Written by Manon

Camcorders: what should I pay attention to?

To capture all your family celebrations, holidays and the first steps of your child, use a camcorder. Some models are easy to operate and therefore suitable for starters. You can attach additional accessories to other models. These camcorders are suitable for advanced users. The question is which camcorder best fits your needs. This page explains the main choices so that you can easily find a camcorder that suits you.

How much optical zoom do you need?

The most logical answer is: the farther you are of what you want to film, the more optical zoom you need. Up to 12x optical zoom is enough for the basics of filming, for example for a close-up of your child. If you sit in the back of the auditorium during a musical and you want to get a good picture of the children on stage, then you need 12x to 35x optical zoom. For filming subjects at a great distance, such as your friends at the top of the track, you need at least 35x optical zoom. The disadvantage is that the further you zoom in, the less stable your images become. We advise to use a tripod during filming. In addition, you lose a lot of light and sharpness. When using low ambient light, keep in mind that the image quality deteriorates when zooming in far.

How do you film stable images?

Almost all camcorders have a form of image stabilization. This stabilization prevents blurred and blurred images by compensating for unintentional movements. Optical image stabilization provides sharper images because the lens moves with it. The lens hovers in the camera, as it were, and thus counteracts all shocks and fluctuations. Digital image stabilization happens after the images have been filmed and will therefore give a less sharp and stable result.

What kind of memory card do you need?

Memory cards

On average, 1 gigabyte offers space for 5 minutes of HD recording. You do have to take into account the influence of the frame rate and resolution. A video in Full HD will take up more space on your memory card than a video in a lower resolution. In addition to the number of GB, the speed class of your memory card is important. Pay particular attention to the minimum speed class mentioned in the specifications of the camcorder. This is either 2, 4, 6, or 10. This number indicates the maximum number of MBs per second with which the memory card writes the video recordings. A video in higher resolution and with a higher frame rate will therefore require a higher class memory card. We recommend at least a Class 6 memory card for recording in HD, and a Class 10 memory card for Full HD.

What expansion possibilities are there?

You can connect an extra microphone to a camcorder with an external microphone jack for better and more focused sound.

Some camcorders have a hot shoe, also known as a cold shoe. This is an attachment point that you can use to connect a video light or microphone. A hot shoe connects to the camcorder so the accessory will be controlled by the camera. Your accessory doesn't need its own power supply. A cold shoe doesn't connect to the camcorder, so accessories do require their own power supply.

Most camcorders have a tripod connection. When you attach the camcorder to a tripod, you can be part of your own video or capture an extra stable image.


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