The versatility of camcorders has improved a great deal since the days of the big brick-sized cameras that you had to carry around on your shoulder. With the ability to record digitally, today’s digital video recorders are able to be synced with your PC and used to edit your film right on your desktop. This kind of flexibility has given home filmmakers new creative avenues to explore as they take the versatility of this new breed of video camera and maximize its potential.

Buying a Digital Camcorder

The first step in exploring what you can do with the new generation of camcorders is, of course, to buy one. As you begin shopping, you will notice the huge number of options that are available. Once you get comfortable with the way digital cameras work and feel that you are ready to move to a higher level of film making, then you may want to buy a more advanced model. In order to get started, you really just need a basic digital camcorder and the software to do the editing.

You’ll want to know about things like:

* Digital recording format: Does the camcorder record for capabilities with DV tape, DVD-R, MiniDV tape, DVD-RAM or Hard Drive?
* Still imaging recording format: Does the camcorder use secure digital recording, a multimedia card, a memory stick duo type or a standard memory stick type of       recording?
* Price: How much does the camcorder cost and what comes with that cost? Does it cover any recording software or a memory stick?
* Manufacturer: Is it a Sony, Canon digital, JVC, Panasonic, etc.?

After you have some of these basic questions answered, you should be more equipped to make a choice. Most reliable cameras with a decent set of software and recording equipment will end up running less than $800, but there are some that are priced less than $500 such as the Canon Digital that runs around $300. For the best value, you should be prepared to spend a good amount of money and make your camcorder a solid investment. It could last you quite a long time.


After you’ve purchased your camcorder, get some computer accessories to go with it so that you can start editing your footage. PC World is a good place to start looking for an assortment of accessories to go with your camcorder. At, you can find a ton of information about your specific camera and the software that best goes with it.

One of the most popular bits of software that people buy for their camcorders is digital editing software. Software packages like Final Cut Studio and Adobe Production Studio allow you to experiment with effects that will let you make any necessary changes and create the best quality footage possible. They are also ridiculously easy to use and can make using your digital camcorder a whole lot of fun.

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