How to Select a Digital Video Camera for Your Family Vacation


So you’re taking a great family vacation and you want to record all of the fun memories you have while there. And rather than use your smartphone, you decide it’s time to invest in a real digital video camera. But with all the options out there today, how do you decide which one to buy?

There are a number of factors you need to consider before investing in a digital video camera, and the following tips will help ensure you purchase the right camera for your vacation.

Recording Format

The format of the camera you choose will determine your cost, viewing methods, features and storage options, but knowing what type of recording format you want is important. You can choose from Mini DV, digital hard drive, DVD or flash drives.

MiniDVs tend to be the most popular choice for digital videos. This type of recorder captures great quality videos and tends to fall on the inexpensive side of the cost spectrum. But the mini DV tapes that you need to buy are not very cheap and may cause some difficulty trying to connect them to your computer.

Digital hard drive cameras tend to be your least expensive option, but if the hard drive crashes, you’re out of luck.

DVDs tend to be the worst in quality of the four options, and they’re also the most expensive, but if you’re not good with computers and transferring your family videos will be difficult for you, choosing the straight to DVD option may be the best choice.

Flash drive cameras are very versatile and compact, but you’ll want to remove your videos from the flash drive and put them on your computer. Without an external hard drive, these videos can take up a large amount of storage on your computer.


Once you’ve decided which type of recording format makes the most sense for your vacation, you’ll need to decide if HD or standard definition is the right choice. This will all depend on your viewing pleasure, what you’re recording on vacation, and how much money you want to spend. HD camcorders will be the more expensive option, but if you want to capture the best details on your vacation, then they’re the best choice.

Size and Weight

Most cameras today are small and compact, but they do vary in size and weight, and you’ll need to choose the best camera for your vacation. Will you be recording for long periods of time? Then you may want to choose something a bit on the lighter side, especially if you don’t have a tripod. Will you need a video camera that can easily fit into your purse or pocket while not in use? Then you’ll want to choose something on the smaller side.

LCD Display

If you are going to do a lot of outside recording, you should choose a camera that has an LCD display. This makes it easier for you to see what you’re recording, especially in the sun, and LCD displays make it easier for you to focus.


Will you need to record sounds on your vacation? If so, choosing a camera with a front-mounted microphone will allow you to capture better sound than those with a top mounted microphone.


If it’s possible that you’ll be shooting videos from far away, you want to make sure that your camera has the best zoom options that allow you to get close to the action and still produce a quality video. Always test this feature out in the store to see just how detailed you can get from far away.


Price is by far the ultimate factor in your video camera purchasing endeavor. Newer and smaller cameras with the latest technologies and features are going to cost the most money. If you’re on a tight budget, you may need to look at a camera from last season or opt for something a bit on the bigger side.

When choosing a camera for your vacation, make sure to thoroughly research your options and test out any cameras that interest you. Know what you’ll be using the camera for while on vacation so that you can make sure the camera you’re looking at is a good fit to help you capture your family memories.

Marcy S writes for Actin Web visit the site to learn more about professional video production.

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