How to Buy
Digital Video Equipment

Do you have trouble selecting and buying digital video equipment? Can't decide which digital camcorder to buy? Or what factors to consider when selecting a video editing program?

Take buying camcorders as an example. You certainly don't want to end up spending thousands of dollars on a digital camcorder if you only intend to shoot simple home videos. On the other hand, if you'll need a high-end model to shoot broadcast quality video.

This article will give you some tips on selecting the best desktop video equipment. We'll break down the article into the various categories, namely, digital camcorders, computers, video capture devices, video editing software and DVD authoring programs.

1. Buying A Digital Camcorder

To shoot a desktop video, you'll definitely need a camcorder. There are both analogue and digital camcorders out there, but digital camcorders are more the norm now.

To select a quality camcorder, you'll need to focus mainly on your budget and the camera's intended usage. A low to mid-range digital camcorder is more than sufficient if you want to shoot only home videos. Don't waste money on higher-end models which are more suitable for professional videographers.

You should also consider other factors like Firewire support, lens quality and still image capability. For more on this topic, you can read my detailed guide on buying a digital camcorder.

A HD digital camcorder from Canon

2. Buying A Computer For Video Editing

A computer will be needed if you intend to capture, edit or produce your own movie creations on DVD or BluRay disc. Desktop and laptop computers pack a lot of power these days and you should have no problems selecting a decent model for your video editing needs.

Again, consider your budget and intended usage. Other factors like future expandability, size, and even customer support are also important. I've written a short guide on selecting a good video editing computer which will be useful to you.

3. Buying A Video Capture Device

When I speak of a video capture device, I refer to two things - Firewire video capture cards and analog-to-digital converters.

Firewire cards are needed to transfer video from your digital camcorder to the computer (you cannot use the USB port). It is an absolute must-buy if you have a digital camcorder.

If you own an analog camcorder, or if you want to convert analog video footage into digital format, then analog-to-digital converters come into play. These devices take the analog video and convert them into digital format so that you can preserve those precious videos forever. Check out my guide to choosing Firewire cards for video capture.

4. Buying Video Editing Software

There are so many video editing software packages out there, it can be mind boggling to the newbie.

Traditionally, Adobe Premiere Pro has been recognized as the industry standard in editing video. It is an excellent package which has all the possible video editing features and special effects you'll want.

However, if you intend to edit home videos, you will want to consider the more budget Movavi, Corel VideoStudio and Pinnacle Studio products.

To help you out, you should read this useful guide on selecting the best video editing package.

Corel VideoStudio Pro video editing software

5. Buying DVD Authoring Software

VCD, DVD and BluRay authoring packages are very popular these days. These are available as standalone products (e.g. Nero Burning ROM) or built into video editing packages like Corel VideoStudio or Movavi.

Typically, these simplify the process of burning a DVD with point-and-click user interfaces. They are also quite cheap and affordable. Traditionally, Corel has been the industry leader for many of these products and I would recommend buying their software.

You may also want to read my guide to buying VCD and DVD authoring programs for more information.


Whew! Considering the huge array of digital video equipment out there, it is most confusing to the beginner digital video enthusiast. I hope this article sums up the types of video equipment you need to buy and gives you some idea of what you will and will not need.

The most important thing, as I always emphasize, is to consider your budget and intended usage of a particular digital video product. If you follow that simple rule, you will, in general, make a good selection and purchase.

Find out my about my favorite hunting ground for video hardware deals and video software deals.

An All-In-One Video Editing Program

Frustrated by your video editing efforts? You and try but just can't produce a professional looking movie? Then you should check out Movavi Video Suite. This all-in-one package contains powerful yet easy-to-use tools for any video processing need - edit, enhance, convert and share. You can easily create brilliant movies by adding special effects and convert your video into any of 170+ video formats, or burn it to Blu-ray Disc & DVD.

Related Articles

You may also wish to read the following related articles:

How to buy your first digital camcorder
A guide to selecting a computer for digital video editing
Capture video from any video source with DVD Xpress
Which is the best video editing program?
A guide to selecting and buying VCD and DVD authoring software