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How Do I Choose the Best Professional Video Camera?

Article Details
  • Written By: L.S. Ware
  • Edited By: A. Joseph
  • Last Modified Date: 04 November 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
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    Conjecture Corporation
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When researching the purchase of a professional video camera to chose, there are many things to take into consideration, including the features and options that you desire. The perfect camera will be different for nearly every individual. There are options to fit every need, from the high-end consumer units to the more expensive professional video cameras and camcorders. Know what the maximum budget is for the purchase of a camcorder before starting the process, and be sure to include all needed accessories in the budget.

The primary uses of the camcorder are the key to finding the right piece of equipment. Determine whether high definition will be required and what sort of outputs and inputs are needed. Make a list of the features that are the most important, and decide whether the camcorder needs to take still pictures.

These decisions will help you narrow down the relevant professional video camera options. It also is a good idea to ensure the chosen professional video camera records sound natively unless you plan on using an external microphone. Do not forget to look at the weight of the unit. The weight of the camera can be a concern if it is to be used as a handheld unit or might require a more expensive tripod to hold the weight. Connections to computers and other editing equipment vary dramatically, so be sure to get the correct outputs and cables.

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Different professional video cameras record in different formats. Select the format or formats that are the most appropriate for the camcorder's uses. Cameras will come with one or a combination of the most common formats: digital video (DV) tape, memory sticks and on-board memory. Many accessories for professional video cameras, such as a tripod, will not be included with the initial purchase. Special lenses, cables and cleaning accessories are other items to consider.

Lenses are an important issue to look into, as well. Most higher-end professional video cameras have interchangeable lenses, but some cameras have fixed lenses. If a variety of lenses will be utilized, interchangeability and compatibility with extra lenses is necessary. Sometimes a professional video camera does not come with any lenses, which will require an additional purchase.

Read reviews and comparisons of multiple camera systems to find the best option. Internet forums will supply a plethora of subjective information about individual cameras and vendors. Verify the reputation of the manufacturer’s equipment through multiple sources before purchasing a professional video camera.

High-end electronics such as a professional video camera should come with a good warranty. Check the parameters for parts and labor, as well as replacement policies for defective equipment. Technical support should be made available to customers. Taking all of these factors into consideration will allow for a well-informed purchase.

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