Camcorder Test

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Camcorder Test

If you are looking for information on how to test out a camcorder before you buy it, eHow has an excellent article that shows you a good way to test out a camcorder in a retail store

 

If youíve spent more than a few minutes on this site you know that I love making videos; especially funny ones of my robots. To get a good clean recording, you need to run a camcorder test or two to make sure you have a properly functioning video recorder and camcorder settings.  Every model is different but here are some general tips you to help you avoid the most common glaring errors:

 

  • Auto Focus

    Unless youíre a professional videographer itís best to leave Auto Focus on.  Almost all modern camcorders have one and usually it is on by default.
     
  • Light level settings

    Most camcorders have settings for indoor, outdoor, background lit, and other light settings.  This is actually one of those ďif it ainít broke donít fix itĒ things.  If your camcorder is doing a good job of auto-setting the light levels, then leave it. If not, check the manual and cycle through each of the light settings and do a quick camcorder test with each, until you get a well lit video.
     
  • Clean Tape

    This only applies to older models that still use a tape cartridge. The newer more expensive models use chip technology to store video instead of tape so there is no need to clean the tape. I have an older tape recorder so occasionally I have to make sure the tape is replaced and I clean the unit.  Consult your manual for cleaning instructions and never use the wrong chemicals to clean it! You can damage your unit permanently doing so.

Resources

Here are a few sites that I have found to be very helpful when buying or researching a camcorder.

  • C|Net Camcorder Buyers Guide

    Perfect for the novice that has never bought a camcorder before or wants to buy a new one that is more suitable for them.  They categorize camcorders types into 5 ďuseĒ categories: Budget buyer, Trendsetter, Business videographer, Home and vacation moviemaker, and finally Independent filmmaker.  For each category they tell you what the recommended specifications for the appropriate unit are and what you can expect to pay.
     
  • Wikipedia

    The Wikipedia info page for camcorders.  It gives a nice history of the evolution of the camcorder with various interesting social and technical notes; including a helpful breakdown of the components that comprise a camcorder and what each component does.

 

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