Night-vision mode is a popular feature on many camcorders. With night vision, the camcorder can record in low light to complete darkness, depending on the quality of the night-vision features, and without use of a light. Consumers also should determine the type of camera, prices and other features before making a purchase.
Determine for what purpose you want you night-vision video camera and what type of video the camera takes. For example, if you're filming at night for personal use and you don't need a high quality picture, you should consider an high-definition DVD video camera with a decent night-vision mode. If you're filming for professional purposes, however, you'll want a camera that is high in megapixels and has the best picture quality.
Read customer reviews for night-vision cameras (i.e. Sony DCR-TRV17, which is specific for filming at night--see Resources). Consider what users say about the video quality and user-friendliness of the night-vision cameras. For example, consider what kind of battery the camera uses, whether it takes still pictures, if the colors of the picture can be adjusted, and whether the camera connects to your TV or computer. Also, read all technical specs for each camera to make sure they meet your preferences and needs.
Consider how the features of the camera will effect the night vision. For example, the camcorder could have great night vision but a zoom that is less than a 10x optical zoom. You'll also want to know if you'll be able to see the night vision through the viewfinder or an LCD screen. Some night-vision camcorders may not be compatible with how the video is filmed compared to what you see in the viewfinder.
Consider a camera that utilizes infrared technology, which senses heat radiating from a person or object. For example, some night-vision modes will include an infrared night-vision mode and a regular night-vision mode. Having both modes can come in handy if you're filming in a wooded area and looking for deer or other animals. You can find the moving animal easily with the infrared mode and then quickly switch over capture the animal on video after you have them framed.
Consider night-vision scopes that can be compatible with camcorders, like the Meade night-vision scope (see References below). Scopes that attach to video cameras can add more night-vision effect than most camcorders, such as the option to have green, red or neutral contrasts.
Tips & Warnings
- Test the camcorder in the dark at the store before buying it. See if you can use the camera in a dark area of the store to test the night-vision features. If you're planning to buy the camcorder online, try to find the same camera at a store where you can test it first or try to find online video that shows the quality and effects of the night vision.