How do I Choose the Best Small Digital Video Camera?

Many people purchase a small digital video camera to record and forever preserve a lifetime of memories of children, events, family, and friends. Oftentimes, people want to record portions of their vacations and unique experiences. Regardless of the reason, before purchasing a small digital video camera, it is important to consider all the important features, peruse through the reviews, and then, when all the research is complete, purchase the video camera.

To begin with, there are a few points that must be considered before jumping into the purchase of a small digital video camera. Budget is one such factor. The price range is dramatic for most technical equipment, and video cameras are no different. They can range from a few hundred US Dollars (USD) to several thousand USD. Each camera offers something to the user; however, some are great for home or personal use, while others are advanced enough to create a professional looking video.

Once the budget is determined, then next step is to consider the basics that are offered through most video cameras. Many offer the user the opportunity to take both digital photos and video footage; but, these usually provide poorer quality photos, compared to most digital camera. If the video camera takes decent still photos, great – but do not count on it for quality photos, especially if the lighting is less than optimal.

Many people wanting to purchase a small digital video camera will also need to consider the camera’s size. Some are small enough to carry in a purse, backpack, or other small piece of luggage. The smaller the size, the more likely the user will take the camera with her. The larger the camera, the more likely the video camera will be left at home; however, the smaller the camera, the more expensive it will be – generally speaking.

A small digital video camera should fit in the user’s hand comfortably. Some are designed to flow horizontally, and others, vertically. It is up to the user to pick the one she likes best. In addition, it should be easy to use – without too many awkward buttons or unnecessary steps.

Image quality is an important factor to consider, as well. The chips that sense light and make a digital encryption are the technical mechanisms behind the quality of the image. Professional video cameras have a greater number of the devices that complete the encryption, compared to regular household video cameras. Consequently, professional cameras are brighter, sharper, and have videos with more realistic coloring; however, there are a greater number of consumer cameras that are offering this upgraded feature.
Optical zoom, media format, image stabilization, and the viewing screen are also important features to consider. Most cameras have optical zoom and those that do not are probably of lower quality. Many digital video cameras use miniDV digital cassette tapes; however some uses a mini DVD-R, while newer technology video cameras use mini hard drives to record the video images, such as the Apple iPod. Image stabilization compensates for shaky hands, making the image appear steady when there is actually body movement from the user. Large viewing screens are common; the screens should be clear to the user, even on the brightest of days.