What Is the Difference Between a Video Camera and a Camcorder?

Are you confused about the difference between a video camera and a camcorder? You’re not alone.

While both devices are used to record videos, there are some key differences between them that can affect your choice when making a purchase. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at these differences to help you decide which one is right for you.

What is a Video Camera?

A video camera is an electronic device that captures video footage onto tapes, memory cards, or hard drives. It’s typically larger than a camcorder and has more advanced features such as interchangeable lenses and manual controls over focus, shutter speed, and aperture. Video cameras are often used by professional filmmakers and videographers who require high-quality footage with precise control over settings.

What is a Camcorder?

A camcorder, on the other hand, is a portable device that combines both camera and recorder functions in one unit. It’s designed for easy use and portability, making it ideal for recording family events or vacations. Camcorders typically have built-in lenses with fixed focal lengths and automatic settings for focus, exposure, and white balance.

Key Differences Between Video Cameras and Camcorders

One of the main differences between video cameras and camcorders is the level of control they offer over settings. As mentioned earlier, video cameras have manual controls over focus, shutter speed, and aperture which allows filmmakers to create specific looks or effects. Camcorders usually have automatic settings that make it easy for anyone to use without much technical knowledge.

Another difference between these devices is their size. Video cameras are typically larger than camcorders due to their advanced features such as interchangeable lenses.

This makes them less portable but better suited for professional use where image quality is paramount. Camcorders are smaller in size which makes them ideal for casual use or travel.

Which One Should You Choose?

The choice between a video camera and a camcorder ultimately depends on your needs and budget. If you’re a professional filmmaker or videographer, a video camera would be the better choice as it offers more advanced features and higher image quality. However, if you’re looking for a device to record family vacations or events, a camcorder would be more suitable due to its portability and ease of use.


In summary, the main differences between video cameras and camcorders are their level of control over settings, size, and intended use. While both devices are used to capture videos, the choice between them ultimately depends on your specific needs. Take into account your budget, the types of videos you plan to shoot, and how much control you want over settings before making your purchase.