The central part of a DV camcorder is the CCD, or Charge Coupled Device. This sensor creates a video picture by recording the light intensity to recognize an image or shape, along with the color levels to reproduce a full color picture.
There are several tape based DV camcorders that have both color eyepiece viewfinders and a flip out TFT LCD screen to view the action as well as the previous recorded footage. Most tape-less models however, only offer the TFT screen to preview your captured video and to view while you make a recording.
When you need to get closer to the action, a zoom lens can be a great feature. Don't get swayed by the digital zoom figure however; as no matter how large it may be, you should always base your final decision on the optical zoom.
The optical zoom will give you a true indication of the video image, where digital zooms interpolate the available pixels to zoom in on an image. Optical zooms will normally range around the 10X mark, with digital zooms ranging from 100X and above.
The auto focusing systems are great as well, although manual focus options can be ideal for low light or when focusing on a subject against a landscape. Being available on most video cameras, the manual focus control can be found as either a ring on the lens or as a dual button system on the body.
Most video cameras these days will provide a tilting feature in the camera itself, although this feature should be avoided unless you don't intend to edit the video on a computer. The title effects on many cameras are quite limited and cannot be removed afterwards.
Almost all new high definition video cameras will use a rechargeable Li-ion battery, even though a spare battery might be useful as the batteries are unique to each camcorder maker and normally each model.
Most of the latest cameras allow you to capture digital still images onto a removable flash memory card. The most popular media is SD or MMC, but Sony and Samsung cameras often capture to a memory stick.
If your video camera doesn't offer still image capabilities, you can always perform a capture of the screen in your editing program. Always remember that the image resolution when capturing a still this way will always be 640X480, which is actually less than 1 MB, or Mega Byte.