Though the digital cameras have made remarkable strides in the video recording department with still cameras, even digital SLRs, that boast high definition video recording, a camcorder has many factors that make it superior to digital cameras. Here are some of the unique differences between camcorders and digital cameras.
A camcorder lens will typically offer a far more robust zoom, giving you greater magnification. While there are a number of long zoom still cameras on the market, they still can’t touch the 30x or 60x lenses available on some camcorders.
While some digital cameras are offering 720p video recording, very few compact can match the higher quality 1080p video recorded by even mid-level camcorders. Standard definition camcorders will capture video at a higher bitrate than a digital still camera.
The internal microphones used by camcorders are vastly superior to those found on digital still cameras. You’ll find more sophisticated audio recording options on camcorders too, such as the ability to zoom into the source of a sound automatically. Some camcorders can even capture multi-channel, surround sound audio.
Digital still cameras record video to flash memory cards. Digital camcorders can record to memory cards as well, but they can also store video to internal hard drives that offer much more recording time than even your highest capacity flash memory card. You can also record your video straight to DVD for the convenience of easy playback on DVD players.
Camcorders are designed to be held aloft and steady for longer periods of time. Still cameras are not. Camcorder LCD displays can be rotated to give you a multitude of angles. Most still cameras have fixed displays that can’t be moved.
Some advanced camcorders will let you adjust the field of view, shutter speed and white balance to tweak your image. But you can’t do the same when shooting video on a digital still camera.