DV Camcorder

The camcorder was introduced more than twenty years ago but it has only been in the last few years that digital models have appeared. The increasing use of computers and the internet for editing and publishing videos has been the driving force behind the shift to digital video. Digital provides many benefits over the old analogue video format including better picture and sound quality. DV camcorder is a shorthand phrase for digital video camera recorder. Consumers have a choice between models that use tapes, optical discs, hard drives, and Flash memory.

Analogue video systems record the raw electrical signals from the sensors directly to tape, but digital video systems first approximate the signals to whole numbers before recording them. In this way, digital video avoids the gradual losses that occur when raw analogue signals are copied multiple times, and reading errors are automatically fixed by the error correction software. Digital video can also be compressed as it is recorded, providing greater flexibility over the quality and recording time. Another advantage is the superior quality of digital audio compared to analogue audio.

High definition digital video has better picture quality than standard digital video. It looks sharper and more vibrant on large screen televisions and home cinema projection screens. Editing high definition video requires a powerful computer that can handle the extra data, but the video can always be saved to a lower quality for use on less powerful computers. Video recordings should always be done in high definition when possible, because the quality can be reduced but never improved. The only major drawback of high definition video is that it takes up more space and reduces recording time.

Even today, tape models still dominate the DV camcorder market. They use cassettes similar to those used in the older analogue camcorders but store the video and sound in a digital format. The most popular digital tape camcorder is the miniDV, which was introduced in 1995. A regular miniDV cassette can record one hour of video in standard play. MiniDV was quickly followed by Sony’s Digital8, which did not achieve the same level of popularity and is now beginning to disappear from the market. Digital8 camcorders used the same cassettes as the older Hi8 models, saving users from having to buy new cassettes.

The other half of the DV camcorder market includes models that record onto optical discs, hard drives, and Flash memory. Optical disc models typically use a mini DVD that is half size of a regular DVD. Hard drive models use the same miniature drives that are used in personal music players. There is also a growing range of camcorders that use internal Flash memory and removable memory cards. These are quickly overtaking both the tape and disc models, and it is expected that most future camcorders will use Flash memory in some form.

Two important features to look for when choosing a DV camcorder are the number of charge-couple devices (CCDs) and their size in megapixels. Generally, a camcorder with three CCDs and many megapixels will produce better quality video than one with a single CCD and fewer megapixels. Other features to look for in a camcorder are a large viewing screen, easy to use controls, auto-focusing, and an external microphone. Some camcorders now come with wireless connectivity that makes it possible to stream video live to the internet.

There are many useful accessories that can also be purchased with a DV camcorder. Spare batteries and a padded carry case are essential when taking a camcorder away on holidays. A stand helps reduce picture shaking and sore arms when using the camcorder over a long period. Wide angle and long distance lenses are good for shooting video outdoors, and filters help reduce the effects of harsh lighting. Inexpensive video editing and DVD authoring software is also available for making home movies more user friendly.

This DV Camcorder Review is Written/Updated on Nov 26th, 2009 and filed under Consumer Electronics. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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