Camcorders (Fall 2009)Lori Grunin and David Carnoy talk about what to look for when buying a camcorder.
[ Music ] ^M00:00:09 >> [Background music] I'm David Carnell, executive editor for CNET.com and we will talk Camcorder 101 with Editor Lori Grunin. First question Lori, should I get an HD camcorder? >> Absolutely, video quality is much better and unless you are shooting video that's solely to be used for embarrassing your friends and neighbors on Youtube, then you can always benefit by having higher quality video down the line. >> It used to be that most camcorders recorded to tape but now there's a whole different set of medium that you record to. Can you talk about those various formats including flash memory, hard drive, even DVD? >> Yeah, and frankly most camcorders now support a whole bunch of different combinations of the different formats which can also be kind of confusing. I think most people should probably stay away from tape at this point. It's capable of storing for the most part, the least compressed video but unless you plan to be doing independent video editing, you really - - it's really not for most consumers anymore. There's hard drives which is what you store a lot of video at one time. That's great, it's convenient you have to connect the camcorder to the computer in order to get it off, but you can also get really lazy and end up storing all of your video on there and then if something happens to the camcorder you loose it or whatever you've lost all your video. There's DVD which a lot of people feel is very convenient. Unfortunately, if you loose one bit of data on that DVD while you're recording you loose the whole DVD. You've lost everything you've recorded. >> Flash tends to be in my opinion the best solution. You can take it out. You're not going to over fill it. You can stick it in a reader to download the video to your PC if you want. You can just get another card and stick it in. >> All of these camcorders come with some sort of video editing package, are those packages any good or are you going to have to invest in something a little bit more robust? >> Most people tend not to edit their video which, you know, for better or for worse a lot of video could use some editing but the editing softer that shifts with camcorders tends to be pretty bad. We get nothing but complaints about it. I have yet to hear anybody say they really like the software that's shipped with their camcorder. >> A two part question; how much should you spend on a decent standard definition camcorder and how much should you spend on a decent HD camcorder? >> A decent SD camcorder will still run you about three hundred to four hundred dollars. A decent HD camcorder will run you about six hundred. Prices are still dropping a little so there is about a two hundred dollar price differential between a good SD and a decent HD still I think it's worth the extra money. >> The zoom lens - - when you're talking about camcorders, that's a spec you hear a lot about, is it something that people should be concerned about. It's important, but once again it can be too much of a good thing as well. We've seen in cheaper camcorders that manufacturers really pump up that zoom spec. We're seeing 60 x zooms in order to attract people who normally wouldn't be buying these products. >> Is there an easy way to get video on Youtube and Facebook and other video file sharing sites. >> First of all, easy is relative. For instance, the new generation [Background music] of he mini-camcorders like the Flip and the Creative Vado products like that, come with a software built in that you can plug it in and the software will automatically encode the video and upload it to youtube. >> I'm David Carnell for Lori Grunin. Thanks for watching. ^M00:03:40 [ Music ]