10 June 2013 by Nishant Soni
You are going to travel and you need a handycam so that you can shoot all those videos to show to your friends and family back home, but you are confused as to which is the right camcorder for you. Here is a short explanation that should help you choose the best handycam for travel available:
Weight: When you are travelling, you want something light and easy to carry. These are typically what you call pocket camcorders.
Price: The price should be reasonable so that you can hand it over to someone without the fear of ruining it.
Features: Now consider the functionality. It should have more manual controls, better sensors, lenses, and accessory shoes to mount. If the video camcorder has interchangeable lenses, then it is an additional benefit.
High Definition: All camcorders, even the most inexpensive, can Record High Definition videos. Look for the following specifications
The two commonly available resolutions are
1280x720 - 720p
1920x1080 - 1080p/i (Progressive or interlaced)
1080p is the better option of the two.
* Frames captured per second (fps)
The most typical frame rate available today is 24 and 30 fps.
A zoom lens is necessary as this kind of lens lets you magnify the subject from a distance. A cheap handycam will have zoom of up to 5x only.
Don't go for digital zoom specifications as the video quality is not good using digital zoom. You can opt for a camcorder with 60x zoom as it should be sufficient. With a higher zoom, you will need a tripod.
Make sure that the lens has an aperture of f2 or less. The focal length should be 39mm or less (less is better).
Image Stabilization (IS)
When you are shooting, you are bound to have unwanted movement at times, which can spoil the video. This usually happens when you are shooting from a moving vehicle or when you are on the move. Choose a camcorder with IS feature.
Sensor resolution: 2 times the standard resolution is most effective. For example, for a 720p handycam, sensor resolution should be 1.8 MP at the least and for 1080i, it should be 4 megapixels (mp).
Most consumer handycams have CMOS sensors, that is a backside illuminated sensor (don't confuse this with backlit). The advantage of this sensor is that it offers better low-lit working.
Storage is an important, since you don't want to run out of tapes in the middle of your travels. Most of the new handycam models offer only flash memory. Some rare models offer in-built hard discs. Buy a Class 6 card or higher if you are going to record HD video.
You need a device that can shoot well in low light conditions also.
Apart from the above, you can look for optional features like electronic viewfinder, headphone jack, and others. But these are only optional and do not make any difference to the video and photo quality. Knowing the features and how you can make use of them can help you choose the best camcorder for travel.