Difference Between Similar Terms and Objects

Difference Between Handycam and Camcorder

camcorderHandycam vs Camcorder

In the world of video recording, the terms handycam and camcorder are often heard. It somehow makes you wonder what those things are. Are they different or one and the same? When should you call a device a camcorder or a handycam?

The name camcorder is derived from two words  camera and recorder. People in the industry appropriately coined the shortened term for obvious reasons. A camcorder is a portable electronic equipment that is able to capture and record a series images (video) and sound (audio).

The first camcorders are using analog formats such as: Standard VHS, VHS-C, Super VHS, Super VHS-C, 8mm, and Hi-8. Technically, it uses film to record the light that enters the camera lens thus, a series of frames of images results in a video. Analog formats lose quality and resolution when reproduced.

Nowadays, camcorders now record information in forms of bits and bytes in 1’s and 0’s. The images that new camcorders record are stored digitally and it won’t lose quality or resolution when copied or reproduced. Video tapes or films are no longer used; video information can also be transferred in different digital storage devices like memory cards, CDs, DVDs, and hard drive of computers.

Handycam, by technicality, is also a camcorder. Instinctively, we understand it as a condensed term for a ìhandy cameraî. However, it never came to peopleís consciousness until the electronic manufacturing giant, Sony, created a handy video recording device, named HANDYCAM, in 1985. It was the smallest camcorder at that time which uses the Video8 (8mm) format which eventually developed to Hi-8.

In essence, the Sony brand ìHandycamî is a small handheld camcorder. As time went by, small camcorders were customarily called handycams as the moniker stuck as a label for small camcorders. The smaller it gets, the more handycam it becomes.

Sony still continues to manufacture Handycam brands that ultimately evolved to digital formats. Due to the pioneering and popularity of the Sony brand, even other manufacturing companies that make handheld camcorders are often referred by many people as handycams.

1. Camcorders are shortened term for ìcamera recorders; a device that captures video and audio. Handycam is a trade name of a camcorder brand that Sony has manufactured. It is supposedly a shortened term for handy camera.
2. Camcorders can be referred to any brand which is still considered technically correct. Handycam, although an exclusively Sony product, it had become so popular that even other similar products made by rival companies are called handycams by common people.

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  1. Hi,

    Thanks for posting interesting info. More details on present Handycam models can be found at the following link – http://www.sony.co.in/microsite/handycam/?cid=handycam:seeding

    Sony India Team


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