Digital Camera

Digital Camera*


  • Lighter Weight
  • Highly Cost Effective
  • No Digitization Required


  • Lower Picture Quality
  • Usually No External Mic
DV Camcorder

DV Camcorder*


  • Higher Picture/Lens Quality
  • Often has External Mic Input
  • Reliable Technology


  • Often Bulky
  • Time Digitizing Footage

*comparison is generalized, and against similarly priced camera/camcorder

Cellphones, Hard Disks, Hybrids, and HD?

Nowdays, many devices blur the lines we've drawn between the camera and camcorder. This mini-section can help you get sorted. (Click to expand)

Should you use a Digital Camera?

The digital camera can be small, agile, and is generally easier to keep handy at all times. They can often be found for little money, and are non-intrusive and great for doing informal interviews. Also, it's pretty easy publish digital camera footage without editing it.

The downside is in the quality department. The lenses are usually cheaper and the cameras often don't have external micropone jacks. That said, they're simple, inexpensive, and great beginner cameras. I know professionals who sometimes choose to use a digital-type camera for ease of use.

Do you need a DV Camcorder?

DV camcorders generally give a much higher level of control over both picture and sound quality than digital cameras (especially at similar prices). A DV camcorder is often physically larger, and requires footage to be digitized (unless it's a hybrid that records to memory card), and accessories add to the bulk (tapes, microphones, larger batteries, etc.).

Despite these disadvantages, if you need the improved image and sound quality, the tradeoff is well worth it. Camcorders are great when you want higher production levels — just make sure you know how to properly light your shots before you make a huge investment.


Don't Forget the Tripod

Tripods are great for doing fixed shots, they can make video shot on a less expensive device appear more professional. If you want to move the camera (panning side to side or tilting up and down), you'll want a tripod with a fluid head — this will keep your movements from jittering. You can find consumer grade fluid-head tripods for under $100. Regular tripods can usually be found for cheap at garage sales or thrift stores.

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