Camcorder buying guide

There are camcorders to suit all styles of shooting. Pocket-sized cameras are designed for quick and easy video shooting, with compact bodies and easy pistol-grip designs. These ultra-portable designs have simple one-button recording, many are even waterproof, perfect for travelling.

Traditional camcorders are equipped with Full HD video shooting, powerful lenses, intuitive controls and an array of features. These camcorders have specialist CMOS sensors and even offer high quality photo capabilities, ideal for home-movies.

Built for the adventurous user, Action camcorders are for extreme use. The waterproof casing, helmet mounts and attachments mean these cams record in all terrain. The light and compact form securely fits onto your bike, surfboard, car or helmet for real high-performance shooting!
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Video quality

Sensor:

The sensor quality and size determines the quality and smoothness of the video.

High-end camcorders use CMOS sensors. These sensors are of a higher quality than CCD or VGA sensors, producing high resolution videos.

Additionally, CMOS sensors are more sensitive, achieving improved video quality, especially in low light conditions.

This sensor technology can also be called, 1MOS, 3MOS or Xmoor R, this is dependent on the brand.

Sensor

HD recording:

All of our camcorders record in either HD Ready (720p) or Full HD (1080p).

Full HD has a higher resolution than HD ready and produces clearer, smoother and more colourful video.

HD recording

Microphone:

The microphone is a big part of why a camcorder is preferable to cameras or mobile phones for video recording.

The microphones on camcorders are larger and of a higher quality than cameras or phones. This results in clearer and more defined sound across a wider range of volumes.

Don’t let your precious video memories be ruined by the inferior sound from a mobile phone or basic camera.

Microphone

Battery life

The battery in a camcorder is larger than a digital camera battery and can last up to 4 times as long, so you can be sure to capture all your precious moments in their entirety.

Battery life

Zoom

The optical zoom capability of a camcorder is shown as a multiple such as 10x. This means the camera can bring a subject ten times closer to you without losing quality in the video.

Even beginner camcorders can offer 10x optical zoom while high performance and bridge cameras offer up to 30x zoom.

Zoom
Zoom

Screen

Larger screen sizes make it easier to view and frame a video. Most camcorders use standard LCD screens, whilst higher performance camcorders use premium OLED screens with clearer displays.

Additionally, some camcorders have touch screens which enables you to tap the screen to select options, start recording, and zoom. Some camcorders are even available with a versatile screen which allows easy capture at different angles.

Camcorder screens

Lens

The quality and specification of a lens has a major impact on the video quality. A wide-angle lens such as 24mm or 28mm will capture more of a scene.

Most lenses are standard, but look out for lenses from manufacturers such as Leica, Schneider and Carl Zeiss as these are expert brands and produce great quality lenses.

Lens display

Image stabilization

Image stabilisation reduces blurring on videos, by keeping the sensor still even if your body is moving. This is especially important to look for if you shoot videos at night or use a long zoom as both of these types of video are more susceptible to blurring.

Image stabilization and non stabilization

Other considerations

Action:

Larger screen sizes make it easier to view and frame a photo.

Most cameras use standard LCD screens, whilst higher performance cameras use premium OLED screens with clearer displays.

Additionally, some cameras have touch screen which enables you to tap the screen to select options, take a photo and zoom. Some cameras are even available with a versatile screen which allows easy capture at any angle.

Action shots

3D:

In addition to the easy–to-use auto settings, compact system cameras and Digital SLRs have full manual modes for maximum creativity control.

Increasing the shutter speed is great for capturing fast moving subjects, whilst decreasing the shutter speed creates beautiful moving photos such as the one below.

Decreasing the aperture reduces the focal area of a photo, causing the surrounding areas to be defocused, as the photo below.

3D camera
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