Facts About Video Cameras

by Alan Donahue

Video cameras have changed the way people live. They started out providing entertainment in movie theaters and have quickly grown to provide instant access to news, television shows and advancements on the computer like YouTube. They have advanced from low-quality film to crisp, clear high definition. Purchasing a video camera could be a huge investment, but understanding how they function and the different types can really help a consumer make the right decision.


Video cameras are available on all different types of media. Older cameras still sell with 8mm film and cassette tapes like VHS. Smaller models from the 1990s included SVHS, Hi8 and Digital8 tapes. Newer cameras use MiniDV tapes, SD cardsand internal hard drives to capture footage. DVD and Mini DVD cameras allow the user to record footage and play it directly in a DVD player without any computers or extra plugs.


Video cameras operate simply. Once the media is properly inserted and a charged battery is in the camera, the user has two main options, recording or playback. When in recording mode, the user presses the record button to capture images. A time code on the camera's LCD screen keeps track of the footage recorded. Most cameras feature a zoom toggle near the top. This zoom moves the lens forward and back. The playback mode allows users to watch the footage directly on the camera. On SD and internal hard drive cameras, each clip can be watched and deleted if necessary.


Some of the main video camera companies include Sony, Panasonic and Canon. All three companies provide consumers with smaller novice cameras and more advanced cameras for independent professional productions. The smaller cameras feature automatic controls like autofocus and the professional models feature interchangeable lens, white balance control, shutter speed control, audio inputs and larger zooms.


Many electronic devices like digital cameras and cell phones offer "video recording." While the multi-function abilities are beneficial, the quality will not be as good as a true video camera. Often the lenses are too small to capture the full quality video and low light or indoor situations will result in low-quality footage. If you are looking for good video quality and sound, stick to just a video camera.


Video cameras provide many benefits for the whole family. Parents can capture their child's moments to store or quickly email to friends, children can make home movies or class projects and people of all ages can record clips for internet sites like Myspace and Youtube. Video cameras are available at much cheaper prices, and for cameras with internal memory, no extra tapes are needed.


About the Author

Alan Donahue started writing professionally in 2003. He has been published in the Norwich Free Academy "Red & White," UNLV's "Rebel Yell" and on various websites. He is an expert on wrestling, movies and television. He placed second in the NFO Screenwriting Contest and received filmmaking awards from Manchester Community College and Norwich Free Academy. He currently attends Academy of Art University.