Satisfaction Guaranteed: Purchasing a Video Camera

Finding the right video camera requires a few simple steps. Start by researching the various products available in the marketplace.

If you’re unfamiliar with video cameras, doing your homework now can better ensure you’ll be satisfied with your final purchase. Many consumers are use to particular brand names, and the quality and features associated with each. If this is your first video camera, you may want to take the plunge and purchase a truly top-of-the-line model, or just get your big toe wet with a less expensive unit. The challenge is in selling yourself that the extra cost, whatever it may be, will be able to generate the results you need to make it all worthwhile.

This research process can be used when making any type of photo purchase. First set the price range. How much are you willing to spend? Determine if you’re looking for an amateur or a professional grade camera. Even if you’re an amateur, sometimes the pro shops can offer some surprisingly accessible products. Regardless, it’s helpful to go to a major photo and video supplier’s Web site to check out what’s available.

There’s one more step to be taken. Locate other folks who had already made purchases and shared their thoughts. User expectation is a big factor in a consumer’s experience. For instance, one person may make a negative comment about a feature. However, that feature is irrelevant to your need for that product. Read the good comments and the bad. Then shift through the details for what really matters to you.

Before, after or as you read consumer reviews, make a list of all the realistic scenarios as to how you plan to use the video camera. Will you use it in low light conditions? Do you care about audio? Does it need to be compact and portable? Will you need to carry it a distance? Will you be able to react to impromptu situations? Does it have a million accessories and how much do they cost? How long does the battery last? Is it complicated to download the contents? How much data can be held on the storage device? Will you need a tripod?

The next thing, to ask yourself is “What are you willing to sacrifice to get the majority of what you want in the price range you desire?” There is no single perfect camera (in an affordable price range of most consumers). Remember that old expression, “you can’t be all things to all people.” It’s called an average camera.

There’s a professional photographer who wanted to move into video. His choice for this first-time buy was a JVC video camera. It’s a lower end price range professional video camera ($2,000-ish). JVC has a reputation for making some great DVD/CD and stereo equipment leading one to believe that all their products should offer similar performance. The runner up was a highly rated, semi-amateur/professional Sony camera in a mid-range price ($1,200-$1,300). Then there was the highly-rated Panasonic for $900. It was reported that the results for this camera in low light conditions were poor and grainy. All things considered it was still a good camera. Like all video cameras, the built-in audio is considered sub-par. If you plan to digitally add sound that should not be an issue.

So ultimately what was the professional photographer’s choice? The photographer opted for the Sony.

Buying cheaper is not always the best option. Being happy with the equipment and using it rather than having it sit in the box makes all the difference.

Digital Video Cameras – More Fun Than Ever

With your trusty digital video camera by your side you can capture all those special moments, such as your child’s first steps, your birthday or wedding, or your vacation with family and friends etc.

With so many manufacturers and models available in the digital video market, you may find it confusing trying to choose the perfect one for you. Your choice will, however, depend on the features that you want and how much you are willing to spend.

The most important thing to consider is the format in which your videos will be stored, as the video format determines the video quality. Digital 8 otherwise called D8, Mini-DV, DVD and HDD are the main types of video format that digital cameras offer. Both D8 and Mini-DV are tape-based formats, with the Mini-DV currently offering the highest quality video format to consumers. The DVD format allows direct video recording onto a digital disk, while the HDD type uses internal hard drives where the video is recorded. As the tape format is slowly being phased out by major manufacturers, it is a good idea to invest in disk or hard drive based digital video cameras.

Digital video cameras also come with charged coupled device or CCD imaging sensor. Digital video cameras come with 1-CCD or 3-CCD features. Cameras with 1-CCD suffer from poor video quality, whereas 3-CCD cameras produce much better quality videos. Most professional camcorders use the 3-CCD technology, thus making them more expensive than the other models.

The optical zoom feature of the camcorder lens generally ranges from 10X to 20X. The choice of zoom depends on how close you want to get to the action. Some digital video cameras also allow still photography at various resolutions, and some camcorders offer both video and still photography features. Some digital video camcorders have in-built flash for low-light photography, while some video cameras come with a ‘Night Shot’ feature. Other popular options include external flashlights, external microphones and external storage devices that can be attached onto the camcorder.

Camcorders with longer battery strength is also recommended. Digital video cameras have battery life ranging from 4 to 8 hours of continuous shooting. However, using the zoom or any external devices reduce the battery strength.

All cameras nowadays come bundled with a digital video editing software. But if you are not satisfied with the one provided, you can always buy a better and more expensive editing software from Adobe or any other reputable brand.

Video camera prices today vary from $500 to $4000, with Sony, JVC and Canon being the more popular brands.

Digital Cameras – A Guide To Buying

Digital camera sales are going through the roof. As the quality of images from digital cameras improve they are becoming much more affordable and the sales are simply not surprising. Consumers are also becoming more comfortable with the whole idea of taking of photographs digitally.

In choosing a digital camera take into account your basic needs and what you plan to use the camera for.

Digital camera types

It doesn’t matter whether you’re shooting film or digital images there are basically three types of cameras. There are point and shoot cameras, prosumer cameras and professional quality cameras.

1. Point and shoot cameras operate automatically. They do everything for you except for framing the subject. Exposure is decided by the camera as well as whether a flash is needed or not. All you need to do is to point and shoot.

2. Prosumer Cameras. This camera is a step up from your typical point and shoot because it allows the photographer not only to shoot in a fully automatic mode but also to have control over various aspects of the exposure. They typically have various modes including portrait mode, a close-up mode, action mode, and landscape mode.


It doesn’t matter what sort of camera you decide to get you will have several decisions to make regarding resolution of the camera.

The salespeople of most electronics superstores are quick to tell you that the most important thing to consider when buying a digital camera is how many pixels there are. Now while it is important it is not the end all of digital image quality. Pixels are tiny squares and in some new models they’re starting to use other shapes as well. The more pixels you have in your image the sharper the detail of the image will be.

Most current digital cameras on the market today will produce an image with more than 4 million pixels. That’s enough resolution to easily print images up to 8 x 10 with good image quality. Is not likely that you will print images larger than 8 x 10 and so most of these camera should meet your needs.

Try various digital cameras before you purchase

There is a wide selection of digital cameras on the market with various image qualities even though they may have the same number of pixels. There are different kinds and sizes of image sensors, which is the chip that actually records the picture. It is recommended that you take a memory card into the store with you so that you can put it in each camera and take sample photographs that you can then take home to view on your computer to compare.

The technology is constantly improving and digital cameras will be constantly changing. Don’t be surprised if several months after you purchase one there is one that is new and better with more pixels. If you take the time to choose a good quality digital camera which makes good photographs you’ll be able to enjoy digital photography for a long time in the future.

If you do make the move into digital photography remember this. Many people using digital cameras simply put their photos on their computers and never actually make prints anymore. It is easy for these photos to get lost and therefore it’s recommended that you print special photographs for generations to enjoy.