Five factors to consider when buying a professional camcorder

Are you looking to buy a professional camcorder but feeling overwhelmed by the vast choice? We are here to help you find the best professional camcorder to suit your needs and requirements, by providing you with five simple factors to consider.

 

Buying a Camcorder

If you require a camcorder for professional use, it is worth investing in an HD model.

1.      HD or standard?
Today there is a wide range of professional camcorders for you to choose from, so in order to narrow down your choice, you will need to think about the features you definitely need and those you see as an added bonus. You will find that many of the newer camcorders on the market are HD. This of course makes them more expensive than those offering standard definition. When choosing between camcorders, you will need to decide whether you require a HD model or not. If it is for professional use, HD is definitely a worthwhile investment, as it is future proofed.
 
2.      File format
Before you purchase a professional camcorder, it is essential that you check what formats are compatible with your PC and laptop. This will save you having to convert files in order to be able to watch and edit them on your desktop. It is also a good idea to check camcorders outputs. Traditionally they only had A/V or S-video ports for output video, however today many also offer Firewire, USB and HDMI ports. If you want to be able to watch your camcorder videos on your HD TV, it is recommended that you check the model you choose offers HDMI port connectivity.
 
3.      Battery life
Battery life is always an important consideration when it comes to buying electrical items. Sometimes you will find that professional camcorders capture amazing quality videos but only have a short battery life. Of course, it is not the end of the world if your professional camcorder does not have the best battery life on the market, as you could always invest in an extra battery to use as a backup.

Buying a Professional Camcorder

Make sure the professional camcorder has manual controls that allow you to adjust its settings and capture the best quality footage possible.

 

4.      Manual controls
If you are looking to purchase a professional camcorder, you will need to make sure it has manual controls, for example white balance, aperture and shutter priority controls. These manual controls will let you configure your camcorder and get the most out of your video recording. Standard auto camcorders are not really suitable for professional video recording, as they do not allow you to make adjustments in order to cater for different lighting and situations.
 
5.      Image stabilization
Most professional videographers tend to use a tripod to capture footage, but there will be times when they need to hold the video camera in their hands too. If you do not have the steadiest of hands, it is definitely worth checking that the professional camcorder you are planning on buying has either optical image stabilization or electronic stabilization. Camcorders with optical image stabilization have a lens mechanism that moves inline with exterior movement and camcorders with electronic stabilization adjust the video after it has been captured.

Conclusion

Professional camcorders are expensive investments, so it is important that you choose a model that can meet your needs and requirements. When shopping for camcorders, whether online or in-store, make sure you keep these five factors in mind, as they will help you to narrow down your choice and find a professional camcorder that ticks all of the boxes.

Image credits: kino-eye & JVCAmerica

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