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How do I Choose the Best Mini Digital Video Camera?

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  • Written By: Tricia Ellis-Christensen
  • Edited By: O. Wallace
  • Last Modified Date: 12 November 2016
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The introduction of the mini digital video camera has made buying a video camera accessible to many more people, compared to the bulky, heavy and expensive cameras of the past. The mini digital video camera is typically sold to a variety of customers at greatly reduced prices when compared to standard video cameras. Choosing the best type could include evaluating reviews, assessing compatibility with computer equipment, determining features, and looking at price.

Reading reviews may help in selecting the best mini digital video camera. There are excellent tech guides online that can help in this process, and people shouldn’t forget traditional reviewers like Consumer Report®. There are less orthodox review sites, especially ones that feature customer reviews, such as large retailers. Customer reviews aren’t coming from experts and favorable reviews usually aren’t that helpful. People should instead look at the reviews that criticize the cameras and any missing features to determine if these criticisms are just.

What people should avoid are reviews of a mini digital video camera on a site that is devoted to manufacturing or selling that particular brand. These reviews are typically biased, and are more useful for comparing the features on the cameras.

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Most mini digital video camera types will be perfectly compatible with PCs that are relatively new. The same cannot be said for all cameras and Apple® computers. Apple® users should ascertain camera compatibility before making a choice, and anyone will want to make certain he or she has the requisite software for film editing.

Since there are now so many of these cameras on the market, comparing the features of each is very valuable. Some of the minis do not record sound, and will be less useful to some users. Others have zoom, ways to take still shots, different viewer window sizes, variation in total hours that can be recorded, and requirements for additional components like SD cards.

Price is a happy subject, since many minis are under $200 US Dollars (USD). It is possible to get a few under $100 USD, but lower price typically means the model is older and may not have all the features of a newer model. Prices may change over time as popularity of these cameras continues, and is more likely to decrease than increase. A comparison should take into account any extras like software, batteries, or microphones that would need to be purchased separately.

Most serious camera users point out that the average digital mini may not be the best choice for people who want to take high quality film. Sound quality can be an issue, and picture quality will not match higher end video cameras. This is another thing to think about, but for many, these lower priced minis give folks the opportunity to start filming their world, and provided their standards are not extremely high, a mini may be just the thing.

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krisl
Post 1

I have used a Flip mini digital camera fairly extensively, and I've been pleased with the results for the most part. It is about the size of your average pocket digital camera, so it's extremely portable. What most amateur filmmakers would like about it, I think, is the incredible simplicity of its interface.

There are only a few buttons the whole thing: one for the zoom, one for the menu, one for delete, and a couple more for scrolling through previous pictures. That's it. It's extremely user friendly. Considering how small it is, it gets surprisingly good sound. I've shot a music video, and a few short films on it, and have never been disappointed in the sound or video quality. My only real complaint with this particular mini camera is that its zoom function is quite limited. Aside from that fact though, it's a more than adequate camera for amateur filmmakers.

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