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Capture the footage you want with a camcorder in hand

Smartphones and digital cameras are both capable of shooting video, but may not have the same level of zoom to hone in on a scene or action shot. Camcorders offer optical versatility that way, and capture footage with file formats that make it easy to edit and share through software programs afterward.

What Are Camcorders Used For?

The days of analog camcorders are long gone, and it’s all digital now. Even so, camcorders are still dedicated to shooting video, and with cassette tapes a thing of the past, onboard storage makes it easier than ever to shoot at will.

Whether it’s your child’s soccer game or visiting a great city, shooting with a camcorder can capture the moments you don’t want to miss. They can be from in close or from a distance, courtesy of the wide optical range some camcorder lenses have.

If you enjoy shooting video as a video blogger or aficionado, then a camcorder can help capture footage of any scene you want. It can be various scenes on a trip or even time-lapse a beautiful vista as the sun rises or sets. Your creativity with a camcorder is really up to you and the scene within your view.

Are Camcorders Better Than Cameras?

Unlike DSLRs and mirrorless cameras that prioritize still photography, camcorders are the reverse. It’s video first, with still photos a complementary feature. Camcorders are all about shooting scenes, regardless of where you are or what’s happening, with quality and distance in mind.

For example, some camcorders can go up to 50x optical zoom, which is the equivalent of a 1,200mm zoom on a full-frame DSLR or mirrorless camera lens. While those cameras are capable of shooting high-quality video content themselves, you would need multiple lenses to match the focal range camcorders are often equipped with.

Camcorder screens tilt and flip to help you be creative, like shooting selfie videos or from an angle, be it over a crowd or low to the ground for dramatic effect. Camcorders are also usually smaller than DSLR cameras, though not always mirrorless cameras. Their nimbler bodies make them easier to transport and keep handy to grab that epic shot.

Different Types of Camcorders

Camcorders come in a variety of sizes and styles that depend on the kind of quality they can shoot. Some are able to shoot in 1080p HD, while others can also shoot in 4K resolution. Palm-sized camcorders are the entry-level models, sometimes small enough to fit in a jacket pocket, and with small screens to view what you’re shooting at all times.

Not all consumer-level camcorders are 4K-capable, though later models may have that ability, often clearly denoted on the device itself. There may also be difference in storage, where entry-level and mid-range camcorders would need a memory card, premium models may have some built-in flash storage already.

There are other camcorders that enter professional-level performance. These would be the types of camcorders designed for broadcasting and filming, complete with manual focusing, headphone and microphone jacks, and options to shoot at different frame rates. They are often larger, shoulder-mounted form factors, yet offer better lenses and internal components. A number of manufacturers make them, including Canon, Sony, Panasonic and JVC.