Video cameras can be a great way to capture important memories you want to be able to relive over and over again. Choosing the right camcorder for you however can be a rather difficult task. How do you sort through all the camcorder choices and find a video camera that will fit you and your families needs? Here are a few questions you should ask yourself before you head out to purchase a camcorder that will help you make the right decision.
What will I use my camcorder for?
Do you plan on shooting a few family events throughout the year, or are you going to be shooting a feature film? What types of events you are interested in recording with your camcorder will determine in part what type of camcorder you need to purchase. If you plan on just recording a few events throughout the year, then you may be happy with a small low-end consumer camcorder. If you plan on shooting your own films then you will probably want to opt for a higher end three CCD camcorder. Likewise, if you plan on taking your camcorder on family vacations you will more than likely want to select a smaller camcorder that will be easy to transport.
How much do I want to learn about my camcorder?
Most camcorders will have a completely automatic mode, where all you have to do to operate the camcorder is to turn it on and press record. Many camcorders however will offer advanced features allowing you to adjust the camcorders aperture and be a little more creative with how you shoot your home movies or films. If you have no interest in learning how to operate a lot of new features then you might want to steer clear of camcorders with tons of features. A camcorder with a lot of different features will often have a pretty full menu making it difficult to navigate through all of the options you have to get to the options you want to use.
Digital or analog camcorder?
Digital video cameras are quickly lowering in price, making them just as affordable as older analog camcorders. Analog camcorder like VHS, and 8mm have a lower video quality than you would find with a digital camcorder, and will often cost about the same as a lower end digital camcorder model. An obvious advantage of digital camcorders, besides their superior image quality, is that they can easily be connected to your home computer for video editing. Most computers today will come with some sort of built in video editing program. Most PCs will come with Windows Movie maker, and Macs with come with iMovie pre-installed. With a digital camcorder you can upload your video to your computer and edit it, making DVDs or VCDs of your movie for friends and family.
What do I want to spend?
You can spend literally as much money as you want on a camcorder. Camcorder models start at a few hundred dollars and go well into the thousands. If you are very serious about your video you can even purchase a very expensive professional grade video camera. Before you head out to the store be sure to think about what you are willing to spend and try not to waver from that price point. The different between camcorder models can often just be $20, so decide what features you would be willing to pay extra for, and what you would be willing to leave behind. Having a definite price point in mind can make it much easier to narrow down your particular camcorder choices and find the right mode for you.