Web-Friendly Camcorder Features

What to look for when selecting a camera for YouTube and social sharing

The web changed camcorders from devices we lugged around to capture family vacations to simple tools for uploading and sharing all aspects of our lives. If you're in the market for a video camera for vlogging on YouTube, sharing Instagram tutorials, uploading to Vimeo, or any other social video endeavor, make sure to look for the following features.

Young woman sitting in her living room shooting a vlog
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Online-Ready Camera Features

As sites like YouTube have become more popular, many camcorder makers have incorporated internet-friendly features. Most video cameras, regardless of file format, will include software that can upload your videos directly to YouTube and other popular social sites. Some camcorders expand the web friendliness with a slew of online-ready camera features.

Dedicated Upload Button

A camcorder with a dedicated upload button provides a shorter video-upload path, so you don't have to download your video files to your computer before uploading them to a social site. After connecting your camcorder to your computer via USB, press Upload to launch software that will immediately send your video to YouTube and other sites.

Dedicated upload buttons are growing more popular in both low-end and high-end cameras.

You'll, of course, eventually want to download your videos to your computer to store them safely and securely.

Built-in Software

While some camcorders may not build in a specific button to launch a software uploader, some models, especially pocket camcorders, come pre-loaded with software that includes a video-upload function. This built-in software allows you to log into your online account and post videos without ever needing a web browser.

Built-in USB Plug

A built-in USB plug is a popular feature on the Flip line of pocket camcorders and some of its imitators. While this feature doesn't make your camera more web-friendly necessarily, it makes it much easier to connect your video camera to a computer and then upload your content.

Web modes

YouTube imposes some limitations on your uploaded videos, for example, each video can't be longer than 15 minutes unless you have a verified account. A camcorder with a "web mode" will ensure your videos conform to these limitations automatically.

While web modes serve a purpose, it's best to record your video at the highest resolution your camcorder offers. You can always shrink the file size of your video file or create a shorter web edit using video-editing software. It's relatively easy to make a high-quality video web-friendly, but you can't do the reverse.

Optical Stabilization

If your camera features optical stabilization, you'll be able to get rid of motion blur and unwanted camera shaking in your videos, making for a more professional final product. This is a great feature if you're recording videos with a lot of action.

Built-in Wi-Fi and NFC

Cameras with built-in Wi-Fi and NFC allow you to transfer video footage directly to your computer, making uploading a breeze.

Rear LCD Display

If you choose a camera with a rear LCD display, you'll be able to easily access and playback recently recorded footage. This is a handy feature for checking if you need to re-record your video.

Live Stream

If you're planning on a lot of live streaming, consider a camera with built-in live-streaming functionality, such as the GoProHero7 Black. This camera lets you live stream directly to popular social media platforms.