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Wednesday, 16 January 2008
1. CCDs: A 3-CCD (also called 3-chip) camcorder provides much better picture quality but is also a lot more exclusive. A 3-CCD camera is by no means mandatory, but it is nice to have.

2. Progressive scan: This is another characteristic that is nice but not absolutely mandatory.

3. Optical zoom: Spec sheets usually has optical and digital zoom separately. Digital zoom numbers are usually high (200x, for example) and seem appealing. Ignore the big digital zoom number and take more note on the optical zoom factor (which describes how well the camera lens actually sees); the optical zoom factor should be in the 12x-25x range. Digital zoom just crops the image captured by the CCD and then makes each remaining pixel bigger to fill the screen, resulting in greatly reduced picture quality.

4. Tape format: MiniDV is the most common design.

5. Batteries: You should purchase a camcorder that uses lithium ion batteries - they last longer and are easier to take care than NiMH (nickel-metal-hydride) batteries.

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