Containing a camera and video recorder in one unit, a camcorder is a portable electronic device (usually a digital camera) for recording video and audio images. Sony, followed by Kodak in 1984, first launched the camcorder in 1983. In its early stages, camcorders were large devices that required a sturdy tripod or strong shoulders to stably support the camera’s bulk.
Following a continuous process of evolution, the camcorder in the late 1990s entered the digital era with the introduction of the miniDV. As its cassette media was even smaller than 8mm media, it became possible to reduce the size of the tape transport assembly. The digital nature of miniDV led to far better audio and video quality than the best of its analog counterparts.
When the camcorder was first launched, it was a bulky shoulder-operated luggable that more than $1,500. Today, an entry-level MiniDV camcorder costs less than $300 and fits in the palm of a person’s hand.
A digital camcorder is the perfect tool to record your child’s first steps, or even shoot a film for the coming film festival! When you want to buy a camcorder, you should take into account its user-friendliness and affordability. In any case, if you are not going to compromise on the exact image quality, a digital version is your best option. Digital camcorders come in different formats that include MiniDV, DVD-R, DVD-RAM and flash memory-based recorders. Your choice will also depend on what you wish to do – record directly to standard DVDs or need maximum flexibility when you begin to edit your footage.
Camcorders are used in almost every aspect of electronic media, from news organizations to TV/current-affairs productions. In locations where there is no distribution infrastructure, camcorders record the initial video. For casual use, camcorders mostly cover marriage ceremonies, birthdays, graduation ceremonies, and other personal events. Political protestors, animal rights protestors and even voyeurs now use camcorders to suit their own needs.
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