Mini DV Digital Camcorder
The trip deserved a mini dv digital camcorder and nothing else would do. The man's wife had dreamed of going to Ireland and visiting distant relatives and seeing the village of ancestry for as long as the woman could remember, and her husband was determined to preserve the memories on the finest quality format offered. The problem was that the cost of the trip was already beyond their budget, so buying this extra luxury would take some real research before the purchase was made, and the man only had ten days. This purchase was going to be a surprise for the man's spouse, and would only be revealed at the airport before take-off. Already the man was getting excited about being able to chronicle the whole trip in living, breathing digital quality. The first place to start would be the online DVD camcorder reviews available at many websites.
MiniDV camcorders record on compact cassettes, which are pretty pricey and hold about 60 to 90 minutes of footage. The video format has 500 lines of resolution which is astounding, and can be easily transferred to a personal computer. DV camcorders can be extremely lightweight and compact -- many are about the size of a paperback novel. Another interesting feature is the ability to capture still pictures, just as a digital camera does. The husband thought long and hard about getting a larger model that could offer more filming time on each tape, but the size was very important to him, especially in trying to get it to the airport without his spouse knowing about the special gift. The man's wife had gone out and bought a twenty dollar over the counter camera and was very happy that she had the foresight to do so, but this gift would probably bring her years of memories that the woman could not now imagine.
As the husband began to look online at various DVD camcorder reviews to find more information on a mini dv digital camcorder, the man discovered a number of issues to be considered. One of the most important questions to be answered was, "How important is editing after filming?" The format supported by mini DVD is not an easily edited format, so it is more in line with a "point and shoot then walk away" philosophy. Would there be any need for the couple to come home and want to cut out some of the footage shot in Ireland that was not very interesting and in reality put together a sort of documentary or travelogue of the trip that could be shared with friends? After all, this couple had lived through some very, very boring slide shows that had been thrust upon them many years ago. Although the couple did not own a computer, the husband thought that a good friend would be willing to help with the editing project.
Reading DVD camcorder reviews on line helped the man understand more issues that would have to be considered. When contemplating a mini dv digital camcorder, does the film device have what is known as optical image stabilizing capability? This is circuitry that aids in minimizing a camera that is shaking during filming. And with the camera being so small, weighing less than two pounds, any movement could bring large negative effects to the final product. The husband had been diagnosed just several months before with the beginning stages of Parkinson's disease, and already begun to feel tiny tremors in his hands at inconsistent times. The man definitely wanted this circuitry in the mini dv digital camcorder he would purchase. There were other considerations as well.
The DVD camcorder reviews from various professional sources spoke about various camcorders having varying levels of low light capabilities. This translated to how high quality was the image the video camera produced indoors. This particular consideration was also very important to the husband because there would be many museums visited on the trip as well as overnight stays at some Irish castles. The man began developing the list of wants for the film device soon to be purchased and this low light capability would also be on the list. Finally, the man looked at audio quality and learned that any built in microphone to any camcorder does not possess the quality that an external and separate microphone can provide. In other words, will doing all this filming become more of a production and require someone holding perhaps a wireless microphone near the conversation in order to get an acceptable quality of conversation? The husband thought that this trip was also for him and consequently did not want to spend every moment filming and worrying about a separate microphone.
The husband continued to mull over all the considerations and finally chose a mini dv digital camcorder that was under five hundred dollars and had the capabilities for which he had sought. He looked up the camcorder in one of the DVD camcorder reviews and found that he had made a very good choice as far as the critics were concerned. While the man's wife was busy loading a bag in the overhead stowage compartment, he pulled the present out of a small carry on and began filming the love of his life. Shocked but extremely pleased, the woman began turning red and acting quite shy, but by the second day in Dublin, the lady was doing an Irish jig for the camera. There's a ham in every crowd. "Who can find a virtuous woman, for her price is far above rubies?" (Proverbs 31:10)
Digital Video CameraWhen buying a digital video camera, there are as many to choose from as there are still cameras, and the buyer's own experience will probably be the most reliable source for choosing which brand to buy. If his experience with a certain brand of still photographic equipment has been good, it's a safe bet that the digital movie camera by the same company will be reliable as well. Where the experience has not been so good, there are a number of reliable resources to be consulted. The experience of a trusted friend will likely be reliable, or talking to an expert in the field. A professional photographer or the salesman at a camera specialty shop will be able to answer the questions of an inexperienced person.
Consumer guide magazines will have information about the features of different models and their cost. Books on photography will give the amateur the help he needs to make his videos capture the images that family and friends will enjoy watching for years to come. Good equipment and expertise make all the difference. A good digital video camera plus a photographer who knows how to get the best results from that equipment will result in memorable recordings of important events. Even a good photographer can't do very well with a low quality camera.
For the person who cannot afford a digital movie camera (or camcorder) that is in the bracket a professional would use, there is still an opportunity to get good equipment, so looking over the information about as many different models as possible, and trying the camera out before purchasing, will ensure success. Actually handling the digital video camera will determine whether a buyer will be comfortable handling it, and if the controls are easily understood. Like a film camera, a digital camera receives varying density of light through the lens. In a film camcorder the lens focuses the light from outside onto film that reacts to that light, thus recording the scene. The lens of a camcorder serves the same purpose, but instead of recording the image on film, the light shines into a small semiconductor image sensor. This sensor, a charge-coupled device (CCD) measures light with a half-inch panel of 300,000 to 500,000 tiny light sensitive diodes called photosites.
Each photosite measures the amount of light that hits a particular point, and translates this information into electrical charges: A brighter image is represented by a higher electrical charge, and a darker image is represented by a lower electrical charge, thus producing a video picture by recording light intensity. During playback, this information directs the intensity of a television's electron beam as it passes over the screen. Of course, measuring light intensity only gives a black and white image. To create a color image, a digital video camera has to detect not only the total light levels, but also the levels of each color of light. Since it's possible to produce a full spectrum of colors by combining the three colors red, green, and blue, the digital movie camera actually only needs to measure the levels of these three colors to be able to reproduce a full-color picture. Light is necessary for vision, whether for our eyes, or a camcorder, but when Christians think of light, it is often the light of faith that comes to mind. "The people which sat in darkness saw great light; and to them which sat in the region and shadow of death light is sprung up." (Matthew 4:16)
Of course, understanding all the inner workings of the camcorder isn't really necessary to use the controls properly and get good pictures, but many people are interested in the technicalities, so this information can be found on some websites as well as in books. The above is a condensed version, so the technically inclined will want to pursue those avenues for even more information. For the rest, some comparison shopping is the route to finding the right digital movie camera to preserve the memories of family holidays, vacations, and special occasions for posterity.
It is possible to get evaluations of any digital video camera by editors of photography or camera magazines, either in their publications or online. This is a good way to see in writing what each camcorders strong points and drawbacks are, before buying, so that something unexpected doesn't arise during use. Every model has some pluses and minuses, so one can choose which minuses are acceptable. The average buyer will want some guarantee of good pictures in the circumstances where he will be taking those pictures without too much prior pushing buttons or turning dials. The old "point and shoot" cameras are pretty much the standard by which current versions are measured by nonprofessionals. Even those vary in price and quality, so it pays to see what's available in digital movie cameras before purchasing one of them.