Cameras vs Camcorders: Which is Best for Video?

Cameras and camcorders have come a long way over the past few years. These days cameras can take breath-taking video and camcorders can capture fantastic stills.

With all the advances, it’s gotten much harder to figure out which option is best. There are a lot of pros and cons to each device, but you may find you’re making your decision based on a single point of difference.

Whether you’re planning to be the next Scorsese or the next YouTube sensation, this guide will help you choose between a camera and a camcorder.


A camera is a great all-rounder option. If you are after a device that can take amazing stills and impressive video, a camera can be a great choice. This is especially the case when camera technology is constantly updating to bring more and more quality video recording capabilities to the table.

someone holding a DSLR to record video

A DSLR is designed for photography, but many DSLR cameras have supreme video recording technology that may even out-class lower range camcorders. Mirrorless cameras are also a good option since they are lighter and more compact than DSLR cameras while still offering many of the same benefits as DSLRs.

In low light, a DSLR or mirrorless camera will do a better job than a camcorder simply because they tend to have a larger sensor. A large sensor is essential for capturing low light video and stills.

High video quality can mean memory trouble for cameras. Most cameras record data onto memory cards whereas many camcorders record onto built-in hard drives. That may mean you run out of storage faster on your camera, although you can always carry around spare memory cards.

Finally, your camera may require different equipment for video recording. Some lenses are inappropriate for video, and for better sound you may need a dedicated microphone if your camera’s mic isn’t cutting it.


If all you want from a camera is the ability to shoot video, a video camera is your best bet since they are specifically designed for video recording.


Camcorders are designed to sit in your hand comfortably, with a strap for steady video. A tilt and swivel screen will allow you to compose the perfect shot. In many regards, the ergonomics of a camcorder beats cameras, since they best maximize recording by one hand.

Everything about camcorders is designed to produce the best quality video ranging from high to ultra-high definition. The built-in zoom lenses are specially calibrated for video. They also have built-in microphones that can be omnidirectional and can even record surround sound. Often, they’ll have audio inputs that aren’t common features in cameras.

Low light video recording can be difficult with camcorders because the majority of camcorders have smaller sensors. Keep an eye out for higher end camcorders that offer larger sensors. Camcorders also have the option to capture stills, although these won’t measure up to a professional DSLR.

Ultimately, the decision comes down to your personal preference. We strongly advise you head into a camera store to get a feel for camcorders versus cameras. At Camera House, we’ll have experts on hand to answer all your questions. Or if you’ve already decided which way to go, shop our range of camcorders and DSLRs in our online store.


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