Digital video cameras are handy these days since they are so compact in size. You can take pictures and videos on one piece of equipment instead of having two different electronic devices. Some people use them for special occasions such as family outings and gatherings while for others it is used to make low budget films. Many low budget filmmakers used them before they became famous.
LCD screens are on most models so you have a way to see what you are recording and taking pictures of. They do use up batteries pretty quick and if you are going to be at certain places for extended periods of time, make sure to have a battery or two with you. You can also turn the screen around to see what you are doing. But try not to use it near daylight since the images can be difficult to view.
There are two types of zooms available on a digital hd camcorder. which is optical and digital. The digital zoom is mainly used in most cases but since it blows up the pictures, it can tend to make it blurry at times. Go with the optical when you can. There are two products that you can store videos and pictures on: disc and tape. Hard disk drive cameras and cam cards are the other two options. Figure out how you are going to store them before purchasing one either in person or online at an hd camcorder shop.
If you are going to go abroad, it is best to buy the digital video cameras while you are there since their output is seemingly different. For example, America uses the NTSC and in Europe, the PAL system is preferred. Buying these things from abroad can be tricky.
You can purchase high definition digital video cameras at your local electronic stores as well. But each store has different name brand cameras and since they have a section for you to try out, take the time to test them before purchasing.
Photo: Andres Rueda