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for home use have been around now since the release of the Betacam
system in 1982 with a large shoulder held camera and a recorder unit
that could also be carried with a shoulder strap. In that same year,
a VHS system was also made available. In years afterward, the
technology has continued to evolve in quality, efficiency, and
portability into the systems available today.
There are three basic components to a camcorder system. It begins
with the lens. The lens gathers light in accordance with either user
or internal specifications and sends the light to the imager. The
imager converts the light gathered by the lens into electronic
signals. In the case of analog cameras, which are now becoming
difficult to find, the images are converted into waveforms of
varying voltage and digital cameras convert the light into a digital
binary code. The third part of the system is the recorder. The
recorder transfers the images onto a medium for storage. Older
cameras use magnetic videotape cartridges, while the newer systems
use mini-discs or digital RAM.
While it is difficult to find an analog camcorder that records to
tape they are still available but do not offer the features and
advanced technology of the newer digital models. They are also
bulkier and more difficult to carry and control. Full-featured,
dedicated camcorders have undergone miniaturization to palm-sized
units. They are available smaller, but they lose features and
quality after this point and the difference in image quality of a
full-featured camcorder and a portable device with video recording
capability is easily seen. Many mobile phones and digital
still-image cameras have video modes, but they are not suited to
professional use or use where details are wanted or required.
The top-of-the-line camcorders available today record video and
audio digitally, either on an internal hard drive or with flash
memory. Many Several models use flash memory cartridges such as SD
cards or Memory Stick for easier transfer to a PC where the video
can be stored and further manipulated. HD quality is now being
touted as the newest feature of personal camcorders. The correct
cables are needed in this case, for quality playback directly from
the camera to a high-definition television. Also, these more
expensive cameras offer more control over the capturing of the
images directly instead of having to manipulate them with software
Camcorders - probably the largest choice of
Camcorders in the UK!