Ten years ago the answer to the question of what are the different types of camcorders would have been Analog. Analog video cameras, which used to record to VHS videotapes, were heavy, large and bulky because they contained an entire video recorder, along with the lens and camera device and had almost no options to choose from.
As with everything else camcorders have come a long way and today with digital technology the answer to the question of what are the different types of camcorders has grown immensely. Today there is digital and digital camcorders that are advanced while being user-friendly, compact and provide a fun, easy and accessible movie making experience for anyone.
The type of a digital camcorder mainly centers around the media it utilizes and specifically around its recording capability and storage device. There are several types of camcorders and choosing the right one for you mostly depends on this feature as it affects both usability and price.
MiniDV Camcorder: The MiniDV type of camcorder is small, sleek and stylish mostly due to the fact that it uses the very small MiniDV cassettes as the storage device. The recorded video is then transfered to PC via the firewire port on the PC and downloaded. Once edited and finished you can burn the completed video onto a DVD. This is a very popular and common type of camcorder. The video and sound quality is very good.
MicroMV Camcorder: The MicroMV also uses tapes but they are are much smaller than MiniDV tapes and the MicroMV uses advanced compression technology. The Micro MV records very high quality video as well as possess the capability of full digital editing. The MicroMV is also very compact, lightweight and ultra small.
DVD Camcorder: With this type of camcorder you can record video directly to a DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD RAM.
DVD-R is a recordable DVD format with a write-once only capability. DVD-RW is a recordable DVD but it allows rewrites and so provides unlimited writing to same disk. DVD-RAM or DVD Random Access Memory is a DVD disc, which can be recorded with information, erased, and recorded again. DVD-RAM is considered a highly reliable format, as the discs have built-in error control and a defect management system. Therefore, DVD-RAM is perceived to be better than the other DVD technologies.
There are two Versions of the DVD Type Digital Camcorders: One works with rewritable DVD-RAM discs requiring a DVD player with RAM playback or a PC with a DVD-RAM drive. The other works by using the more popular DVD-RW and DVD-R (DVD-rewritable) discs that work with most ordinary DVD players and allow for actual recording of images to the DVD disk. A great feature of this recording format is the ability to edit in-camera and with repeated playbacks the disk does not degrade.
HDD Digital Camcorders: Hard Disk Drive camcorders are types that are compact and record in MPEG-2 video that are saved to an internal hard disk drive within the camcorder. The upside of this type of camcorder is the ability of storing huge amounts of video data by using compression. The video is saved to the internal hard disc within the camcorder and then downloaded to a computer and burnt onto to a DVD. The HDD camcorder has no moving parts and so there is less chance of mechanical breakdown.
Flash Media Camcorders: This formats records images to an internal Flash drive and Flash Memory cards. Flash Memory cards include, SD, Compact Flash, Memory Stick and Memory Stick Duo.
Digital 8 Camcorders: This format records digital video to Hi-8 videotapes. Digital 8 is a consumer digital videotape format developed by Sony, and introduced in 1999. Digital 8 camcorder uses the same videocassettes as analog Hi8 equipment, but differs in that the audio/video signal is encoded digitally. Picture quality is fairly good and this format allows playback of analog videotapes recorded on Hi-8 camcorders.
VHS Camcorders: These types of camcorders still records to VHS tapes but the data is recorded digitally. Picture quality is fairly good and this format allows playback of analog videotapes.
The Wonderful World of High-Def: High definition is a beautiful thing and HDV Digital Camcorders record and save data in full 1920×1080 resolution. The most expensive of the bunch, High Definition Video camcorders usually utilize MiniDV tapes or Hard Disk Drive that capture and record video. The high resolution recording provides the highest quality and clarity which provides the most magnificent video picture of any camcorder on the market today and it looks great on high definition television.
The key to choosing the right type of camcorder for you is to determine your personal use and to find a happy medium between usability and price. While price differs among the many types of camcorders one thing is true about all camcorders they are an expensive investment. An important fact to consider is that the Internet has provided a forum where millions of sellers and merchants compete for your business, and that competition provides many money saving opportunities, retail is no longer the only option and lots of money can be saved by purchasing a discount digital camcorder rather than paying retail.