Top Camcorders Articles
How to Fix a Camcorder Tape
Camcorders don't use magnetic cassette tapes to capture home movies anymore, but chances are you've got more than a few old tapes cluttering your closets and attics. The thin magnetic tape that stores data on VHS tapes, Hi-8 tapes and miniDV cassettes can tangle and tear if they're not stored in their original cases. If you've got damaged camcorder tapes you can fix them yourself. Then do yourself a favor and consider transferring them to a digital medium.
How to Erase Mini DV Tapes
Your attention may center around the camcorder when upgrading from a mini DV model, but the tapes and the memories they contain can weigh just as heavily on your mind. If you don't decide to archive your mini DV tapes to a hard drive when selling or gifting your camcorder, the content of the tapes are at risk of being forgotten or may fall into the wrong hands. Specialized demagnetization equipment is the surest way to wipe your old DV tapes, but blanking works almost as well. Blank erase your tapes with your mini DV camcorder before sending your camcorder away.
How to Buy a Camcorder With Night Vision
Camcorders are great for capturing family events, the kids' soccer games and holidays. However, there are occasions when camcorders are used primarily at night or in low-light scenarios. Filming a newborn in the crib, capturing footage of nocturnal animals and other common uses make the feature a necessity. In addition to primary considerations such as zoom, resolution and image stabilization, those scenarios push quality night vision capabilities to the top of the list when shopping for a new camcorder.
How Do I Transfer a Flip Video to an iPod?
The format of the clips you record on the Flip Video camera is not compatible with the iPod, so you have to use the FlipShare and iTunes programs on your computer to first convert your Flip videos to an iPod-compatible format, and then transfer them to any iPod model using a USB cable. The process is relatively straightforward and takes only a few minutes.
More Camcorders Picks
Mini camcorders have faced increased competition with the advent and improvement of videotaping alternatives such as the cell phone and the digital camera. A benefit of this competition, however, is that the typical price of a camcorder has fallen from more than a thousand dollars a generation ago to a few hundred dollars now. Choosing the right mini camcorder can be challenging. If you consider a few primary differences between them, you can find one that meets your needs.
Digital video recording has changed greatly since its introduction, with two competing standards dominating the 1990s and early 2000s. Both were supplanted by hard drive and flash media-based recording technologies by around 2007 or 2008. The two older standards and their permutations are MiniDV or DV camcorders, which record digital video to a metal-oxide tape, and DVD-based camcorders, which record to the Sony MiniDVD or full-sized DVD removable media.
Camcorders have changed dramatically since the days of the huge, VHS bazooka used in the 1980s. Modern camcorders are smaller, lighter, more full featured and cost a fraction of their colossal cousins of the past. One of the differentiating features of these modern cameras is the type of storage they use. Most have dropped media such as tapes and standard hard drives because they can be less reliable and more expensive to maintain. Today's camcorders often use either flash memory or an SSD hard drive to hold your precious video until you transfer to your computer.
Camcorders using writeable DVD storage seemed like a great idea at the time. Discs were less expensive than flash storage or DV cassettes, and the recordings could either be downloaded as editable files or immediately played on a home DVD player. Unfortunately, the reality didn't quite live up to the promise. The quality of video wasn't as good as on digital tape, the size of the mini-DVD discs required a larger camera than flash-based devices, and recording time for high-quality video maxed out at 20 minutes. Although Sony no longer manufactures mini-DVD camcorders, you can pick up a used or remaindered unit at a bargain price.
Many camcorders have been kicked to the curb by an owner frustrated by its short battery life when replacing its battery with a new, high-capacity model would make it run better than ever. While there are some important steps to upgrading your battery to consider, the amount you save in replacing it compared to replacing your camcorder might surprise you.
Before flash storage became fast and inexpensive, MiniDV cassettes were a popular media for camcorders. Today the format isn't as common, and most MiniDV camcorders use the FireWire standard for transferring video to a computer. More recent models may include flash memory and a USB port, although the type and quality of data transferred using these storage and transfer methods may vary. Before buying a camcorder with digital tape and USB connectivity, you'll have to do your homework.
DV, also called DVC, stands for Digital Video Cassette, a format introduced by a consortium of camcorder manufacturers, led predominantly by Sony and Panasonic in 1995. The aims of the DV standard were to create a replacement for VHS for consumer-grade camcorders. DVCAM is an outgrowth and extension of the DV standard aimed at professionals and "prosumer" video-recording projects.
Before purchasing a camcorder, take some time to compare the differences in video quality and the options available in different models. The prices for camcorders range from a few thousand dollars for professional videographers all the way down to $20 for a SpongeBob SquarePants camcorder. Most consumer-grade camcorders are priced in the $100 to $400 range. Even within this category, you have choices in sizes. Lower-priced models are usually compact and can fit in your pocket. The more expensive models have more features but aren't nearly as portable.
JVC Everio camcorders enable you to create video memories of people or events virtually anywhere. However, once you've created your videos with an Everio camcorder, you must store them somewhere to make room on the camera's memory card for new clips. Like other modern camcorders, an Everio offers several options for uploading or transferring video clips from the camera to your personal computer. Depending upon the model Everio camcorder you own, you may even be able to upload files from the camera to the PC wirelessly.
By transferring your home movies to a computer, you can create digital backup copies of your most memorable moments. Since a Canon HDV camcorder records video directly to a MiniDV tape, the process of transferring the recordings to a PC requires using a FireWire cable (included with your purchase) and desktop software that includes a “capture” tool. Microsoft’s Movie Maker program supports capturing video from MiniDV tapes and allows you to transfer your videos without having to install third-party software. If you lost the FireWire cable that was included with your camcorder, you can purchase one online.
Many older digital camcorders used the Mini-DV format, recorded on tiny, high-density videotapes. Commercial conversion services have playback decks for these tapes, and can convert them to DVD for preservation and sharing. Professional conversion can become costly if you have a large number of home movies, so a more practical option is to purchase a DVD recorder. Models from major manufacturers such as Panasonic are feature-rich and easy to use.
Every Apple iMac ships with iMovie, which enables you to import and edit video from sources including digital camcorders by Sony and other manufacturers. Many camcorders connect with computers using the IEEE 1394 standard, called FireWire by Apple and i.LINK on Sony devices, while others use the USB standard to transfer video. In either case, once you get your camcorder connected to your iMac, you can use iMovie to import the video, edit movies and even export them in a format compatible with an iPhone or iPad.
Many digital camcorders, including the Samsung HMX-H300BN, the Panasonic HC-V10K and the Cobra Digital HDVC5590, allow you to record home movies directly to an SD card. By recording to this type of removable disk, you can conveniently access your videos without having to rewind or fast-forward. Prior to editing the videos, however, you must save the files to your computer. A variety of PCs include an SD card slot for transferring files from the memory card. If your computer doesn’t include an SD card slot, purchase an external card reader.
The many advances in camcorders have made them smaller while making their video quality better. To couple that high-quality video with high-quality audio, you're probably going to need an external microphone. Which mic to buy depends on the type of video you'll be shooting, the environment you'll be in, and of course what you can afford. You may even equip yourself with multiple mic types for different applications.
In the 1980s, when home camcorders first became common, they were large, clumsy devices that used large, clumsy tapes. Modern digital camcorders are tiny in comparison. Most weigh only a few ounces, and fit neatly into the palm of your hand. Some record digital video onto tape, while others use solid-state memory, hard drives or removable SD memory cards. Manufacturers offer models and features for almost any use.