Digital Video Camera:
It's Not Hard to Shoot like a Pro… If You Know the Basics…!

Digital Video Camera – Videographer

But... (you might ask)... a digital video camera has automatic controls that do everything anyway right…? So why bother to learn all this stuff...??

Here's why…!


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Knowing to perfection the digital video fundamentals of how a digital video image is created... And... how to expertly operate your digital video camera to capture a perfect image... Is not only one of the hallmarks of a video professional... But also... of anyone who takes pride in the making of a great video for their audience!

Depending on your camera's automatic controls is not enough if you want to shoot great video. The camera's automatic controls will produce good pictures under “ideal conditions”... 

When the conditions are "perfect".

But what are “ideal conditions ”? Are they there all the time??...

Or any  of the time?? Usually not...!

Digital video camera

What do you do when the conditions are less than ideal or just plain BAD !!  Do you settle for BAD pictures or video? Or NO pictures or video!!!  If you really know how to operate your camera fully you will seldom (If ever) have to settle for bad or unusable video.

Getting Familiar with How to Operate Your Camera is Vital... If You're Going to Shoot like a Pro…

Having a good working knowledge of what the basic components of your camera are, how they operate and how to use them quickly and efficiently will make a world of difference when you're trying to capture great video!

Below are the individual major components of the digital video camera.

The different brands of cameras each have slightly different ways of controlling each one of these components, but by and large...

If you know the basics of controlling and using your video camera you will be able to shoot very good video material no matter what the conditions are.

Digital video camera components

Of course… you also need to know your video production camerawork ...that way you can compose your shots so that they make the greatest impact on your audience and also... you need to know your way around your video editing software so that you can turn all the great material you shot into an interesting and compelling video…! It's all part of the video production process and in particular, the digital video editing that you will be doing with the material that you shoot.

But... of course… It all starts with knowing how to use your camera! Be sure to read the related articles to improve your knowledge and techniques of how to operate your camera like a pro!

The Camera Lens System...

DSLR camera lens
Digital camera – image creation breakdown
Camera image stabilization
Digital camera – interchangeable lenses

The camera lens is the " Eye " of the camera. It gathers the reflected light from the scene and focuses it on to the light-sensitive electronic chip that will then convert it into a digital signal to be stored.

A good quality camera lens... whether it is a...

  • Fixed lens,
  • Prime lens,
  • Wide-angle or
  • Zoom lens...

Is crucial... if you want a clear sharp image.

All high-grade professional type video cameras, DSLRs, Motion picture and film cameras...

And some of the prosumer video cameras will except interchangeable lenses.

Having that capability will allow you to select the best lens for the particular shot that you need. The less expensive consumer cameras usually will have fixed lenses so you must be careful when you're selecting one of these cameras and choose the highest quality lens possible for your budget.

The Camera Image Sensor Chip…

Camera Image Sensor
Digital camera image sensor – exploded view
Digital camera – light path to image sensor
Digital camera – image sensor size comparison

The Camera Image Sensor is a light-sensitive chip (CCD or CMOS) that converts the light being directed through the camera lens into a corresponding pattern of electrical charges...

Which are then read out electronically to provide the video signal to the camera.

The camera image sensor also has a great deal to do with image size and...

the light sensitivity that is measured by the camcorder Lux ratings.

The Digital Camera Viewfinder and/or LCD Screen…

Digital Camera LCD Screen Viewfinder Menu
Viewfinder – professional digital video camera
Camcorder White Balance Setting
Camcorder LCD screen

The camera's viewfinder and/or LCD screen displays the video image enabling the camera operator to...

Here is some more information on the features you can access through the digital camera LCD Viewfinder screen.

The Digital Camera Recorder And Media Storage Unit…

videotape camera 1980sSony Portapak circa 1970

Once upon a time… Long long ago…

In the 1970s and 1980s (smile)…

We had just one type of video recording media for our camcorders…

Large and bulky videotape…!!

Well… I don't know if you remember back that far but…

Videotape back then was big and bulky,

Video cameras large and heavy and video editing was mostly done "in–camera".

Now…  You can shoot high-definition video with your pocket camera phone and upload it or download it to your video editing computer or almost anywhere with the push of a button…

Flash memory for Digital Cameras
Camcorder DVD Disc
Digital Camera Using Flash Memory
DVD camcorder

Wow! Believe me when I say…

Recording media for digital cameras has really come a long - LONG  way…!!!

In this series of articles to the right...

I'll cover the advantages and disadvantages of the current digital camera storage media... 

How they relate to your video editing software or...

The free video editing software you can download online and...

How to choose the right one for you!

The Digital Video Camera Power Supply…

Digital Video Camera Batteries
DSLR Camera Battery
Camcorder Battery Charger
Digital Camera Accessories

The camera's power supply is usually a battery that fits into the camera making it portable and allowing it to be used in the field.

Digital video cameras are also equipped with an AC power supply that plugs directly into a wall power outlet for static or indoor use...

And... is also used to charge the camera's battery as well.

To the right are some articles that will take a look at camcorder batteries in depth…

Environmental Sound Pickup… The Video Camera Microphone…

External Camera Microphone
Camcorder Microphone
Camera Audio Output Jack
On-board Camcorder Microphone

The digital video camera microphone is built into the camera and is used for general environmental sound pickup.

External microphones can also be fitted on to the camera as well to enhance the ability of the camera to make complete and accurate sound recordings.

For more information on this important piece of equipment see the the related article to the right…

As I said at the beginning of this article… It's not hard to shoot like a Pro if you know well the basics of how to operate your camcorder…!

So... Learn how to operate your camera well and have fun shooting some great video for your next video production…!

 Have fun...!  Dan

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