A Guide to Buying HD Camcorders

What is HD?

You’re familiar with HD televisions – high definition resolution which produces a crisper, cleaner picture.  The same principal holds true with an HD camcorder.  A video, whether it’s a television show or a home movie, is composed of hundreds of lines.  Each of these lines come together to produce the image.  A standard definition video has 480 lines of resolution whereas a high definition video can have up to 1,080.  In short, the more lines the crisper the picture.

Is there more than one type of resolution?

Yes, in fact, there are three:  1080i, 1080p and 720p.  The difference lies in how the video is recorded.  The letter which follows the number stands for either progressive scan video or interlaced video.  Which is better?  That depends on what you are recording.  For fast paced action video, such as sporting events, progressive scan generally produces a better image.

1080p vs. 720p

If you have decided to go with a progressive scan video camera, there are two types to choose from, 1080 and 720.  These numbers refer to the number of lines of resolution.  Remember, the more lines, the sharper the image.  A camera that records in 1920 x 1080 resolution is considered Full HD.  This is the maximum resolution available and it produces the cleanest picture.

Is there any reason not to buy HD?

While the HD video produces high quality images, that level of detail also comes with a price – it consumes more storage than standard definition videos.  This means your memory card will fill up faster and the file sizes will consume more storage on your computer.  If you have an older computer, it might not have the processing power to play the videos or display them in HD.  These are certainly concerns to be aware of before going out and purchasing a HD camcorder.

So which one should I get?

MySears members love the Samsung Waterproof HD W200 Camcorder (pictured above). Whether you’re under water or hiking, this camera was made for adventurers. It has 1080p HD recording and an anti-fog lens for clear, blur-free videos and pictures.


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