Yes, You Can Take Photos With Your Camcorder

Ways to take digital pictures on any camcorder

Virtually all camcorders come with an option for taking still photos, which effectively turns the device into a digital camera. It's also possible to capture digital stills from your videos. Learn about the different ways you can take pictures on a camcorder.

Information in this article applies broadly to all digital camcorders. Consult your device's manual or the manufacturer's website for more specific information.

Man recording family with camcorder.

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Photo Mode

Photo mode is a function on some camcorders that allows you to freeze a frame while recording a video. When you play back the video, the image will appear on the screen for a brief period of time, interrupting the recording. Many analog camcorders include this feature, yet it has limited uses since the image isn't stored separately from the video.

Capture Digital Stills With Video Editing Software

If you want to capture a digital still from a video you've recorded, you can import your video onto your computer and freeze a frame in any video editing software. Most editing programs let you scroll through videos by individual frame, so you can pick out the exact moment you want to capture. Unfortunately, the resolution of stills taken using this method is usually pretty low. The pictures would be good enough to e-mail to friends, but they wouldn't be print quality.

Built-In Digital Cameras

A camcorder that has a built-in digital camera will have a memory card. The memory card is where your digital pictures will be stored, and you can download them onto your computer through a USB cable.

Built-in digital cameras vary widely in quality and resolution. In general, anything under two megapixels is not good enough for a quality print out. If you like to take a lot of pictures, then you will probably be better off carrying both a digital camera and a camcorder.

Continuous Mode

Many digital camcorders allow you to take a photo while recording video. This feature is often called continuous mode. Some camcorders can take pictures and record video at the same time, and others will interrupt recording in order to take a still.

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