Video cameras

Advice on what to look for when choosing video camera, plus the opportunity to purchase a range of digital , wireless and mini video cameras.
There are so many video cameras out there. How do you decide which one is right for you?

What are you planning to use your video recorder for? Your answer to this question will dictate how much money you should spend and what level of quality you will need. Some important questions to consider are:
  • Who or what will you be videoing? Are you going to use your video recorder to capture your baby's development or for professional purposes.

  • What level of quality are your video and audio needs?
  • Are you interested in video editing?

  • Do you need to take digital stills?

  • Are you planning to make several copies?
The most important consideration besides the cost of a camera, is whether or not you want a digital format (Digital-8, miniDV) or an Analog format (Hi-8, VHS, VHS-C, Super VHS-C). The bottom line is that you will get a better experience with the newer digital formats. If you want to edit home movies and videos on a computer as some point, you may find a digital camera would suit your purposes. If the answer is no, and the quality doesn't matter much, go with an Analog camera and you will not need to pay as much. In most cases, you will get twice the quality by using digital instead of the Analog format. Also video editing on your PC will be made much easier. The drawback is that you will pay a little bit more up front.

Consider the optical zoom rating. If image stabilisation is important to you, then look for a camera with optical image stabilisation.

Do you want to take digital stills/photos of your baby with the video recorder? Many video recorders now offer the ability to capture digital stills. Bear in mind that most camcorders offer only low-resolution 640 x 480 stills which are good enough to e-mail or post on the Web, but not suitable for quality prints.

The next step forward is considering how much you want to spend on a camcorder. Once you have a general sense of your budget, start to look around for specials, deals, and discounts in addition to full price video recorders.

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