If you are planning on purchasing a camcorder, you should be familiar with the types of camcorders and how they can benefit your specific needs. The formats of video cameras include, VHS, VHS-C, 8mm, Hi8, Mini Digital Video (Mini DV), DVD and Digital 8. Each format has its pros and cons
The VHS format is the oldest type of camcorder. This type of video camcorder is fast becoming outdated, because you can only play back the video on a VHS VCR system. VHS camcorders are not nearly as clear as digital video camcorders that offer clear video with 540 lines of resolution, VHS video cameras only offer 240 lines of resolution. They also weigh more and are much more bulky, that dv camcorders. You can only find these video camera used because their technology is now outdated.
The VHS-C format offer 240 lines of resolution, just like VHS. These analog camcorders come in a smaller size that the VHS camcorder models, but use the same technology. The video tapes used in VHS-C camcorders are much smaller in size than VHS, just in a smaller camcorder design. VHS-C is considered old technology and not used today in newer models.
If you are looking to record more than 1 hour, then 8mm camcorders are perfect. These video cameras can record up to 5 hours of footage and they offer better video quality that VHS cameras. In order to view video from your 8mm video camcorder, you need to connect the camcorder to input jacks on your TV or your VCR system.
MiniDV, short for mini Digital Video off the clearest and most vivid colors out of all the types of camcorders on the market, and they’re small in size only 4 inches in width and height. Mini dv camcorders can fit in the palm of your hand, making them very easy to handle and transport. And if you like editing your video footage you can connect dv camcorders to your computer system. Transferring the video is a snap with the FireWire connection. Once the footage is in your computers hard drive you can burn it to dvd, add it to your web site or email small clips to friends and family.
Digital8 camcorders offer the best of both worlds, Hi8 and DV. You can use 8mm and hi8 video tapes combined with the best image quality found in digital camcorder formats. Digital8 camcorders are larger and heavier than Mini DV camcorders, but they are also cheaper in price. The Digital8 system offers 540 lines of crystal clear resolution.
The newest form of digital video cameras are DVD camcorders. These camcorders are small in size, just like Digital8 and Mini DV camcorders. The big difference compared to other camcorder systems is that DVD camcorders use recordable DVD discs such as DVD-R or DVD-RW. The big benefit to dvd video cameras is that they can be played on your home DVD player, and of course the quality is the best you can find.
If you want to buy the cheapest priced camcorder go for a VHS analog camcorder, you don’t get the same quality as digital camcorders however if you plan on filming family vacations this should be sufficient for your needs. Then there are DVD camcorders, they are the most expensive of digital video cameras, but at the same time, they are the newest technology offering the best image and sound quality. Lastly is the mini dv format, this is probably the best camcorder for the price and quality. Small in size and reasonably priced. Review top manufacturers such as Panasonic, Sharp, Canon and Sony which offer the very popular Sony Handycam.