Technology especially electronics is advancing at such a stupendous pace that electronics products for everyday use like mobile phones, TV and computers etc., that are nowadays available in market, are equipped with so many features and qualities that a common man, while making a purchase of an electronics product, simply feels overwhelmed by the choices and options available in the market. In this regard a video camera usually known as handycam, available in market, is equipped with so many features and functions that it really big purchase to make. So while buying a handycam you should thoroughly explore all the options available in the market and you should do comprehensive research in this regard, otherwise a decision taken in haste in this regard may prove to be counterproductive for you. Unlike a DVD player and an LCD TV, where only a few technical parameters are sufficient to consider, there are so many technical specifications and features you should consider while buying a handycam that it is strongly recommended to do your homework while making a decision to buy a handycam.Here are some important tips on buying a handycam.
1. Figure Out your budget : Although there are a lot of features and qualities that a handycam available in market might be equipped with,but these sophisticated features and functions come at a price.Obviously,the greater the features and functions a handy is equipped with the higher the cost of the handycam will be.Also,there is always a limit to how much you can invest in buying a handycam.Therefore,i think, the most important factor that dictates the type and quality of handycam that you intend to buy is your budget.So the first and the foremost thing that you should do is to figure out your bugetry constraints and then explore the options available in the market that satisfy the limits set by your bugetary constraints.Otherwise,if you go to market unprepared or without doing proper research then you may be easily fooled by the salesperson
into buying a handycam which can make you regret after buying it.
2. Brand : The brand of any product is the most important factor which reflects the quality of that product.Usually the products of reputed brands like sony,panasonic,JVC ,Samsung and Canon etc., are much more reliable and better in quality than the products of any unpopular brands.I think,in this regard, Sony is a big name and one of the most reputed brands of handycams available in the market.Therefore,if you want to buy a good quality handycam then always go for a reputed brand.However,quality always comes at a cost.The better the repute of the brand the higher will be the cost of the product of that brand.I think the quality products a reputed brand like sony offer are really worth the cost.
3. Optical Zoom : Optical zoom is an important feature of a video camera that you should pay special attention to.In optical zoom the lenses of camera move to bring the magnified image of a distant object closer to your eyes.It is in a way equivalent to getting physically closer to a distant object and looking at that object from a closer distance.I think 20X is a good enough a figure for optical zoom to zoom to a considerable distance. In my view optical zoom should not be less than 20X, however if budget is not an issue for you then you should go for a higher figure for optical zoom. However, the downside of having a handycam with much higher value of optical zoom is that even a small shake of your hand or a small jerk may badly deteriorate the quality of the video being shot. For a video camera with a higher value of optical zoom you may need a tripod for shooting videos. A tripod is a three legged stand on which video camera may be mounted for shooting videos. The letter “X” in figure for optical zoom of a video camera generally refers to the ratio between the maximum focal length and minimum focal length of the
same zoom lens of the camera.Optical zoom of a camera is usually expressed as 20X, 30X and 40X etc., which is actually a function of minimum and maximum focal lengths. Whenever you come across a situation where you have to choose between two video cameras which have the same optical zoom which are either of same brand or of different brands, in that case you should look out for the exact focal length specifications like 17-40 mm lens or 18-360 mm lens, etc. and in that case you should prefer a video camera with a maximum range of focal length along with higher numbers of focal lengths.
4. Digital Zoom : Digital zoom should not be confused with the optical zoom. Both are different parameters of a video camera. Digital zoom is simply enlargement of pixels of the recorded image while in optical zoom lenses move physically to improve the clarity and quality of the image of the distant object being viewed. Digital zoom comes into play only when the optical zoom of the camera has been utilized to its maximum capacity. In general, digital zoom of 600X or 800X is good enough a figure for a good quality video camera. If your camera is equipped with good optical zoom then the role of digital zoom is simply overshadowed by the high quality of optical zoom. In fact if your video camera is equipped with good optical zoom you can simply ignore the digital zoom. Digital zoom has nothing to do with the quality of the video being shot by the video camera; it is rather a marketing hype that most of the manufacturers boast off to attract customers.
5. Storage Medium : Recoding medium is a vital factor to consider while buying a video camera.This factor greatly affects the prize of the video camera.In vidoe cameras there are three types of recoding media i.e., MiniDV,mini DVD or hard drive.Each of these three recording media has its own unique advantages and disadvantages.MiniDV has been a popular recording medium for video cameras for quite some time.It has been considered a reliable and efficient recording medium.In mini DVD format the camera can record directly to the DVD and the DVD can played directly on home DVD player.DVD lacks the flexibility offered by a video tape, where you can record a new video over old video. In video cameras currently available in market a new feature of recording directly to the hard disc of the video camera has been introduced. I prefer the built-in hard disk of video camera to other two recording media this not only has the advantage of greater video recording capacity also you are saved from the hassle of buying video tapes and DVDs for recording videos through video camera. I think a hard drive of 80Gb capacity is good enough a figure for recording tens of hours of video.
6. Battery Backup : Make sure that the handycam you intend to buy is equipped with rechargeable battery and it should be able to operate on the battery, once charged, for considerably good enough time.It is also a good idea to get a spare battery.I think a rechargeable Li-ion battery which could provide a recoding time of about 100 minutes for your camera is a good choice.
7. Audio Recording : Good audio recording quality of video camera is a feature that is essential for video camera.Make sure that the video camera that you intend to buy should be able to record a fine quality audio.Usually the video camera is equipped with a built-in microphone and some video cameras are shipped with buil-in stero microphone, but at times you may need even a better quality microphone than the buil-in micorophone.Therefore,it is recommended that the video camera should be equipped with audion jack to connect external mic.
8. Image stabilization : Image stabilization is a very useful feature of video camera.The reason of looking for a camera with image stabilization feature is that while holding a video camera in hands and shooting a video,our hands shake and this may affect the quality of the video being shot.Make sure that the video camera you purchase is equipped with feature of image stabilization.Optical image stabilizer is a feature that is very desireable for a video camera but it is expensive,if your bugdet does not permit then digital image stabilizer is also a good choice.
9. Accessories : You should also find out what accessories are bundled with the video camera.Some of the accessories are very essential like cable for connecting your handycam with TV so that the recorded video may be played on directly the TV.If your video camera has a built-in hard drive as a recording medium then your video camera should be equipped with the USB interface and cable for hooking up your video camera with computer should be provided with accessories of your video camera,so that the video recorded on the hard drive of your video camera may be transferred to computer for editing and processing.Other important accessories that should be included with your video camera are DC power adapter and hand straps.
10. Carrying Bag : You need to have a bag to carry your video camera with you for shooting videos outdoors and indoors.The bag should be spacious enough to contain all the necessary accessories like charger,extra battery and cables etc.This bag need not be branded.Having a branded bag is a good idea but branded bag may be costly and this may add to the over all price of your video camera.So you can buy any bag that is of good quality and spacious enough to contain your camera along with accessories.
These are some important tips that may be helpful for you to buy a video camera.
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