Pro Video Camera Buying Guide

Pro Video Camera Buying Guide


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Professional camcorders are a separate section in the photography world, which has made its niche just like professional SLR cameras. Video recorders have gone through a revolution which started in the 90's, with large and bulky VHS camcorders to small and compact home digital camcorders available today. The rise of digital recording greatly impacted pro video cameras and now photographers are able to get high quality video cameras at an affordable cost.

Purpose of the Guide

When it comes to professional digital video cameras, it's necessary to have knowledge about their varied features. Camcorders are categorized based on whether they are going to be used by the home movie hobbyist, the budding filmmaker or a seasoned professional. Here, we have highlighted their different features and how they can be useful for you. This camcorder buying guide will help you to choose from the best professional video cameras available for purchase.

What are Pro Video Cameras?

Lately, pocket camcorders have become very popular, as they enable photographers to easily record and share everything on social networking websites. It is a very simple video camera that does not have too many settings, menus and functions, making it an economical option for videographers. Some of the best camcorders are compact in size, and yet provide excellent features to capture high quality images. In order to select a good video camera, you need to look at the way they capture images. Since most video cameras use digital formats that range from MiniDV to DVD to a tape-less hard disk drive, they tend to be of the best quality.

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Types of Pro Video Cameras

When deciding on whether a certain video camera is best suited for your needs, it is essential to check out the wide range of features it has. The features of the camcorders vary depending on whether it is for professional use, filmmakers or home movie authors. Some of the main features of camcorders have been listed below:


Resolution plays a vital role in a camcorder. When the resolution is higher, more pixels are generated to capture information. This leads to higher quality images. The visual image is converted into an electric signal by the CCD or CMOS image processor. This is later converted to digital information by the processor. Usually, the size and power of the processor determines the resolution of the image taken from the camcorder. So, larger the size and power of the processor, the greater is the resolution of the image.


The light going into the video camera is split into three channels through a glass prism. The 3CCD systems have separate CCD for the colors, red, green and blue. This results in higher resolution and greater color fidelity.


There are also HD camcorders that give better color clarity and improved sharpness to the video. Normal resolution captures 486 lines of pixels, while high definition systems captures 720 to 1080 lines of pixels. This gives a significant difference in image quality, which has increased the popularity of high definition considerably.


The camcorder can scan a video image in two ways: interlaced and progressive. Interlaced scanning requires less bandwidth and refresh time, which results in a less expensive video system and superior capture of high speed movement. On the other hand, progressive scan displays the highest possible detailing in an image without any flicker problems.

Frame Rate

The frame rate and the manner in which the image is scanned determines the way motion appears on the camcorder's screen.

Lens Quality

When the optical zoom is bigger, subjects are brought closer distance-wise. When choosing a zoom lens it is good to ensure that it has an optical zoom lens and not just digital zoom capabilities. Some camcorder lenses also have special coatings that reduce glare, and thus increases the sharpness.

Interchangeable Lenses

Most high-end camcorders feature an interchangeable lens capability. It is a great option for those videographers who like to use a collection of high quality lenses. Pro level camcorders only will have this feature.

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Utilities of Pro Video Cameras

Apart from the features mentioned above, some camcorders also have an additional number of features that enable the videographer to engage in a smooth and effortless shooting process. Some of these features include: auto slow shutter function, built-in flash, lens cover, video light, cable-free operation, color viewfinder, easy mode, improved battery life, exposure lock, fading effects, image stabilization, manual focus, image effects, a SD memory card slot and much more. So, when you decide on any type of camcorder, ensure that it provides features that prove advantageous for your own type of videography.

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Top 4 Manufacturers

A camcorder is a type of camera that has been popular among videographers for many years. There are many leading companies that produce the different models of camcorders. Let us check out the top five manufacturers of video cameras.


Canon is a leading company that specializes in producing high-end imaging and optical products, including cameras, camcorders, steppers, photocopiers, computer printers and medical equipment.


Sony Corporation primarily focuses on electronics, games, entertainment and financial service sectors. It offers innovative and high quality products such as home audio, radios, televisions, video recorders, digital cameras, personal computers, tablets, recording media and much more.

Black Magic

Black Magic is an Australian company that produces electronic equipment for broadcast and video production. It has become one of the leading innovators of creative technology.


Manfrotto is one of the well-known companies that manufactures a wide range of cameras and lighting support equipment for professional photography. Some of its products include: camera tripods and heads, lighting stands and accessories.

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Still have questions or need more information on pro video cameras? Contact us so we can help!