Buying a consumer video camera isn’t easy. You need to be aware of the different features and styles to choose the perfect model for your needs. If you’re not sure what they mean, this guide will help you get the right video camera for your requirements
When choosing the right type of digital video camera, a good starting point is to decide what type of videos you planned to shoot. Family videos, short movies, travel, etc.? You also need to consider your budget.
Here are the different styles of video camera you can choose:
- DSLR Video Camera
This type of video camera can produce vibrant photos and videos without the need for filters or effects. The video quality can’t go below 1080p and it can go as high as 4K, depending on the model you’ll choose. These video cameras are perfect for all occasions, including weddings and vlogging.
Their big advantage lies in their image sensor that can control the appearance of your videos. They also come with an interchangeable lens that offers more versatility on your clips. Although they can give you vibrant videos and images, they’re expensive and they require a long learning curve.
- Mirrorless Video Camera
If you want something more portable than a DSLR, a mirrorless video camera might be attractive. It uses an image sensor to pick up the light rather than a mirror. While this makes it inconvenient when the light is poor, this type of camera is built with more advanced sensors to produce great image quality.
Like the DSLR, this type of camera is versatile when using in any occasion and weather. It’s perfect if you’re planning to film fast-moving objects. With its great auto-focus system, you can film a scene correctly.
A mirrorless model is ideal for beginners because it’s user-friendly. However, you need to pay more because of its advanced mechanism and overall quality.
- Point-and-Shoot Video Camera
This type of camera is more compact than a mirrorless video camera. It offers basic features, making it perfect for those who value simplicity over complex technologies. As its name suggests, you point the camera to take a picture or video.
The classic disposable cameras are the most basic models of this category. The digital cameras that fall under this category have an LCD viewfinder that you see on a mirrorless camera. The only difference is what you see on the viewfinder might not be the same once it’s developed.
Point-and-shoot is cheaper than other types of video cameras but that doesn’t mean that they’re way behind in terms of video quality. There are already models in the market that produce 4K video resolution. As long as you’re not planning to go pro with photography, this type of video camera might be perfect for you.
- Action Camera
For those who want to capture outdoor activities in their totality, you need to choose the best action camera that is suitable for you. These cameras allow you to shoot videos without using your hands. They can be attached to helmets, bikes, and other physical objects.
Most of these cameras are waterproof so they’re suitable for scuba diving, surfing, or any water sport. It’s important to note that the audio of these cameras are a bit subpar so you may need to secure audio elsewhere. There’s no viewfinder so you need to sync the camera with your smartphone or any smart device.
- Digital Camcorder
This type of camera is essential if you want to record videos in longer duration and plan to watch it back again. These cameras are flexible and versatile because you can hold it with one hand. Many camcorders today can record up to 4K.
A digital camcorder suits best to people who like to use it for non-professional purposes. You can take it to the beach, travels, and festivals. However, they’re not ideal for semi-pro or professional videographers because the quality is inferior to advanced cameras, like mirrorless and DSLR.
- Professional Video Camera
If you’re a professional videographer or filmmaker, then a professional video camera might be all you need. These cameras are good for making documentaries, broadcasts, and music videos. Compared to their rivals, these cameras have better audio and video quality.
Look For The Right Features
Video cameras come in different varieties and features. If you want to buy the best consumer video camera, look for these important features.
- Image Stabilizer: This feature is important if you plan to shoot the videos by your hands. It stabilizes the video so they don’t look shaky.
- Flip-out LCD: This feature allows you to review the video as you capture them. The size of LCDs usually go from 2-1/2 to 4 inches in width, but other models provide bigger screens. This may not be essential if you’re planning to buy an action camera.
- Optical Zoom: A zoom feature is great for shooting far-away subjects. If you like to shoot a high-quality video, look for optical zoom. The higher the number, the better as it can shoot objects without sacrificing the video quality.
- Microphone Jack: Some video cameras are built with microphones, but oftentimes the audio quality is bad. If you’re a professional videographer, look for a model with a microphone jack so you can shoot videos with better audio quality.
- 4K Resolution: A video camera with a 4K resolution provides four times the clarity of a full HD 1080p model.
Select The Accessories
Aside from the features and price, another thing that you should consider when choosing a consumer video camera is accessories. Here are some accessories you can select:
- Tripod: Get this accessory if your video camera doesn’t have an image stabilizer. Choose aluminum because they’re more durable than other materials.
- Memory Cards: If you like to shot a lot of footage, purchase additional memory cards. Oftentimes, the memory card that’s included with your video camera won’t be sufficient to store all your videos.
- Batteries: You may need to buy some spare batteries if you’re planning to use the camera for longer periods of time. You don’t want the camera to shut down when you’re in the middle of filming an important scene.