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The Benefits of DVD Camcorders
Camcorders all good tools for anyone. Teens use them for fun, they could make videos for youtube and so on, young couples can record their trips and important steps in life. Young parents can record their children's first steps and older couples can record their traveling adventures. What I found most annoying in many cameras that the video can't really be played back well on other medias instantly (unless you hook it up directly). Tapes have to be converted, CD's are small and the data on hard disks has to be written out.
DVD camcorders bring an end to this, especially the newer models (newer than 3 years). You can now record your home video and play it on any DVD player at home, in the office, on your lap-top, wherever. Making copies is easier than it used to be with the tapes, so you can share with anyone.
To get the most out of your DVD camcorder you have to take into consideration how the DVD format can be played on home systems. DVD-R and DVD+R are pretty safe investments. They are compatible with any DVD camcorder and also with all home DVD players. Rewritable media like DVD-RW and DVD+RW are good choices to make if you want to reuse the DVD's, but not all systems support this. Check the camera's manual, and also your DVD player's manual.
If you plan to tape your daughter's first words and show it to her on her 18th birthday think again. At least think a bit more. Shelf life of DVD's is 5-15 years, but if you lie in severe conditions (very humid for example) then this can be 3-4 years! The best way to archive is to have a separate hard-drive for bakc up, and any time a DVD's quality drops, just write another copy. A bit tedious but worth it for your most important moments!
While DVD's may be convenient there are some problems that may hold people back from buying such a device. They are quite prone to scratches, you have to be extra careful, and if you're high on a mountain with wind billowing around you it may be hard to do so. Their recording time is also limited, especially if you want to record in 1080i for example, you're best off waiting for a blue-ray model, or maybe a good hard-drive one.
DVD camcorders are made by all the top brands out there. Sony, Hitachi, Canon, Panasonic, Samsung, JVC and so on. Out of them all it's hard to pick the best, but probably Sony has the widest range (just like with cameras). They cater for the top-notch pro's and the amateur laymen as well.
Price differences come rom optical zoom amount, 10x is fair, 20x is good, but all models have digital zoom too. That means poorer quality, but sometimes it comes in handy. You may also get the ability to record hi-def video, the cool 1080i format, although these models cost above $1000 usually.
I would say that if a video camera for $450 - $550 it should fit most people's needs. I recommend wading deep into the video cam review territory before buying one, as choosing the right one makes or breaks your special moments. There are loads of good review sites, browse through them, and buy the model that's exactly right for you.