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Monday, October 10 2011


A frequent question from customers is whether or not they should buy a high definition (HD) camcorder.  There are some very good reasons to move up to HD.  Television technology, for one, is setting the standard for video with high definition broadcasts. Viewers are becoming accustomed to the great picture quality.


The only way to achieve the same kind of video quality for your own family projects is with an HD camera.  The current generation of HD cameras is completely solid state.  Gone are the motors and complex mechanical guts of a tape-based camera.  With an HD camera, video can be captured to removable memory cards, internal storage, or both.  This technology makes the cameras very compact, light weight and energy efficient.  Recent HD versions place a good deal of emphasis on camera optics quality and ease of use for the consumer.   Clearly, the future of video is HD.


There are some things to consider, however, before purchasing an HD camcorder. These cameras are small and easily misplaced or lost as a result.   Some people with large hands find them difficult to use because the small camera body and hand strap are an awkward fit for them. Additionally, the memory cards (usually SD flash memory) are about the size of a quarter, and once out of the camera can be lost or damaged very easily.  Memory cards should always be stored in their protective cases once removed from the camera.


If you do decide to purchase an HD camera, our experience at Digital Video Dimensions leans towards major players such as Canon and Sony.  Used by many of our customers, these cameras produce remarkable video quality due to their state of the art lens systems.    Steer clear of extremely portable HD video cameras as they have a very small lens system and will produce a much lower quality image, particularly in dim lighting. If you want a camcorder that will produce great images, a good lens is essential. 


Below are the minimum HD camcorder specifications that we recommend.  There are many name brand cameras in the $400 to $600 range that fit these specifications.  Check out some of the big e-tailers and you will find a good selection to choose from.


  • 1920 x 1080 HD Recording: These values designate full high definition capture.
  • 32GB Internal Flash Drive: Provides recording capability of about 12 hrs of HD video.
  • Full HD CMOS Sensor: State of the art technology used to capture the video.
  • 3.5" Touch Panel LCD Screen: This serves as the view finder, playback screen and camera control panel.
  • 20x HD Video Lens: This refers to the power of the optical zoom.
  • Optical Stabilization System: This helps to dampen shakiness when shooting.

There are many additional features you may consider such as built-in digital still cameras, headphones and external microphone connections. All these add-ons will further enhance your overall high definition video experience.

Posted by: Alan Kolsky AT 08:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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