Home Cameras Video Toolbox: Camcorders
Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Toolbox: Camcorders

Choose and use simple camcorders to create Hollywood-style results

Video cameras may be marketed as capable of shooting under very low-light conditions, but the quality of the image won't be particularly good. You'll capture an image, but it won't be something anyone will want to look at for any period of time. If the ambient light isn't sufficient, use an artificial light source. We suggest one that uses its own power source. Compose your image with care. It's easy to become preoccupied by the movements of your main subject, but ignore what's happening around it. If not, the result is a video with distracting elements in the frame. Either move closer to your subject or use the optical zoom of your camera.

A lot of video is shot at eye-level, but the presence of a video camera's articulating LCD makes positioning the camera at different angles and positions much easier. Don't hesitate to position the camera low to the ground or over your head to get a shot. Such dramatic changes of perspective provide a variety of video that's beneficial when editing.

Take a cue from motion pictures and record short scenes. Allowing the camera to record indiscriminately often results in a lot of unwatchable video. Previsualize the important moments you want to capture and keep the shots relatively brief. Include a wide establishing shot, close-ups and reaction shots from people in the scene. This mix of shots makes it easier for you to create a dynamic video.

Canon (800) OK-CANONwww.usa.canon.com
JVC (800) 882-2345www.jvc.com
Panasonic (800) 211-PANAwww.panasonic.com
Samsung (800) SAMSUNGwww.samsungusa.com
Sony (800) 222-SONYwww.sonystyle.com


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