Do you want to buy a professional digital camcorder? If so, this article will really help you. To begin with we will have a good look at the main features of a professional digital camcorder. After that we will go through the main brands and see what range of products each one has to offer.
Features of a Pro HD Camcorder
- Manual Aperture: it’s important to be able to manually alter the aperture size of your camcorder. This gives you control over the amount of light that passes through the lens and into the camcorder, and therefore gives you control over how light or dark your image will be.
- Manual Focus: when using auto focus, you will find there will be a tendency for the lens to lose its focus as objects come and go from the scene. Manual focus gives you the ability to stay in control of which objects you are focusing on.
- 3 CCDs: your camcorder’s CCD is the chip that records the image as digital information. 3 CCD chips means better quality images.
- White Balance: different scenes have a different balance of colors. For example, indoor light tends to be yellow in color, whereas sunshine is more towards the blue end of the spectrum. Manual white balance enables you to set it exactly how you want.
- Sound Control: being able to manually control the sound recording volume is important, as some scenes will be louder or quiter than other scenes.
- Headphone Jack: it is important to be able to monitor the sound via headphones, so check that the camcorder has a headphone jack.
- Filter Ring: does the camcorder have a screw ring around the lens? A filter ring is extremely useful if you want to add various filters to your lens, such as a UV to protect from scratches or a polarising filter.
- Audio Inputs: all camcorders have their own micrphones built-in, but what if you want to connect your own microphone so that you can record audio from a specific person or object?
- Automatic Settings: although manual controls are an important part of any good professional camcorder, sometimes you will want to just let the automatic settings make the decisions for you, so a mixture of both automatic and manual functions is essential.
- Removable Lens or Lens Adapters: only the very high end camcorders have removable lenses, but some camcorders allow you to use lens adaptors to modify the existing lens to change to wide angle, telephoto, etc.
Top Professional High Definition Digital Camcorder Brands & Their Product Ranges
Professional camcorders are a very specific type of product, so there aren’t all that many brands out there, just a few who really specialise in make some really top quality camcorders.
- Panasonic: $670-$6,000. A good range of high-end professional camcorders across a big price range.
- Sony: $1,500-$5,200. As with Panasonic, a good range spread across a big spectrum of prices.
- Canon: $2,100-$10,000. A small number of very high-end professional camcorders.
- JVC: $3,500-$5,400. A few very fine quality professional digital camcorders.