Are Used Video Cameras Right For You?
Buying a used video camera is the ideal way to get a professional-grade camera at a discounted price. Because they come in a range of models, capabilities, and prices, it’s important to consider specific features and accessories.
Why Choose a Pro or Prosumer Camcorder?
Some advanced features set professional video cameras far apart from the rest.
Unlike consumer camcorders, professional camcorders allow you to use up to 35mm lenses. More light passes through the larger lenses, and this influences the depth of field and frame sizes. As a result, you get to shoot videos with deep depth of field. Instead of the standard CCD image sensors, prosumer video cameras have CMOS image sensors that offer superior image quality. Also, prosumer camcorders give you the ability to swap lenses and other camcorder lens accessories.
On the low end, standard video cameras come with a resolution of 704p x 480p. While this resolution is fine for some shoots, it's too low for high-definition videos. With used professional video cameras, you get resolutions of 1080/60i for lower-end models and up to 4K/60p for high-end devices.
Higher quality recording formats
Prosumer and pro cameras record videos in MP4 and AVCHD formats. AVCHD produces Blu-ray quality HD videos, while MP4 offers a more compressed HD video format that takes up less memory space.
For standard camcorders, you can use scene modes, autofocus, and many other presets to shoot clear home videos. However, with a professional shoot, you need to have direct control of each setting. Choose a camcorder with a button or dial to control the shutter speeds, and an iris ring to control the amount of light coming through the lens.
Audio features are critical components of prosumer camcorders. For professional sound, choose a camcorder that accepts a 2-channel (stereo) mic input. There are two main types of this mic input: XLR input and 1/8-inch mini input. These inputs allow you to use just about any type of professional mic. The video camera should also allow you to change the audio levels manually.
Pro and Prosumer Camcorder Accessories
Depending on your shooting needs, you may need some camcorder and camera accessories to get the job done. For instance, you may need external shotgun mics to capture directional sound, or clip-on lavalier mics for interviews. All of these are available in the Used department. If you need a bigger screen to monitor the important details in a video, shop for a larger monitor. Don't forget to go for affordable used video tripods and supports for sturdier shots and videos.