Learning About Professional Camcorders

Take your filmmaking to the next level by shooting with professional camcorders. These digital cameras have more advanced features than consumer and prosumer camcorders have. They also have better image sensors and more recording capabilities. Pro camcorders are perfect for shooting movies, documentaries, and important events such as weddings.

What is a Professional Camcorder?

A professional video camera is bigger than a consumer model and has a larger lens with high-quality glass elements. Most professional-grade camcorders can record 4K videos at 30 frames per second (fps). Some high-end models can push resolution to 8K and capture HD recordings at 60fps. Premium camcorders such as the digital cine cameras

you see on film sets give you manual control over all settings and record high-quality audio via mounted external microphones.

While some DSLR cameras come with larger sensors than pro camcorders, the latter can handle panning better, thanks to features such as image stabilization. Pro camcorders also offer added versatility. For example, a pro model may support interchangeable lenses and can record in multiple formats. A compact camcorder usually captures videos in MP4 format. Professional models also shoot in advanced video coding high definition (AVCHD) format, a higher-quality HD format that captures more details, and can record both formats concurrently on separate memory cards.

Do Video Camcorders Take Pictures?

Yes, mostly. While this isn't always an option on old models, you can find a photo mode on most camcorders nowadays. Some will take photos without interrupting video recording, while others have to pause recordings to take still shots. DSLR and mirrorless cameras are better for taking photos. If you must use a camcorder for photos, choose a professional HD video camera.

What's the Difference Between PAL and NTSC Handheld Camcorders?

PAL (Phase Alternating Line) and NTSC (National Television System Committee) are competing video recording and broadcast formats. While the U.S. adopted the NTSC format, PAL is the preferred standard in most of the world. Although professional PAL camcorders record videos at higher resolution, they also have lower frame rates (25 vs. 29.97fps) than NTSC models. To watch captured footage directly on TV, get a handheld video camera that supports the format used in your country. It's possible to convert from one format to another by running captured footage through video editing software on a computer.

Demonstrate your growing proficiency behind the camera by switching to professional camcorders. Check out the selection of professional video equipment at B&H Photo and Video for new and used camcorders and cameras to complement your videography skills.