Are you getting ready to shoot a corporate event, educational video or documentery? If so then you will want a camcorder that will give you a professional end result. For the best results you will need control of your recording. For complete manual control a professional camcorder is the answer. Easily edited output format and superior image quality.
With lighting and audio accessories compatability. If you want to shoot like a pro then perhaps a professional camcorder is what you're after. Some pro camcorders can set you back thousands. The good news is that the line between professional and pro-sumer camcorders is getting harder to define.
In the past hd was only available on the pro models but hd is now the standard. In fact even cell phones and ipod's can shoot in high definition now. The consumer cameras of today are arguably better than the professional models of just a few years ago.
What about the camcorders being produced today?
A professional camcorder will have easily accessible manual controls over focus, zoom, exposure, shutter, audio and gain settings. Actual adjustable rings and dials.
Consumer camcorders will have some manual controls but not all and they are more difficult to find on the fly. Usually they are several screens down into the touch screen window.
Pro models will have interchangeable lens systems with larger lenses. Giving more user control. Adding interchangeable lenses will allow you to gain control over low light situations, depth of field, macro and telephoto shots.
Professional camcorders have bigger sensor's. This will dramatically increase the ability of the camcorder to capture light increasing the capability to shoot in low light while still giving rich color depth.
The price difference between consumer grade and pro is a major point. A full hd consumer camcorder can be had for under $200 or as high as a few thousand. Professional camcorders start where the consumer grades top out and can reach into the high five figures.
The real difference is with the shooter and not the camcorder. There is no substitute for experience and a good eye.