Camcorder formats explained

We give the lowdown on all the video jargon and buzzwords: from HD to HDD

HDD camcorders

Camcorder formats explained

HDD camcorders utilise small, non-removable hard disk drives to store and record video. Currently, hard disk–based camcorders are the fastest and best-selling format on the market. This makes for a solid future investment.

Hard disk–based camcorders offer anywhere between 12GB and 120GB of inbuilt storage space, depending on the cost of the device. One of the obvious advantages is that you don't need to carry around recordable media, such as tapes or DVDs. Not only is this more cost-effective, but it also makes them more user-friendly for beginners (all you need to do is turn the camera on and shoot)

One disadvantage of the HDD format is that you can't add additional storage space. Plus, if you happen to break your camera, any footage stored on the hard drive could be gone forever. If you haven't recently backed up your footage, this could result in hours of lost memories.

Bear in mind that HDD stands for 'hard disk drive', not 'high-definition'. Many hard disk-based models record in the standard-def format.

Best HDD camcorder (standard-def): Sony HDR-SR12 E

Best HDD camcorder (high-def): JVC Everio GZ-MG730

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Chris Jager

Good Gear Guide

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