Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Open Forum › Camcorder or digital camera ? › The salesman told you what
The salesman told you what he wanted you to buy – not what is best for you. You don’t have a lot of budget so make a list of the things that are essential features – like what it records onto, viewfinder type, zoom range, facility to turn off auto features – that kind of things – but most importantly, how easy is it to use and what quality of pictures does it have? digital stills cameras that can take video, or video cameras that can take a few stills?
Build up a list of the types of things you’ll wish to record – then compare them to the specs. If you want to shoot yourself, can the viewfinder flip round so you can see your own image? If it can’t it’s not a lot of use to you. Does it offer the chance to plug in a better mic? Can you edit the video on your computer using the free software it has? This means checking what file format the camera produces and if your computer can read it. Some use file formats that need to be changed before you can use them – and that takes extra time and faffing about!
My own view is that stills cameras were designed to take still pics, and maybe the occasional video – but they’re less easy to work and people generate complex workarounds to make them do the job. Many video cameras can take still pictures – but again, few people actually use them for this.
Use Google to read reviews of the ones on your short-list, and if stuck ask questions on the forum. The salesman sounds like one of the box shifters to me who just needs to sell certain items that have good commission. Avoid people like this like the plague.