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What To Look For When Buying a Professional Camcorder

Professional DSLR cameras are experiencing increased demand and professional camcorders are no exception. Not only are they used by professional videographers, but amateurs are also using them to record videos for personal projects as well. Here is what you need to consider when looking for your next professional camcorder:

What medium can professional camcorders record with?

When buying a professional camcorder, it is important to consider the type of media they can record with. This is because each type offers different levels of picture quality and varying levels of convenience for file transfers. Here are several of the most common options:

  • 8mm Tape: First introduced in the 1980s, 8mm tape can record up to 120 minutes in one go. It also offers good optical picture quality, even for professionals. This medium is typically used with legacy camcorder models.
  • Internal Storage: Digital cameras may have internal HDD or SSD flash storage. You can record on the go without having to worry about separate storage media.
  • External Hard Drive: Some cameras can connect to external hard disks to expand recording time.
  • SD Card: These small cards can contain hundreds of gigabytes of footage while taking up very little space. It is also easy to transfer footage from a card to your computer.
How does footage get transferred to a computer?

If you are using videotapes, they can be played on your TV with a tape player. It can also be recorded onto a computer using the same device. Digital files from a hard disk or flash storage can be transferred using a USB, Firewire, or Thunderbolt cable. Depending on the type of cable, the speed of transfer can be as fast as 800 Mbps. SD cards can be removed from the camcorder and plugged directly into your computer. Many late-model camcorders use digital recording formats.

What video quality can professional camcorders produce?

Many new professional camcorders can record and show footage in Ultra HD 4K quality. Early models may record in 2160p, 1080p, or 720p high-definition format. If you want to decide between storage space conservation or higher video quality, you may be able to toggle between different picture quality options on your device. Legacy models can record in PAL or NTSC mode with configurable frame rates, depending on the need for slow-motion footage.

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