Video Camcorder

For many of you, all you know about the video camcorder or shooting video is pointing the camcorder and pressing the red button. There's a lot more to getting good video footage that others will want to watch. The digital video camcorder is much more than a simple video recording tool. Today's camcorders include complex technology that when the videomaker has a good knowledge about the cameras capabilities, it becomes possible to get fantastic results. Take time to get to know the features on your camcorder and you'll be much happier with the end results of your movies.

About Your Camcorder

Digital camcorders can seem quite complicated when you first purchase one and try to understand the manual. Your camcorder may look quite different than many others, but they all have a basic set of features. Your camcorder is no different and it Digital Video Camcordershould include: a zoom lens, a viewfinder, a built in stereo microphone, recording and playback controls, and a way to connect the camcorder to a TV, VCR, or computer. Many camcorders also have hard drives for storing video or photos. Camcorders that record to digital video tape may also have flash memory cards for storage of digital still pictures. Let's take a quick look at a typical camcorder in order to discover what each part does and why it's there.

Power Switch
The Power On/Off switch turns on the juice to power up your camera. Depending on the camera model, you may also find a red record button, menu button, or an option that allows you to take digital still images near the on/off switch.

Tape Compartment
This is where the mini DV tape is loaded into the camcorder. This is a delicate mechanism and care should be used when inserting and removing mini DV cassette tapes. Never force anything. Let the camera do the work for you. You should always protect the compartment from getting dirt, sand, or moisture inside.

Tripod Bush
Usually located on the bottom of the camera base, the tripod bush is the threaded socket where your camera attaches either directly to your tripod or to a bracket that is held securely in your tripod.

Most camcorders have built in microphones. Better quality and more expensive cameras may also have an extra microphone jack that allows you to attach an external microphone. The built-in microphone are set to automatically capture sound as you are recording video with your camera. Usually it will be positioned either underneath the lens or in the camera housing or case on the front end of the camera. Built-in microphones produce reasonably good sound at close range, but can be effected by wind noise when recording outdoors. Form much better sound quality, look for a camera that includes a jack for an external microphone. For the few dollars more the camera will cost, you'll be pleased with the increased sound quality.

AV Connecting Sockets

Zoom Lens

Accessory Shoe

LCD Screen

Rechargeable battery

Infared Sensor


Digital Video Formats


Mini digital video (DV) was launched by Sony in 1995. It is still the most popular consumer digital video format, although there are many cameras now on the market that store video on built in hard drives or record video directly to DVD. DV and hard drive camcorders provide the best quality of all home vide formats.

All of the models are capable of transferring video signals out to another device such as a computer or DVD via FireWire or USB 2.0. Most DV camcorders also make it possible to copy an edited video from a computer back to digital video tape.



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