Larry Ferlazzo’s Websites of the Day…

…For Teaching ELL, ESL, & EFL

How Do You Find The Right Camera, Camcorder, Computer, Etc.?


I’ve been able to raise some funds to purchase some digital cameras and camcorders for my classes, and have been trying to figure out which ones would work best.

I’d be very interested in hearing people’s suggestions. For example, I expect I’ll be buying some Flip Video Camcorders, but am unclear which model I should get.

In addition to Amazon, I’ve been exploring some sites designed to help consumers make these kinds of decisions. TechCrunch just wrote about two of them.

Best In Class right now only rates digital cameras, but plans to expand to other products. It has a neat interface that asks you questions to help refine your search. It’s like an expanded version of last years Pogue-O-Matic Product Finder from The New York Times.

TestFreaks is the other site they mentioned.

What are other sites you might suggest that I include in a future “The Best…” list (in addition to wanting to hear about specific products you think I should buy)?

Author: Larry Ferlazzo

I'm a high school teacher in Sacramento, CA.


  1. Thanks for the mention, Larry, and I hope you find the site useful.

  2. Hi Larry, I like using Canon cameras if I’m going to do any videoing because they record in avi format which means it is really easy to edit the movies. Other cameras often use their own proprietary format. Also they use mini USB cables which are easy to replace if lost.

  3. Hi Larry,

    We have – since about 5 years – a website that aggregates 5 million reviews from 25 languages. With algorithms we calculate the best products according to all reviews – expert and user reviews. Please check it out
    Our reviews and alaScores (overall product scores that we recalculate each day) are also published on Shopzilla, Bizrate, Kelkoo, PriceRunner, etc. and we are working on expanding this network.

    Greetings from Sweden, Arie

  4. Hi Larry,

    I am professional photographer and video maker that has been working with middle school students for over ten years. I would strongly suggest you take a look at the Canon ZR900 video camera. It is inexpensive and produces a high quality image. It also has a mic jack. Good sound does matter. For still cameras, we use low end 6-10 megapixel Nikons. Any major brand should work well. Windows Movie Maker or iMovie both work well for editing. Working with a firewire, in my opinion is better than working with USB. The Canon ZR900 uses a firewire.

  5. Larry, great post. Best in Class is a great resource for digital cameras. They are clearly experts and know their stuff. I work at and we’re creating a platform where you can easily find the best products for your specific needs/intentions. We believe the best source of information for products are the people from around the web that have purchased and written about their experiences. Please take a look and definitely shoot me an email if you’d like to chat more.

  6. Hi Larry,
    I’ve recently bought a Flip 2GB (model F260B-UK). For a simple, no frills, easy to use camera it’s great and I can pass it around the class for learners to use without worrying or them needing extra time to familiarize with it. The picture and sound pick up are both ok for simple class projects. It is incredibly easy to view and download on both windows PC and Mac and will save in a range of different formats as well as being able to publish online. But…I have just discovered that I cant use it for creating animations in the way I want to as once it’s connected to the computer it will no longer function as a camera (no firewire connection). Can’t have everything for that little money but it is frustrating!

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