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Features To Look For In A Camcorder
by: Richard Gazzo

If you're on the look out for a new digital camcorder then you need to know what type of features to look for. It's easy to get confused and hard to make sense of all the specifications. Looking for the right features is the key in finding the best camcorder for your needs. While you compare digital camcorder reviews and ratings, there are some items to consider.

You should have a general idea of what you need the mini dv camcorder for. Do you need a video camera for home movies? Or are you looking for a professional camcorder, for your next feature film? Think about what you are looking for so your camcorder comparison shopping won't take as long.


All digital camcorders have a zoom feature. Older analog camcorders only had optical zoom, but new digital video cameras have both optical and digital zoom. There is a difference between these two types of zoom. Optical zoom physically lengthens the lens,and will still give your videos high image quality. However digital zoom basically blows up the scene in a digital format. The problem with digital zoom is that when you zoom in on a subject the video becomes pixilated and blocky with little squares giving the video a blurred and distorted look.

If you're wondering which zoom is better and more important, optical zoom. The more distance that your optical zoom can do, the more flexibility that you have when focusing in on a subject. I suggest a minimum of 10x optical zoom for most consumers.

CCD Sensors and Resolution

The video quality in a dv camcorder is dependant on the CCD, which is an abbreviation for charged-coupled device. The CCD is an image sensor that converts light into pixels to produce images; your digital camera works in the same way. You can find camcorders with one CCD or three CCDs. One CCD camcorders are less costly however you will compromise the color quality in the video. 3 CCD camcorders on the other hand provide the best color quality. The reason being is that there are 3 CCDs. Digital camcorder models with three CCDs (one each for red, green and blue) give your video the most vivid colors possible, but the price is more than 1 CCD video cameras.

Viewfinders & LCD Screens

It's important to find the best possible viewfinder when comparing camcorders. The viewfinder is the heart of the camcorder without it you can't see what you are filming. Viewfinders cam in black and white, if you buy a cheap camcorder you will be stuck with a black and white screen. Personally I like my color screen, you can see the exact color and video quality as it will appear in the video. Sizes for LCD screen range from 2 to 4 inches across.

Digital Video Editing & Still images

Almost all newer digital video camcorders have FireWire (IEEE 1394). This feature enables you to transfer digital video footage from your camcorder to your computer system in the fastest possible way. The newest models even have the ability to take digital still images and video and transfer them to your computer for emailing to friends and family.

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About The Author

Richard Gazzo offers info on where to find the best digital camcorders. You can read camcorder ratings as well as camcorder reviews (, on Sony camcorders , Canon camcorders, & Samsung camcorders and more. Reprint permission will all hyper links intact. ©

This article was posted on November 21, 2005


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