Your Guide to Buying a HD Camcorder

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Your Guide to Buying a HD Camcorder

All recordings that have been made using high definition (HD) will have much sharper images with a greater definition and brighter colours. The clear improvement seen in HD images has meant that HD televisions have become very popular and are now become much more common. Using a HD camcorder to make recordings will make a noticeable difference to the quality of the videos that are produced.


There are currently many different types of HD camcorders available which are equipped with an often bewildering array of different features and which can vary greatly in price. It is definitely worth looking at all the common features possessed by a HD camcorder and making a decision about which ones are essential to have before choosing which model to purchase, especially as the features chosen may have a significant impact on the purchase price of the HD camcorder.


A recording which is made on a HD camcorder will normally be recorded using either 1080p, 1080i or 720p lines of resolution. The sharpness of the images which are being recorded is increased when there are more lines of resolution so the 1080 resolutions are the preferable option and will produce a higher quality of recordings. HD camcorders which record using 1080p resolution have 1080 lines of resolution and the p stands for progressive scan. This means that the HD camcorder records each line of video in turn without skipping a line from line 1 through to line 1080. This type of resolution is generally better for using to record fast motion recordings such as sports.

A HD camcorder which operates using a resolution of 1080i is also recording with 1080 lines of resolution, but it uses the process of interlaced video. This is the same method of recording used by a standard camcorder. It basically means that alternate lines are recorded so that when the video is played back it will show the odd numbered lines first followed by the even numbered ones.

Some HD camcorders may be described as Full HD. This simply means that they record by using a 1920 x 1080 resolution which will produce a very sharp and highly defined image.

Built-In Optical Image Stabilisation

The purpose of image stabilisation is to reduce the slight shake that can occur naturally when a person is trying to hold an object steady in their hands and prevent it from diminishing the quality of the recording. This is especially important with recordings which are using the zoom feature, as this can greatly magnify any shaking. It is preferable to choose a HD camcorder that has built in optical image stabilisation rather than the digital version, as this will reduce the shake prior to the recording taking place. Whereas, digital image stabilisation only compensates for any shake after the image has already been recorded.

Optical Zoom

The majority of HD camcorders will have both optical and digital zoom built in as options. It is more important that the optical zoom is available as an option because this means that the lens of the camcorder will move in and out in a similar way to a telescope and will be able to provide a better quality of image. Zooming in on a close subject using a digital zoom can cause the image to become distorted and pixelated. If the HD camcorder will be used to zoom in on close subjects while recording, then it is essential that it has at least a 10x optical zoom.


The sound quality of built in microphones in camcorders can vary greatly in quality. If the microphone is positioned close to the lens, then the recording may pick up the sound of the lens moving which can be distracting. HD camcorders will generally have better quality microphones than standard camcorders, but it is best to look for a model which has built in stereo microphones to be sure of a good quality of sound.


HD recordings will produce much larger files than a standard camcorder recording so it is worth considering how the recording will be stored as memory cards, DVDs, and hard drives will be filled up much quicker than with standard recordings. It is also worth thinking about the capacity of the computer that will be used to download and playback the recordings. HD recordings will require a greater amount of processing power which may slow down the computer. Its ability to display the HD recording can be diminished which may cause unexpected and annoying pauses when trying to play back the recording.


There are now HD camcorders available which are able to make recordings in 3D. This does significantly increase the cost of the camcorder and the videos would need to be played back on a 3D television to get the full effect. Although the ability to record in 3D is an interesting and innovative feature, it is perhaps more of a novelty feature and is probably not a vital component for most users particularly if the cost of the HD camcorder is a deciding factor.


It is possible to buy a HD camcorder which has been made waterproof. This is not an essential feature unless the user specifically intends to record events near or in water such as water sports. Remember to consider this feature, though, if the camera is intended for use in particularly rainy environments.

New Developments

Although they are not widely available in the shops yet, several major manufacturers have announced plans to introduce a wearable HD camcorder which is designed to be worn on the head and will be aimed mainly at people who want to make recordings while taking part in extreme sports

There are also plans to bring out HD camcorders that will have a built in wifi capability so that recordings will be able to be broadcast completely live in real time.

How to find a HD Camcorder on eBay

In order to find a HD camcorder, it is first necessary to open the eBay homepage. There is a tab near the top of the page which is titled All Categories. Clicking on this will open the full list of categories which includes a link for Cameras & Photography. Click on this link and then the following link for Camcorders. This will open a list of sub categories on the left side of the screen which will include a list of camcorder models. Click on the link HDC and this will load the list of HD camcorders which are currently available to buy. It is also possible to search directly for a HD camcorder using the search bar which is located near the top of every page on eBay. Entering specific keywords such as "HD camcorder new" will pull up a list of the products that are currently for sale.


Buying a HD camcorder will ensure that the recordings that are produced have sharper images with a greater definition. It is best to look for a camcorder model which offers the highest possible resolution of recording; has an optical zoom of at least 10x; has built in optical image stabilisation, and has built in stereo microphones. Choosing a HD camcorder which has these features may have the effect of increasing the cost, but will ensure that it is a HD camcorder which has the capability to make HD recordings which are of the highest quality. There are other additional features available on some HD camcorders such as 3D recording and waterproofing. Whether or not these features are necessary to have will depend mainly on exactly how the HD camcorder is going to be used.

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