Cameras that can record have been around for awhile. They started as Super-8 camera that you could create grainy, jerky, silent films. This progressed in the 80s with the creation of VHS and 8mm video cameras. While these types of cameras were the cutting edge in the 80’s they are now relics of an old age. The new age of camcorders is dominated by digital camcorders. These newer breed of cameras now record clear sharp digital pictures and the picture is even better in high definition models. These digital camcorders range in price from about $700 to $1500.
They take video images much the same way, except that they are recorded in a digital format rather than recording on VHS or BETA tapes. The ease of editing these videos is amazing since they can be downloaded to a personal computer. You can now add titles, transitions, and soundtracks. These can then be sent through the internet, saved on a hard drive or burned onto a DVD. The results are much more enjoyable to watch.
There are many options of digital camcorder formats: DV (digital video), Digital8, and DVD. The DV camcorders use Mini-DV type of media to record on. This is essentially DVD-quality video (720-by-480-pixel resolution). The DV type camcorders are the most common type of digital camcorder. The only problem is that each tape can only handle about one hour of video.
The Digital8 are a throwback to the Hi8 camcorders. These types of recorders can read older 8mm and Hi8 tapes and the newer Digital8 tapes. These are harder to come by but are able to record longer videos. The newer DVD camcorders allow you to edit on the machine rather than have to download the material to a PC. The video quality is not as good as DV or Digital8.
The DV and Digital8 recorders use FireWire or IEEE-1394 to link to a PC for download. You can download video directly from the machine onto your PC. Once there you can do all the editing you like, but be warned videos take a lot of memory to store. Editing the material is simple. If know how to cut and paste in a word processor, you can edit video on a computer. When you are finished editing your material you can send it back to recorder or you can copy it to a DVD. Make sure that your drive has DVD record ability functions.