Buying a camcorder is especially difficult nowadays because there are several brands and models out in the market. Knowing the essential factors that make up a good camcorder is crucial. Otherwise, you may end up regretting such a costly expense.
The first thing you will need to determine is the use of the camcorder. Will it be utilized to make amateur home videos intended for private consumption? Or will be used for semi-professional production projects which will entail a lot of post-production work over a computer? Analog camcorders which are the older makes of camcorders, can function alongside a VCR. These are good for amateurs looking to record video footages for personal use. Analog camcorders use magnetic tapes so expect some sizable expenses on these consumables in the future. Digital camcorders, on the other hand, no longer utilize tapes but memory sticks so one can document as much moving images as possible so long as there are spare memory sticks available. Digital camcorders can also be connected to the computer so editing can be done with relative ease.
Camcorder settings are another important feature. If you will be shooting a lot of quick-moving images such as in sports games, then you are better off with a camcorder featuring a sports mode. If you will be recording a great deal of low-light conditions, then settings such as good night vision should be looked for in the camcorder you're buying.
Next is to determine whether you want a camcorder with manual or automatic focus. Camcorders with manual settings are much harder to use. These settings have to be used in combination, so unless you know what these are, you're better off with an automatic camcorder where all you need to do is point and shoot.
Next is the camcorder's resolution. Those which are capable of capturing moving images in more pixels or picture elements guarantee a crisper output.
Another thing to consider is camcorder peripherals. One very important thing you will need to purchase along with your new camcorder is a decent and sturdy case. Amateurs can avoid choppy or annoyingly shaky footages with a reliable tripod. Of course, spare memory sticks and batteries are must-haves as well. You should strongly consider buying external handy microphones if you will be filming a lot of people talking.
Lastly, assess your finances. A lot of lower-priced camcorders may not contain the features that you want. And once you're in the store, make sure you ask about return policies, warranty specifics and after-sale support.