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Grumpy Old Fool

What’s the best camcorder for making home movies?

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Now that Summer is approaching, I’m asked this question all the time. I used to say “They’re all good, go to the store and see which one fits your budget, your eyes, and your hands.”

But now there are so many formats (tape, memory card, DVD) and types (tiny “flip” pocket cameras and traditional camcorders) that the answer isn’t so simple.

In my opinion, it comes down to which of the two types of home moviemakers you are:

1. Computers and home movies don’t mix! I just want to shoot video of vacations, parties and school plays and watch them on my TV later. I do not see me editing my movies.

If this description fits you, then take a look at camcorders that record to tape or DVD.

2. I want to be able to edit my movies, add titles (perhaps even special effects and music), burn them on DVD and/or email my movies to friends and family. I also want to be able to post my videos on websites such as YouTube.

If this sounds like you, then take a look at camcorders that record to memory cards.

Keep in mind that there are other factors such as personal preference and cost that will enter into your decision. Also there is a lot of overlap here – either type of camera will fill the needs of either type of moviemaker, even if it isn’t ideal.

Here’s a link to a very comprehensive camcorder buyer’s guide that specifically addresses the needs of the home moviemaker:

http://reviews.cnet.com/camcorder-buying-guide/

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