Gone are the days when you would need to employ a professional to take a video for your business projects. Whether you need it to provide training to your employees or students, you can do it yourself with the help of a digital video camera. In fact, with the advent of the Internet, and e-learning becoming so popular nowadays, a digital video camera has become essential equipment for all organizations, especially training or educational institutes.
Digital video cameras are extremely simple to use. They are lightweight and compact. Also, the transfer of video data to your computer for editing is extremely simplified in a digital video camera using todays Firewire cables.
So, now the question arises that how does one go about choosing a camera for himself/herself?
Before you go shopping for a digital video camera, it is essential that you answer a few questions. These will help you to pick up the best camera which is most suitable to your needs.
Since voice clarity is critical in a digital video camera, you need to know whether you will be shooting indoors or outdoors.
Also, what kind of videos do you plan to take – are they going to be of people shopping around in a mall or mostly of officers giving multimedia presentations in a conference room?
What is the kind of lighting that you are going to get? Is the weight of the camera an issue?
What is the battery life of the camera that you will need? Do you plan to shoot for a couple of hours together or only a few minutes? Do you plan to use any special effects while shooting?
Once you have answered all these questions, you will be able to get a basic idea of the kind of camera that you need.
Let’s go over the types of digital video cameras for consumers and hobbyists. First there is DV, HDDV, Mini DV. Handheld palm size cameras, larger full featured cameras with great audio options, and finally cameras that rival professional quality and can be used to make some very professional looking video products.
It is also important that you have the correct software for enhancing the images once you have loaded them onto your computer. These will help you to edit your work in the best possible manner and also easily load them for video conferencing, emailing etc.
Many software programs for NLE editing (non linear editing) exist for the consumer and pro alike. Adobe makes it Premier line of editing software which has proven to be quite popular and effective over the years. This is more of a mid level software and is relatively expensive. I use it for my corporate editing needs. Other mid to high level software packages include Final Cut Pro (on the Mac platform), and DV Express (from Avid). Final Cut is an awesome product if you use the Apple computers. Hollywood uses it to edit movies nowdays, and it has tons of amazing features to it. However it is not user freindly to the novice. The learning curve is steep. On the cheaper side of things you can use the Imovie software on the Mac side of things, Pinnacle Studio 9, Ulead Video Studio 8, and My DVD5 from Sonic. These products will get you editing your DV in no time.
Hence, if you do your homework in advance, you will be happy in the end. So, go and check out websites and shops for information on what you need, talk to shop keepers, and then simply zoom away! There are so many wonderful things you as a consumer can do today with digital video cameras. Don’t wait for the next wave. Jump into digital video today and have some fun with it.
Kevin Rockwell worked as a network TV cameraman for 20 years shooting news and sports. Now a devoted fan of digital photography and video he works to gather information, tips and news for digital camera users. Oh and he loves to shoot pictures of his kids playing sports. (http://www.greatdigitalcameras.info)