When it comes to camcorders most people have no idea what the difference is between a flash memory camcorder and a hard drive camcorder. There are some notable differences you should be aware of such as recording time and image quality. There’s little difference in cost between a flash memory camcorder and a similar hard drive camcorder but there are some important differences. Let’s take a closer look at the difference between a flash memory and hard drive camcorder.
Flash memory camcorder or hard drive camcorder – Which has the best picture quality
This is a good question and the answer involves much more than just the lens. While it’s true that good image quality does of course require a good lens the fact is that most all flash memory camcorders compress the image while recording to save memory. This compression results in a less than stellar quality image. A very good lens, however, can make up for some of this compression. In addition to this many hard drive camcorders now allow recording in HD, something a flash memory camcorder simply cannot do.
Flash memory camcorder or hard drive camcorder – Which has more storage capacity
This is one of the biggest differences between these two types of camcorders. The flash memory camcorder uses flash memory and compresses it’s image while recording. Most flash drive camcorders have a set amount of built in memory plus the ability to expand it with removable class 4 SDHC memory cards. So with a flash memory camcorder you’ll never run out of space as long as you have additional memory cards to pop in. Overall this is great but the memory tends to be more expensive per gigabyte that with a hard drive camcorder. Now, a hard drive camcorder has a set amount of hard drive space, and usually tons of it, and once that’s full you’re done, there’s no expanding it. You’ll have to empty the hard drive to a computer before you can shoot again. When shopping for a new camcorder pay attention to the storage space available and factor in the cost of additional memory cards if you’re leaning towards a flash camcorder.
Flash memory camcorder or hard drive camcorder – Which is more durable
A flash memory camcorder, with no moving parts, is certainly a more durable product. The hard drive camcorder can be damaged if hit or dropped since it does indeed have moving parts. In addition it’s a little known fact that a hard drive camcorder has difficulty operating at high altitudes, a factor if you hike in the mountains.
Overall you’ll find both types of camcorders to have similar warranties and cost. I actually prefer the hard drive model because of it’s tons of internal memory and the better picture quality. For a new user, or somebody not familiar with techy items the flash model is probably a better choice due to it’s simpler and more rugged design.
When trying to find which is the best camcorder I would also suggest reading some camcorder reviews on sites like consumer reports, consumer search and even on Amazon. They’ll provide real user reviews that can help you make the final decision between a flash memory camcorder and a hard drive camcorder.
Filed Under: Computers and Electronics