I have to admit, I never liked shopping, even if in candy stores, as a kid, or as a grown man who needed a new pair of tires for the car. I find the decision process very difficult, and the more options I’m presented with, the more dizziness and confusion installs.
These days I’m going through the same ordeal trying to find a new camcorder. I used to have an HDR-AX2000 from Sony, which I got for Christmas in 2010, but I guess I used it so intensely, it finally broke down two months ago.
My old cam was just great, it put out a lot of battery hours, it delivered great picture quality and it even got good image in low light conditions. I was happy with it, and filled an entire wall in my house with videos shot over the years, from family gathering recordings to nature observation videos.
But now I feel as though I’m lost on a stormy sea of a million features and combinations. So I guess the right way to solve this is to note down the important features that I really want, and see what available choices are there. First of all, I’m interested in a good battery life, so I won’t have to recharge the battery every two hours, as I heard was the case for some models. Secondly, a good image is crucial for me, as I like to work a lot on the settings and try different angles. Luckily, there are a lot of camcorders that can record in 4k or HD, and some of them aren’t horribly expensive.
What I really liked about my old Sony was the way it let me keep a white balance setting, so another one of my main requirements is for complex manual control. Of course, the type of storage that a camcorder uses is also something to be picky about, the main choices being a flash memory or a hard drive. The opinions amongst users seem to differ a lot, from what I’ve seen. Flash drives are not as sensible and bulky than a hard drive, but they also compress the video, so the quality will be slightly less good, but I think that’s more of a lense quality-problem. Also, flash cards can store less, but they are replaceable, whereas if you’re on the field, shooting, and the space on your hard drive is gone, you can’t do too much about it.
In the end, I think I can reduce the pain of shopping to just looking for these exact features, and I’ll be holding my new camcorder in no time.