HD camcorders: How to buy the best digital camcorder Choosing the best digital camcorder
If you’re looking to buy a camcorder to capture a special occasion, or just to use for a bit of fun, you need to make sure that the one you end up buying is right for you.
In this guide we will explain the difference between HD camcorders and pocket camcorders, what features to look out for and camcorder bargains.
Why choose an HD camcorder?
When buying a camcorder, your main choice is between an HD camcorder and a pocket camcorder.
If you’re looking for the best possible picture and sound quality, and don’t mind sacrificing some portability, then an HD camcorder is better for you. They do tend to be the more expensive option, but the results will be noticeably better than most pocket models.
Read more about how to buy the best HD Camcorder
Why choose a pocket camcorder?
If you mainly want a camcorder for fun, such as capturing those informal spontaneous moments, then a pocket camcorder would be a better choice.
They tend to be cheaper than HD camcorders, and as the name suggests, are more likely to fit in your pocket with ease. However, you may find that sound and image quality is sacrificed.
Read more about how to buy the best pocket camcorder
Buying a cheap camcorder
Camcorders can be expensive, especially if you are looking for a good HD model. However, there are opportunities to be made by making sure you only pick the features you need, and shop wisely.
Read our guide on how to buy the best cheap camcorder
Quick guide to recording formats
When buying a camcorder, there are several choices when it comes to saving your video, with a range of different memory formats available.
Memory card – Most modern camcorders use removable media, meaning that they record video to a removable memory card, such as an SD card. The advantage of this is that you can easily remove it and use it with another device, or use another card should you fill one up.
Hard Disk memory – Some camcorders use a hard disk drive, like that found in a PC. These aren’t removable, but are usually quite large, meaning that lots of video can be recorded to them. As a hard drive features moving parts, they can be susceptible to freezing or juddering if dropped of knocked.
Flash memory – Similar to a hard drive, flash memory is built into the camcorder. Unlike a hard drive, it features no moving parts, so is less prone to freezes from knocks or sudden movements. Recording time on flash memory camcorders is usually smaller than that of hard disk models.
Mini-DV & DVD – Two other memory types, Mini DV which records to a tape, and DVD, are quickly being replaced by the more popular formats.