As a home video enthusiast, you don't want to spend a full month's salary on a camcorder designed for a film director or professional videographer. That said, you also don't want to get stuck with a camera that holds too few images or that dies out in the middle of shooting. So what are some key features you should look for when purchasing a cheap digital camcorder?First, take a look at all the brands. Popular lines include Sony, Canon, JVC, Panasonic, and Samsung, and each of these are generally reliable in terms of both performance and durability. Also keep in mind that you'll probably want to get powerful, rechargeable batteries, decent memory cards to hold more video than you figure you'll shoot, and easy to write MiniDV format. After all, at this point in the evolution of the technology, there's really no point in getting recordable tapes. Tapes create convolution--you have to adapt your digital camcorder to your television in order to see taped video.You don't want to be cajoled by manufacturer promises of high resolution still camcorder images. Even thousand dollar camcorders don't offer very exciting resolutions on their still pictures. You can get a really cheap digital camera to supplement your A/V capacity. In the process, you'll save money and ultimately get better quality.Finally, this may sound like obvious advice, but know how you're going to use your camcorder before you start parsing amenities or price shopping. For instance, if you're going to do a lot of dim light shooting, you will need certain ambient light enhancement accessories. Similarly, if you want to interview subjects or record school plays, you may need a directional microphone attachment. If you don't need these things, you can save hundreds of dollars by getting a bare-bones model.