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Updated on May 17, 2012

What are Camcorders?

You've probably heard of them. Maybe you've already seen one. Perhaps you have already used one yourself. But what exactly are camcorders and how do they work?

Video camera recorders are devices which are used to capture moving images and sound. Think of them as a mechanism which conserves reality exactly the way it is except it would be just a recording and not something that you can get back to and redo. Images are then stored into rolls of film or more recently, memory cards. The recorded footage can then be replayed using the device itself and the video can even be outputted on to television sets and other supported devices.

People record videos for an assortment of reasons. Some enjoy creating home videos as souvenirs for the future, others create films for either fun or for profit, and media people record videos to document real-life scenarios which they will use to aid them in reporting the news.

Camcorders come in different shapes and sizes and video recording quality varies from model to model. Cheaper variants provide lower quality recordings while the more expensive ones are able to record better looking images and sounds. In the past, only professional filmmakers or members of the upper class had access to such devices as they were very costly. Now, many other gadgets aside from real video camera recorders have video capturing capabilities such as mobile phones, digital cameras and computers; the quality of the recording via these gadgets, however, may not be as good compared to actual video cameras because in most if not all of the said gadgets, the video recording option is just secondary and not their primary function.

With regards to recording, earlier models made use of magnetic tapes in order to preserve footage. As time passed, better ways were created in the form of smaller tapes like Mini DV’s and small optical discs. Current models are now able to store data into small memory cards which can be reused over and over again. Some expensive cameras can also store footage on portable hard drives like those in computers. The files on the cards or hard drives can be transferred to computers for storage and for editing purposes.

Over the years, camcorders have become very affordable. They are quite simple to use because all you need to do is to make sure you have a tape or memory card connected and just point the camera at something and start recording. If you don't have one yet, why not get your own today? It will surely be of some use somewhere down the road.

You can read more about Things to Consider Before Buying a Camcorder


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