The digital video camera is possibly one of the best innovations in recent times. These handy devices will help you record all of your precious moments and save it in a memory card. So, if you have a number of memory cards, there is no possible way you will ever run out of space to record your videos. However, some folks are still confused between a point-and-shoot camera and a digital video camera. There are also some who wonder what is a primary feature of a digital video camera.
For some people, the point-and-shoot camera is still the better choice because not only do you have to immerse in the scene that you are filming but also, it can improve your photography and videography skills. The logic here is simple, with a point-and-shoot camera, you literally have to be front and center of what is happening to make it look right. In doing so, the photographer or videographer will learn to be the best at taking photos and videos.
Is the digital video camera better than the point-and-shoot camera? If so, then why do professional photographers still use vintage point-and-shoot cameras when they have to take a unique shot? Well, that is something to think about. On the other hand, it does not mean that when you use a digital camera, everything is easier. In fact, such is quite the opposite due to the many customization settings that are now available—people tend to get lost in those.
Determining why a digital video camera is superior to a point-and-shoot digital camera will be easier if we look at the features and types of the two devices. So, will you be team point-and-shoot camera or team digital video camera? We shall see by the end of this article.
What are the Features of a Point-and-Shoot Camera?
The general features of point-and-shoot cameras discussed below are just the ones that affect the image and video quality. We did not include other features like the LCD, memory card, file format, etc.
A lot of point-and-shoot cameras may blind you with high megapixels. However, do not be fooled because they have smaller image sensors compared to a digital video camera. As such, the result is an image or video with a lot of image noise.
- Zooming Capacity
Do not put your hopes up when it comes to this feature. They do have zooming features but do not expect the image or video to be clear. You can have a bit of a decent zoom when you use a compact high-zoom camera, but that quality is still worse than the one you will get from a basic digital video camera.
- Image stabilization
This is another feature where the point-and-shoot camera will fail you as you will find yourself holding your arm due to the pain of manually stabilizing the device. In a way, it has an anti-shake feature, but you barely can notice it especially if you are doing motion shots. You have to use a tripod at least to stabilize it.
Types of Point-and-Shoot Cameras
Apart from gaining knowledge about the basic features of point-and-shoot cameras, you must also be familiar with its three major types.
- Basic point-and-shoot camera
This camera usually shoots on 360p to 480p; however, the new releases now offer 1080HD. You cannot tweak the settings in photo and video, but it has a pretty good automatic mode and other selections for scenes. Additionally, it has small sensors.
- Advanced point-and-shoot camera
The difference between this one and the basic one is that you can adjust its controls and settings. Meaning, you can play with the ISO, aperture, and shutter. In terms of aperture, it has a wider one which will help you get a bigger depth of field. You can also shoot at faster shutter speeds.
- Compact high-zoom camera
From the name itself, this one is better when it comes to zooming subjects compared to the previous two types. You can zoom from 10x to 15x the original size. At the same time, they also have manual controls for adjusting the shutter and aperture settings. Further, most models of this type have better stabilization for optical image.
What is a Primary Feature of a Digital Video Camera?
Now, when you shop for a digital video recorder, it’s very easy to get confused by the plethora of options available. There is also a laundry list of features that you are confronted with. Some of them are quite easy to comprehend, then, there are some that are way too complex. However, there are certain primary features that any good digital video camera must have. Let us list some of those for you.
- Resolution of the Video
This is a fundamental feature you must know before settling for any digital video recorder. A digital video recorder is capable of recording videos either in standard or high definition. The former is typically reserved for older or low-end cameras. These days, 4K video recorders have become quite common too.
We are in 2018, and most or all of you have high-definition televisions to view your recordings. Hence, it is best to settle for a digital video recorder that offers at least 1080P of HD resolution. By settling with that, you at least future-proof all of your videos.
- Image Sensors
In most digital video cameras, you will find two kinds of sensors. These sensors differ from each other on how they capture the picture or video. CCD (Charged Coupled Devices) digital video recorders tend to have separate sensors for each of the green, blue and red lights. What this does is that it creates accurate, sharp and very vibrant pictures and videos.
CMOS (Complementary Metal Oxide Semiconductor) sensors are much larger in size in comparison to the CCD sensors. These CMOS sensors have the ability to absorb more light into the lens and also consume significantly lesser power in contrast to CCDs.
- Zoom Lens
The zoom lens of any digital video recorder is also a very important feature. This is because having a good zoom will allow you to magnify objects that are quite far away. However, it is worthy to remember that not every zoom is the same. You will often notice that there are two kinds of zooms in every camera. One is a digital zoom, and the other is the optical zoom.
