A friend told me that since I could not decide whether to choose a superzoom or a DSLR, I might as well choose a camcorder. He also mentions that modern camcorders have nice features and fit in just between a superzoom and a DSLR.

So, I would like to ask the community experts in photography whether a camcorder is really that good in terms of quality of image/video, good or even great zooming capabilities, and also at producing good video/image at night.


A camcorder does not "fit between super zoom and DSLR" - a camcorder is a device to make home videos that can also take low quality photos.

A camcorder is better designed to shoot video than any still camera (easier to hold and use) but they usually have crappy optics (because video is low res anyway) and are generally bad at taking photos.

Also a camcorder does not shoot pro level video, pro video gear is expensive (so expensive it makes top of the line DSLR look cheap).

If you want a device that shoot both photos and videos and fits in your pocket get a point and shoot.

If you want image quality and control get a DSLR.

If you want something in the middle you can get a mirror less interchangeable lens camera.

If all you want is low quality video than a camcorder is just for you.

obviously I'm talking about consumer level camcorders here (point and shoot price range) , I don't think anyone will call a pro video camera a "camcorder"

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Not if you want to make still photographs, it wouldn't. Many camcorders have the ability to snap stills, but none of them are any good at it. The suggestion that one would be "between a superzoom and a DSLR" is strange. No, it isn't. This is definitely a case of comparing apples to oranges — or maybe more like asking if broccoli is between an apple and an orange.

If, on the other hand, you want to primarily produce video, a camcorder probably is a better choice. Still cameras are getting more and more video capabilities, but they don't beat a device made for it (except in special use). Some DSLRs increasingly optimized for video and in some ways will beat moderate-cost camcorders for movies, but are in turn not really any match for even-more-expensive high-end video gear.

If you do decide it's video you want, there's a separate Stack Exchange site dedicated to that, at https://video.stackexchange.com/.

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  • +1 I never thought that stackexchange also have a site for video. Thanks for that link. – Jack Apr 26 '12 at 1:15

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