At the risk of resorting to an over generalization, it seems as if aging adults have an interest in capturing and memorializing the occurrences and events that constitute the unique fabric of daily life. If the ultimate goal is to employ some sort of technological device to commemorate and record an image, then it is crucial not to disregard the digital camcorder as an inherently noteworthy device.
Digital camcorders combine the features of a still camera with a video recorder; we consider them to be a tremendously useful all-in-one gadget. So, as opposed to taking a pixilated picture of your beloved dog or recording a blurry scene from you grandchild’s birthday party on your smartphone, camcorders usually provide reliable, high quality images. And while home commercial camcorders have a stellar reputation, it is important to note that they are not all made equally. Certain camcorders accentuate or modify specific features, which for our purposes here, leads us to a discussion of the elder friendly features we find in a digital camcorder. Because not all aging adults have the same physiological needs, we have outlined the features of a camcorder that seniors might find important.
What Seniors Should Look for in a Digital Camcorder
Large LCD Screen
Those of us with low vision should definitely invest in a digital camcorder with a large LCD screen, a panel that flips away from the body of the camcorder to display the images in real time. Usually LCD screens measure from 2 to 4 inch diagonally but we recommend nothing less than 2.5 inches. Additionally, it is advantageous to avoid LCD screens that are prone to capturing glare from sunlight.
Sony DCR-DVD505 4MP DVD Handycam Camcorder with 10x Optical Zoom
When it comes to assessing LCD screens, the Sony DCR-DVD505 4MP is quite the standout, with its nice bright 3.5 inch screen. The screen also has multi-layer anti-glare coating, which heightens the visual contrasts making it easier to discern the on-screen image.
It is common for cognitive decline to accompany old age, in which case it is important to have a camcorder that is designed in a simple, straightforward, and intuitive manner. Look for camcorders with minimal controls and buttons to manage as well as automatic override options.
Cannon ZR100 Digital Camcorder
With reliable automatic setting, the ZR100 is a top-tier camera for beginners that want/need simplicity in their gadgets. Also, unlike other simple bargain/beginner camcorders, the ZR100 visually takes high-quality video.
Ergonomically Friendly Controls
Digital camcorders with ergonomically friendly controls should be set up so your hand and fingers are in a prime position to manage all controls effectively and simultaneously grip the camcorder. It is important to note that a reliable and comfortable grip is not just a matter of personal preference; it’s a safeguard against dropping your camcorder.
Samsung HMX-R10 HD Flash Memory Camcorder with 5x Optical Zoom
The Samsung HMX-R10 has been designed to maximize comfort and provide your hand with a natural grip. Fingers strategically line up with buttons in order to increase the gadget’s efficiency of use.
On the aggregate, camcorders are a bit heavier than digital cameras. Therefore, if you have brail bones and difficulty lifting heavy objects but have an interest in camcorders, then it is essential that you look for a lightweight model. Lucky for you, there are certain camcorders that measure less than one pound.
Isonic DV566 5MP Multifunction Pocket Digital Camcorder
The iSonic is incredibly lightweight. How light you ask? 3.5 ounces, which converts to .2 pounds. That is surely a great investment if you want to take videos but you aren’t necessarily equipped to lift heavier objects.
Optical Image Stabilization
This key feature keeps video image stable while you are shooting an action-oriented scene, like a sporting event. This is also a particularly useful feature if your coordination is not all that steady and you need help compensating for shaky hands.
The Sony HDR-XR200V will help you reduce the unwanted blurs that comes from sudden jerky hand movements and the difficulty of trying to shoot dynamic speedy objects.
Like with an LCD screen, the user looks through a viewfinder to compose and record an image. Viewfinders are drastically smaller than LCD screens though, and should be used as the back-up option. Let’s say you are filming in an area with bright, shiny lights and you can’t properly see the content on an LCD screen, then it is essential that you employ a color viewfinder.
Canon ES75 Hi8 Camcorder with Color Viewfinder
Not all viewfinders provide color, but Canon’s ES75’s color viewfinder captures crisp, bright, and clear images. It is not a substitute for a LCD screen, but it is a dependable option if the LCD screen is draining your batteries and you need to shut it off ASAP.