Digital zoom isn’t precisely a zoom. The video or image you capture is basically digitally zoomed in, like how you would zoom in on pictures on your phone. What this leaves you with is a grainy and low-quality image or video.
An optical zoom, on the other hand, is what you should look for as it is considered as the true zoom lens. The lens will automatically adjust itself to reach as close to the subject as possible without compromising the quality of images and videos. Zoom lenses will be typically written as 2x, 8x, 20x, etc. The higher the number, the better the lens.
- Video Format
The video format refers to what kind of digital file type your digital video recorder will create when it saves the video. This is crucial as the file type that you will save will impact the quality of the video and how easy will it be to view or edit it on a computer. Typically, video recorders save videos in file types like MPEG-2, AVI, and H.264. However, there are numerous other file types too.
- Low Light
Not everywhere you record videos will have great lighting. Hence, another important feature that a digital video recorder should possess is a low light feature.
Unless you are going to attach an external microphone to your digital video recorder, having a good, sturdy microphone built into your camera is absolutely essential. Microphones are typically placed either on the top or front of the camera. Newer video camera models are capable of even zooming in on a particular sound source in order to get clear audio. Also, make sure that the video recorder has an option to attach an external microphone.
Two Major Types of Digital Video Cameras
Digital video cameras are usually divided into two major types. Under these two types are also numerous models that may have a slight difference in some aspects like ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. Nevertheless, even though these models differ from one another, they are still under the same category because of their looks, lenses, and manual settings.
- Digital SLRs (Single Lens Reflex Cameras or DSLRs)
These are the big guns of the digital video cameras. They are big and bulky that you really need to carry a camera bag with you. At the same time, this is the camera that professional photographers and videographers use. It is ideal for shoots because it is versatile and provides high image and video quality.
Its lens can be removed and exchanged with other lenses, depending on the type of subject you are shooting. You can choose from a variety of angles from a fixed length to wide angles, and even telephoto lens to see the fibers of that bee that you are shooting. Definitely, you can have different types of shots with a DSLR.
In terms of sensor size, it also has a big one. This paves the way for better and clearer quality of image and video. Additionally, you can switch to different modes such as the prepared presets or the full-on manual mode. You can customize the aperture, ISO, and shutter speed as well.
- Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras
This type is dominating the market right now. Imagine getting slightly lower quality than a DSLR, but the look and feel of a point-and-shoot? For sure, there is a good reason why a lot of people use this for videos. Another thing to note is that most bloggers and vloggers use this camera for creating their content maybe because it is easier to carry around than a DSLR.
The quality is almost the same as with the DSLR, and you can also interchange the lenses with this; however, due to its compact size, the lenses are smaller. The difference lies in the imaging process wherein it uses an LCD screen to preview the image, instead of mirrors which are used by DSLRs.
What are the Advantages of Using a Digital Video Camera?
Judging from the features of the point-and-shoot and digital video cameras, you can see that if you will use a point-and-shoot camera for videography, the quality of your video is diminished. Likewise, using it can be somehow an inconvenience. Do not get us wrong, though, it will still finish the job, but the result will most probably be sub-par. Hence, let us summarize the advantages of using a digital video camera over the point-and-shoot type.
- Quality of the Video
Most digital video cameras these days offer a minimum of 1080P recording quality. Some even offer 4K or even 8k recording capabilities, but those are typically reserved for high-end models. So, when you are recording an event, the aim is to capture everything as is—everything in crystal clear quality. Since digital video cameras are built to do so, you are likely going to get better results from this in comparison to a point-and-shoot camera.
This is a no-brainer. No point-and-shoot camera will offer you the robust zoom and fantastic quality than a digital video recorder. However, these will offer you fantastic magnification. Most of them will offer you a zoom of 30x or 60x, some even more in high-end models.
This too is a no-brainer. The internal microphone on a point-and-shoot digital camera is far inferior to a digital video camera. The internal microphones that are used in digital video recorders have highly sophisticated audio recording options. For instance, the microphone will have the ability to zoom into a particular sound source while some digital video recorders are capable of capturing multi-channel surround sound too.
Now that we’ve discussed some basic differences between point-and-shoot cameras and digital video cameras, you already have an idea what is a primary feature of a digital video camera that makes it superior.
Having a good digital video recorder will not only serve you its purpose of recording high-quality videos but also will last you for a couple of years. A good video recorder can help save all your precious memories as they exactly happened. It is also essential that you select a good brand of a digital video recorder such as Canon, Nikon, Sony and the likes. Cameras from these brands have amazing features and will always deliver fantastic videos.