Home Video 101: How to Find the Right Video Camera
Becky Worley explains the newest trends in video camera technology.
Sept. 19, 2009 — -- In the past, video lived exclusively in the realm of filmmakers and professional news organizations. But now, anyone can shoot, edit, and share video with a relatively small investment of time and money.
But choosing the right camera is not simple. The most expensive gear may not be right for your lifestyle, let alone your budget.
So here's a guide to the types of video cameras on the market.
The Flip Cam and the Kodak Zi8 are small; you can throw them in your pocket or purse and have access to a camera anytime you want. They are incredibly easy to use: You turn the camera on and hit the record button. No settings, no focusing, no white balance. Because the interface is so simple, anyone can pick up this camera and use it without intimidation -- and that means more moments actually get recorded.
Sharing video with these cameras is dead simple: You use the built-in USB jack on the camera and plug it into the computer. It looks like a hard drive to your computer, so you just drag the files off the camera and open them in QuickTime or Windows Media Player. You can edit videos on the computer or just upload them to the Web. The Flip Mino HD is $169, the Kodak Zi8 is $179.
The HD video is sharper and the colors more vibrant. Comparing the Kodak HD and the Flip HD is interesting. To my eye, the video quality of the Flip was slightly better than the Kodak. Also, the Flip has a built-in hard drive that stores all your video. With the Kodak, you have to buy an extra memory card, but the upside is you can buy a really big memory card and store four times the amount of video than on the Flip -- but it'll cost you extra.