Monday, December 26, 2011

Plug-A-Matic Buying Camcorder Guide – The Questions

When people ask me about buying a camcorder I will usually ask why do you want one?  I’m not stalling while I am thinking about the answer. It is a very important part of the buying experience.

Most people don’t want to buy a camcorder. They want a way to record events and memories.  A camcorder can help them so that. So can an iPad, Smartphone or digital still camera with a video mode.

You don’t need a camcorder but a camcorder might better serve your goals of recording quality video.

Here is the thing.

Casual users do not want to know about specs, f-stops, lighting, file formats or conversion software.

That is okay.

It just makes it very hard to for me to recommend a camcorder.  It is not like a linear process of buying a television and plugging it in.

You as a camcorder buyer will have to learn how to do new stuff.  Stuff you really didn’t plan on learning.

How much you will have to learn will be up to you. If you go cheap and use basic software that is going to require an investment of x-amount of time.

So before I lay this out here are the questions:

  • Why do you want a camcorder?
  • What is it you want to record?
  • How much can you spend on not just the camcorder but on memory cards, batteries, a tripod, maybe external lighting, software and other stuff?
  • What is your return on investment?
 I have a dozen more questions and for each answer I could ask three more.

Stew on this a while.

It could save you money and future frustrations.

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