Buying Guide - Camcorder and video editing tools

December 2016

Buying Guide - Camcorder and video editing tools

Choosing your HD camcorder and right video editing tools

Nowadays most camcorders manufacturers have abandon videotape in the favor of new storage technology such as the memory card and hard drive. Videos are recorded in AVCHD (h264), which can be quite difficult to handle on entry-level computers. When choosing a computer for video editing, don't limit yourself to the minimum hardware requirements prescribed by the software publishers.

Some recommendations:


Windows PC (estimated costs - 800 euros minimum)
  • You will need a quad-core i5 2500k or i7, with a new motherboard.
  • A 64-bit OS will allow you to use 6 to 8 GB of memory (RAM).
  • You will also require a high capacity hard drive (7200rpm) dedicated to video storage.
  • A Blu-ray recorder
  • Any mainstream video editing software (compatible with AVCHD)
  • Installing and running the video editing software from a SSD drive is recommended.

Mac OS X
A Mac Pro with iMovie is a good alternative.


NB: If you can't afford high definition (1920x1080) video editing right now, you can always opt for a camcorder allowing downconversion to standard definition (mpeg2 720x576).

The criteria:

The sensor size - Represents the dimensions of the sensor. On most of the modern camcorders the sensor is not specified, instead it has been replaced by the number of megapixels. A high number of megapixels partially reflects the quality of the sensor, but tends to impress the buyers.
The sensor size is measured in inches:
  • Entry level - 1/8, 1/6
  • Mid-range 1/4
  • High end- 1/3, 1/2, 3/4

The aspect ratio - Opt for a camcorder with a 30 mm angle of view which can record in 16:9 (HD)
Storage: Integrated HDD or Memory card.
  • hard drive (less expensive)- high capacity, but can't be expanded
  • memory card - versatile and expandable

Video editing software (80 - 120 €) - Magix Video deluxe, Sony Vegas, Cyberlink Power Video and Adobe.

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