price. If the viewer seems small and difficult to use or suffers from too much glare, consider trading up to a similar model or a different brand to get a better screen.

If you’re buying your first camcorder, concentrate on finding the best one for your budget, regardless of format.

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Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 29:18

The earth is the LORD’s and everything in it, the world, and all who live in it; for he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.
Psalm 24:1-2

He makes springs pour water into the ravines; it flows between the mountains. They give water to all the beasts of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst. The birds of the air nest by the waters; they sing among the branches. He waters the mountains from his upper chambers; the earth is satisfied by the fruit of his work.
Psalm 104:10-13

Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they?
Matthew 6:26

How many are your works, O LORD! In wisdom you made them all; the earth is full of your creatures. There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number living things both large and small.
Psalm 104:24-25

Sometimes I do get to places just when God’s ready to have somebody click the shutter.
Ansel Adams

When you photograph people in colour you photograph their clothes. But when you photograph people in B&W, you photograph their souls!
Ted Grant

While there is perhaps a province in which the photograph can tell us nothing more than what we see with our own eyes, there is another in which it proves to us how little our eyes permit us to see.
Dorothea Lange

When words become unclear, I shall focus with photographs. When images become inadequate, I shall be content with silence.
Ansel Adams

Your first 10,000 photographs are your worst.
Henri Cartier-Bresson

You don’t take a photograph, you make it.
Ansel Adams

Beauty can be seen in all things, seeing and composing the beauty is what separates the snapshot from the photograph.
Matt Hardy

Nothing happens when you sit at home. I always make it a point to carry a camera with me at all times…I just shoot at what interests me at that moment.
Elliott Erwitt

Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.
Imogen Cunningham

You’ve got to push yourself harder. You’ve got to start looking for pictures nobody else could take. You’ve got to take the tools you have and probe deeper.
William Albert Allard

If I saw something in my viewfinder that looked familiar to me, I would do something to shake it up.
Garry Winogrand

I always thought good photos were like good jokes. If you have to explain it, it just isn’t that good.

Twelve significant photographs in any one year is a good crop.
Ansel Adams

It can be a trap of the photographer to think that his or her best pictures were the ones that were hardest to get.
Timothy Allen


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