Action cams and video camcorders explained
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Video cameras: The basics

Capturing family memories once required bulky cameras and blinding lights, but modern video cameras are capable of producing colorful, high-definition images right in the palm of your hand. Video cameras are essential for recording key events in your family’s life in a way photographs simply cannot.

Video cameras of all sizes

Camcorders are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, including tiny models easily slipped into a purse or pocket. Smaller cameras are an enticing, low-cost option, but they don’t always produce a superior image; you may end up sacrificing features for ease of use. For example, a digital zoom feature might promise to get you close to the action, but did you know it simply enlarges the image, potentially making things look worse? Many of life’s best moments happen beyond the range of your lens, so look for a camera that offers the highest optical zoom level possible if you plan to shoot far-away subjects.

Video storage made simple

Video cameras used to require tapes for recording your memories (often with a confusing array of incompatible formats). The majority of current models utilize on-board hard disk or removable flash memory storage, which make it easy to copy videos onto your computer and show them on other devices.

Sharper images from your video camera

No longer just for the pros, HD (high definition) video displays sharper, more lifelike images for today’s big-screen televisions. While standard definition cameras still exist, many people think it’s worth the initial extra investment for the step up to HD, even if you haven’t yet invested in HDTV. Most HD camcorders include cables for viewing home movies on a regular television, as well as an HDMI port for the best quality with an HDTV.

Video-camera endurance

When it all comes down to it, choosing a video camera largely comes down to how you plan to use it. Vacationers will benefit from long-lasting batteries offering plenty of shooting time, but if you’re shooting for long periods of time, you’ll want to make sure not to run out of storage space in the middle of documenting those special moments.

Now that you’re up to speed on these important video camera features, have a look at basics of SLR cameras.

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