Camcorder users and punters diverge according to the Gadget Show

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johnd
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Joined: Mar 8 2009
I was watching the Gadget show (a repeat) this morning and the opening topic was basically announcing the demise of the camcorder because mobile phones can shoot video just as well and you get a camcorder free with your phone so why spend a further £200 for a camcorder (quite how a camcorder is free if the phone costs £500 is left to us to figure out).
 
My initial reaction was outrage because in my opinion the basic statement was wrong and I have never seen any HD mobile footage up to the standard of my JVC HD40 (a typical but not absolute top quality consumer HD camcorder). But then I started thinking about the recent debate about DVDs and whether the average punter really cares about the video and audio quality and basically accepts anything provided it is 'good enough'.
 
The testing on the show was quite slanted and tended to compare camcorder and phone by making the camcorder match the phone so everything was shot on wide angle - telephoto did not exist. Kind of like saying why buy a bicycle when a human comes with 'free' legs? and then conducting a test by making the bike only travel at the top speed of the human. 
 
I suppose the proof of the pudding is how many professional videographers would pitch up at a wedding armed with an iphone? But the show may have a point in that most punters will never buy a camcorder now and a lot of us have seen the merits of dSLRs.
 
Speaking personally I use a dSLR for some video but generally will use my camcorder for concerts and shows, weddings and subjects requiring telephoto, focus and exposure control. I also find a camcorder much easier to operate.
infocus2
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Joined: Mar 2 2012
Re: Camcorder users and punters diverge according to the ...
The Gadget Show has not got the best reputation for rigorous accuracy, and it's not the first time they've slanted "tests" to back up fairly nebulous claims.
 
That said, if they had been predicting the demise of the camcorder for most CONSUMERS they may have a point. Same for stills cameras, I suppose. I doubt phone cameras have made much of a dent in DSLR sales, or even the more expensive compacts. But cheap consumer cameras? I suspect their sales are well down, and I also suspect it's the same at the lower end of the consumer camcorder market. The results may not be as good - but it saves expense, carrying an additional device etc etc. For many people, that will be good enough.
 
But for professional use, whether it's for weddings or broadcast, then no. And nowadays that's as you say - far less down to sheer technical quality, more down to operational factors, maybe especially the ability to vary angle of view.
Barry Hunter
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Joined: Nov 30 2001
Re: Camcorder users and punters diverge according to the ...
We have 2 daughters, each have 2 children ages between 4 - 8. Over the years we and our respective daughters have shot footage of the grandchildren & then Madam produces a DVD every so often. One daugter religeously shoots footage on a DV camera & is fairly good, the other has an iPhone & shoots on that, which is where the problem lies, half the time the footage is in portrait mode, but the bigest problem is that we never get it, so consequently, records of her children`s achievments etc when we`re not there (they live in Birmingham) are never going to be kept.

Barry Hunter videos4all.org