Getting the best digital camcorder for your needs can be tricky. You need to decide what you want to use the camera for before you go shopping.
For the purpose of this discussion, I am going to separate camcorders into three separate categories: consumer camcorders, industrial camcorders, and professional camcorders.
To help you make a decision about what you want, I am also going to make some gross generalizations here. There are undoubtedly many exceptions to these generalizations, but I think they are useful to get you started looking at camcorders.
A consumer camcorder generally costs under $1,000. These are perfect for making home movies. They have all the quality and effects you are every likely to need for recording family occasions to share with family and friends. These are also just fine for making video to share on the internet. These cameras will allow you to produce perfectly adequate web videos. These cameras are small and light and easy to take with you.
Industrial camcorders are great if you want to make commercials for local cable tv or to make training videos for a company you own or work for. They will cost in the range of $1,500. These cameras are larger and weigh more than consumer camcorders.
Professional camcorders are what the demanding videographer or wannabe moviemakers need. These are by some people’s standards the best digital camcorder. They will cost $3,000 and up. For this, you get the highest quality lenses and 3 ccd systems that produce the best quality video. These are the heaviest and bulkiest of the three categories of camcorders.
CCD’s determine how sensitive a camera is to light. The best digital camcorders have 3 ccd’s, which make them very sensitive to light. Consumer grade video cameras are usually 1 ccd.
Unless you have money to burn, I would generally recommend that anyone new to the world of digital video begin with a consumer level camera. You can make lots of great movies with them, and later on you can always sell that camera and move up to the better ones if you find the need for them.