What are camcorders ?
Almost every one of us have a camcorder which we use to film some of the most memorable moments from our lives. But just how many people actually know what the camcorder is? The word itself is derived from “video camera” and “video recorder”. Camcorder is more of a colloquial term and the standard name for this device is, in marketing materials, “video camera recorder”.
Today, even smartphones and some digital photo cameras have a camcorder function which is used to capture moving images. Although these ones may not have the same quality as a true dedicated camcorder, they are still decent. The first models were videotape-based, while the later ones, from the early 21st century, were already digital and were recording and storing everything on flash memory or SD cards, making the tapes obsolete.
Originally, the video camera wasn’t available to the public and it was being used mainly for television broadcasting. As you’d expect, in the 1920s, when they were first used for TV, the video cameras were big and heavy, requiring special pedestals to be mounted on in order to sustain their weight. Also, they weren’t all that practical, since they needed 2 people to operate them, especially out in the field.
Luckily though, as years went by, camcorders and specialized TV cameras became smaller, lighter and easier to use. By 1982, Sony already released its Betcam system, which soon became standard equipment for broadcasting news and for editing videos in studio. Only one year later, the same company managed to produce its first consumer camcorder, the Betamovie BMC-100P.
This one was using a Betamax-type cassette and usually rested on its operator’s shoulder, since it didn’t not have a single-handed grip fitted on, due to its design not allowing for one to be included with it. Fast forwarding to today, in 2003 the world saw the introduction of XDCAM, which was a type of tapeless video format.
And in 2010 we were already having 3D technology available on camcorders and professional video cameras. A camcorder, as mentioned above, is manly geared towards your average consumer, who’s not really a professional cameraman or film-maker, but who’d like to just be able to record his kids, pets, or any other important moments in his life, so he can have them as memories.
If you do not fit in this category, maybe it’s time to start taking some filmmaking classes and buy yourself a more professional videocamera. On the other hand, if you do want to invest some money in a camcorder, here’s what the market has to offer for 2015: Sony PJ530, GoPro Hero3+ Silver Edition, JVC Everio GZ-VX815, Canon Vixia HF R52, Sony HDR-PJ275, Panasonic HC-W850, Panasonic HC-X920, Sony HDR-CX240 or JVC GZ-R70B.