You can find camcorders that record video in either standard or high definition resolution. As a general rule, HD camcorders are now the standard, don’t buy anything with lower resolution. 4K or better resolution will be more expensive, but the quality may be worth it. Even if you don’t own a 4K television, it’s worth considering a higher definition camcorder to “future proof” your videos for the time when you get around to trading in your current television.
The image sensor is the device inside your camcorder that transforms the light coming through the lens into a digital signal that gets recorded by your camcorder. There are two basic types of sensors — CMOS and CCD. When it comes to sensors, larger ones are better.
The kind of lens your camcorder has is crucial: long zooms allow you to magnify far away objects. But not all zooms are created equal. You need to look for the “optical” zoom rating of your camcorder, not the digital zoom. The higher the zoom number (given as a factor of “x” — as in 10x, 12x, etc.) the better the magnification.