Choosing the Right Video Camera

If you have already taken a look around the DIY Video Editor you may have noticed that there is one category that appears to be missing.

That category would be some kind of review section on “camcorders” or in this day and age, “video recording devices.”

There are a few reasons why I have left that one off the site but probably the main reason is that as a subject it is evolving so fast, it is impossible to keep up.

So rather than try to cover the subject single-handedly on a weekly (sometimes daily!) basis I thought the best way to approach it was with a section on how to do it for yourself.

In this section instead of taking up the pros and cons of any specific brand or model of camera or device I thought it would be more useful to address this as a process so that you can safely make your own way through to a purchase.

Remember at all times that there is no such thing as the “perfect” camera!

In fact there is probably not even the perfect camera for you and your needs… but if you stay on track you can get pretty close!

Not long ago, high quality video creation was only possible for those that had the money to afford pro level equipment and high end editing software loaded onto similarly high end computers.

The entire landscape of this field has now dramatically changed and access to excellent high definition cameras and advanced consumer level editing software has become affordable.

All of that combined with advances in the video codec’s being used to record the resulting video, has made editing possible on the average home computer.

For a relatively modest outlay, the average consumer can create quality video projects that were previously out of reach.

Whilst there can be no argument that all of this is a wonderful thing in itself, the number of choices and vast array of features on offer have made the task of choosing the right camera a daunting one.

My hope is to provide you with a road map that will take you to the best choice of camera for your needs and by the way, from now on I am only going to use the word “camera.”

When I do that I mean camcorder, camera, action cam or any other portable device that can capture video footage.

On this page I will outline some of what I think to be the key subjects you need to have a grasp of and why.

At the end of each summary there will be a link to another page that provides more comprehensive information on that particular subject.

We live in a world of TLDR (too long didn’t read) where we expect information regardless of how complex it is, to be served up in tiny little bite size chunks we can absorb in a few minutes.

Unfortunately the result of that is a lack of real knowledge on a subject and it opens the door wide open to the first subject to be covered.

So for your own sake, take a little time to read through the information and get yourself on to the front foot when choosing a video camera that’s right for you.


Before you even start looking for a suitable camera you have to understand that you are quite literally walking into the lion’s den!

This is a highly competitive market and the competition is pretty cutthroat.

If you can gain just a reasonable understanding of the tricks and techniques the marketers are using to grab your hard earned dollar then you will already be ahead of the game.

This is probably the biggest area where the average person gets completely blindsided by useless technical “facts” and hype.

More On Video Camera Marketing

Beware the Internet!

Given that you now know all there is to know about marketers and their wily ways we come down to the question of reliable sources of information.

In an ideal world you should be able to go online and get all the data you need but sadly that is not the case.

Yes there are many sources of information online and off, some good, some bad and most are a mixture of the two.

Each one has its own pro’s and con’s and if you understand what they are you can safely navigate you way through to a successful decision.

More on Beware the Internet

It’s Not How You Start It’s How You Finish!

When you actually start looking at cameras the sheer size of the range available to you will very quickly send you into an information overload.

Even with knowing all of the information on these pages I know that whenever I start looking around for a new camera it takes very little time before I am off with the pixies.

Sometime it takes a while and sometimes it only takes minutes before I am looking at stuff I would never use (but hey! It looks cool!) or have drifted so far above my budget that my wife would have a heart attack if she knew I was looking at them!

This really is the downside of the information age in that the possibility of distraction is always high.

So, in order to stay the course it is vital to work out where you are going before to start and by that I mean specifically what type of camera you will be looking for.

More on Various Camera Types

Some Technical Notes

I probably should have called this chapter “Some Un-technical Notes” or perhaps “De-technicaling everything!”

Remember way back at the start of all this we discussed the evils of marketing?

Well one of the ways in which modern marketing in a technical field like this works is to put into use the old adage, “Blind them with science.”

Once you get into some of the technical stuff you will soon realize that although everything sounds awesome, you really don’t know what it does or if you really need it.

This introduces confusion, frustration and a range of other reactions and it is more than likely you will then try to “buy your way out,” which is exactly what they want you to do!

In addition to the general recommendations discussed above, this section highlights some important technical aspects to also consider.

Sensors – Auto vs. Manual Control

Zoom, Low Light and Lenses

Camera Mounts, Battery Life and Audio

Your Budget

And finally we come to the budget, your last line of defense.

Everybody starts out with one and whole process is designed to get you to blow it in the shortest time possible!

Everything previously discussed has been designed to get you to make an emotional decision based on desire rather than any actual information or relevance.

Once you are in that state then getting you to go over your budget is a piece of cake so read this and get yourself ready for battle!

More on Your Budget

View Comments (2)

  • This (as in this page and all the sub-pages that are linked along the way) is exactly what I needed to read - thanks very much!
    Really, if you skipped any pages, I recommend going back and reading everything.
    Excellent :)

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