Video Camera Buying Guide: 5 Things You Should Know

If you have decided to take a plunge into the world of capturing images by a video camera, then congratulations! Now you must have seen all those fancy advertisements for video cams or camcorders (a fancy name for them), with features that you may have never heard of. Just don’t worry. This definitive guide will help you understand the 5 key things before you go out and buy a video camera

  1. The Proper Format
If you are nostalgic about buying a camcorder with VHS tapes and mini DVs then don’t bother! Those things are now done and dusted. Plus, there’s hardly any support left for them in the market. So go for Fully Digital cameras with the option of saving your clips on micro SD cards. This will ultimately help you to sync your videos easily with any editing software and then upload the video on your favorite social networking sites India.

  1. The Sensor

Older cameras used to have a film that captured light on its surface and then convert that into an image. Modern day digital cams have the concept of ‘SENSOR’ in them. These sensors contain a very small number of ‘PIXELS’ that collect light (Photons) and convert them to Electrical charge, thus forming an image.
While buying the equipment you may find them under two categories of sensor:
  1. CCD (Charged Coupled Device), and b. CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor)

Now don’t feel intimated by these names yet. Here’s a simple explanation about them –
  • CCDs use a sequence to convert pixels while CMOS do the simultaneous conversion using sensor’s own circuit.
  • CMOS are faster in processing and consume nearly 100 times less power than CCD
  • Although CCD give less noise and good quality images, they sometimes leave a ‘comet trail’ or ‘smearing’ behind while using directly at the light. Therefore, CMOS are now becoming the new industry standard.

  1. The Resolution
Resolution refers to the area of sharpness or detail in an image. As a basic rule, the higher resolution, the clearer and sharper the image. Today, handycams are being sold as capable of shooting upto 2k and 4k resolutions. Now, it is important to know your audience and the medium of streaming.(Don’t go for anything below 480p as that would look quite pixelated and distorted on a big LCD or LED screen.)
One thing that you need to remember is that not all computers are yet capable enough to play a 2k or 4k video. Plus, the market is still saturated with Television sets with a maximum resolution of 1080p.
So it is always better to go for a camera that shoots in either 720p HD (1280X720) or 1080p Full HD (1920X1080) as it can do the job perfectly and save some money in your pocket.

  1. The Sound

While looking for a camera, people only think of the image part of it and forget another very important element that distinguishes a video from a still image. This element is of Sound. Most video cameras have in-built microphones in them, but they are not suitable for recording a song or an interview as the source of audio is not close enough.

It is better to get a headset mic or lavalier mic (preferably wireless). This would ensure great audio to go along with your shoot. Keep sound in mind or else how will you impress scores of people with your version of old Bollywood songs or a funny clip?

  1. The Brands
When it comes to manufacturing the best camcorders, two brand names easily stand out; Panasonic and Sony. Before the advent of smartphones, these two companies used to produce low to high-end cameras all over the world. Now you may have been more familiar with brands such as Nikon or Canon, but those are more suitable in the DSLR category. Still, it ultimately would depend on these factors also:

  • Ergonomics – The best thing to do is to feel the camera in your hands before deciding to buy. Consider the size, the reach of various buttons and the weight of the camera. Buy the one, that feels good to your hands

  • Wi-Fi Connectivity – Many brands have now come up with in-built Wi-Fi in the camcorder so that you can upload the video online or to your cloud storage. Some of them even offer app support on mobile phone that can control some camera functions as well
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