Welcome to the Camcorders page, this is our guide to buying a camcorder online in the UK and includes digital camcorders, DVD camcorders and many others, they also include camcorders from brands such as Sony, JVC, Panasonic, Canon, Samsung, and Sharp.
Camcorders are a very popular electronic device in the UK, they are used to record film of any event that you choose. Camcorders used to be expensive, bulky and low quality, this has all changed now with the digital technology. Digital camcorders are small and very high quality, gone are the days of using bulky VHS tapes to view your recorded material, these days you simply plug the camcorder directly into your television using the AV sockets or you can copy the film onto DVD. This makes viewing and saving your films very easy, most camcorders also have an LCD screen so that you can view the film anywhere and decide if you want to keep it or not. Digital camcorders are quite cheap now too, if you shop around it’s easy to find a cheap deal as lots of the shops have great special offers running, see the links above for the best shops. There are many brands that offer camcorders, these include Samsung, Sony, Panasonic, JVC, Canon and Sharp.
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Most camcorders store the video that they record onto digital tapes or DVD’s, this depends on the model that you buy. The format that the camcorder records onto depends on the type of camcorder, the main types are 8mm, Hi8/S-VHS, Digital 8, DV/Micro MV and DVD Digital Camcorders. These different types vary in quality and cost, we will run through the main features of each below:
8mm camcorders offer the same quality as VHS recordings, they are very cheap but the quality is low compared to digital camcorders and they are heavy and bulky. You can connect an 8mm camcorder to a television to view tapes and you can make copies of your film using a video recorder.
Hi8/S-VHS offers video quality that is twice as good as 8mm and offer FM quality sound, they use a S-video signal to connect to a television and copies can be made on VHS tapes by connecting to a video recorder.
Digital 8 camcorders use digital technology so offer much better quality picture and sound quality, the picture quality is around 25 times better than the non-digital models and the sound is CD quality. Digital 8 camcorders can be connected to a PC for editing and can also be connected easily to a television or DVD/video recorder to make copies.
DV/Micro MV camcorders offer outstanding picture and sound quality and are also very small and lightweight, their tapes are matchbox size and they can be connected to a PC, TV or video for viewing or editing.
DVD Digital Camcorders record directly onto 8cm DVDs and give DVD quality sound and picture, they can record onto DVD-R and DVD-RW and the results can be viewed in any DVD player or PC.
There are also lots of features that modern digital cameras have, one of the best is the optical and digital zoom. The optical zoom works by moving the internal lens, when this runs out the digital zoom takes over and manipulates the image artificially. The optical zoom usually has between 10x and 25x magnification which gives the best quality zoom, the digital zoom and go anywhere up to 150x magnification but that depends on the camcorder, they all have varying levels of optical and digital zoom. All digital camcorders have optical and digital zoom including camcorders from Canon, JVC, Panasonic, Samsung, Sony and Sharp.
Image stabilisers are also very useful when using a camcorder, these keep the image totally steady when the camcorder is in use and compensates for any slight hand movements. Image stabilisers are very useful when you are zooming in as any movements will be exaggerated when using zoom, the image stabiliser will correct any movements allowing you to film in a steady manner while zooming.
LCD screens are a very useful feature to look for when you buy a camcorder, they allow you to film without having to have your eye over the viewfinder which is easier on the eyes and allows you more control over the filming. The other main advantage of LCD screens are with display, you can watch what you have recorded there are then and you can also use the LCD screen to view options and change settings, you can even do this while filming with an LCD screen. Most camcorders these days tend to have an LCD screen but some do not so be sure to check, an LCD screen is in our opinion a very important feature.
Another very important feature with digital camcorders is the ability to take still photos, these are usually stored on a separate memory card so that you don’t have to use your camera film. A special feature that some camcorders have is called CCD, CCD uses an optical sensor that converts light into electronic signals and gives excellent quality pictures, if you are wanting to use your camcorder for still photographs then CCD is a good thing to look out for, it is generally the more expensive camcorders that have CCD technology though. CCD technology is available from lots of digital camcorders including models from manufacturers like JVC, Sony, Panasonic, Samsung, Canon and Sharp.
Connecting your camcorder to a PC is also a very useful feature, if you are planning on doing this then look out for a feature called DV out and in. A DV connection to your PC allows you to transfer the film to and from your camcorder and enables you to edit or enhance the film on your PC, DV in allows you to copy edited films from your PC to your camcorder.
So when buying a camcorder there are a few things to look for, the most importantly being the digital technology which offers many advantages such as much better picture and sound quality, easy connections to your PC, television or video/DVD recorder, the ability to take still photos with CCD technology and the fact that digital camcorders are much smaller and lighter than the previous models. Also remember to shop around if you are looking for a cheap model, lots of the shops offer cheap special offers and discounts which can save you allot of money. There are also lots of brands that offer camcorders such as JVC, Sony, Canon, Panasonic, Samsung and Sharp, they are all popular but Sony, JVC, Panasonic and Canon are probably the most popular.