Digital cameras vary in size and complexity, but their working and features are almost the same. There are Digital video cameras designed for personal use, for TV, film, surveillance, and more. Prices can range from a few to thousands of dollars. While the technology of capturing video doesn’t change much from model to model, some features do, with some being present or absent, modified or degraded to suit the price and use of the particular video Camera. Any camera with a video capability will have a primary feature characteristic of digital video cameras.
What is a primary feature of a digital video camera? It refers to the feature that’s common to all video cameras that use digital technology, and which must be present for the camera to function well. The most basic feature of a digital video camera is the viewfinder.
The viewfinder enables the user to look at the scene being filmed and move the camera accordingly. In a digital video camera, the viewfinder is an LCD screen. The size of the screen varies from model to model, but is mostly just a small display, just big enough to show vivid images of a scene. In smaller cameras, it forms part of the camera’s body, at the back to be precise. In big cameras, it flips to the side, away from the camera’s frame when in use. The viewfinder in such cameras can rotate to allow the person filming to film from various angles.
The LCD in a digital camera can also act as;
- A screen to play recorded video footage
- A settings display from which you can access the navigation menu to control how the camera works
- A screen on which to review captured video clips and delete the unwanted ones
Other Features of a Digital Video Camera
The lens of a camcorder only captures visual images. A microphone is needed to capture sound as well. A digital video camera will have an integrated microphone that’s located just next to the part housing the lens. It’s conveniently located, so it records sound from the scene the lens points to.
Because the internal microphone is not very efficient at capturing sound, digital camcorders come equipped with a port for connecting an external microphone. The port is mostly USB, and allows for quality sound for recorded videos. However not every digital camcorder will feature the external microphone port, especially the tiny ones made for personal use. With such cameras, you would have to contend with the internal microphone, however poor the sounds in the video are.
Zoom is another important feature in a digital video camera. It enables distant scenes to be filmed with ease. The technology used in digital cameras for zoom enables for scene enlargement without too much loss of clarity. But zooming too much may still result in a shaky and blurry video. High-end video cameras will have higher levels of zoom without losing image details. For low priced cameras, zoom is mostly low.
3. Image Stabilizers
A video, unlike still pictures, gets affected by camera movements because of the inability of the human hand to remain still for long. It results in shaky videos that are not easy to view. Digital video cameras incorporate a stabilizer that reduces the shake in the video images. The mechanism of zoom in digital camcorders is in the form of optical and digital image stabilizers. The optical stabilizer reduces movements of the lens, while the digital stabilizer works on moving the image to the center during video capture.
Image stabilizers are different in effectiveness depending on the camera model, and how quality the camera is. High-end cameras will obviously have better stabilizers than their low priced counterparts.
While a digital video camera will have inbuilt automatic detection and control, they can fail. That’s why the cameras come with the option for manual adjustments. Manual controls enable you to set controls according to your preference, or when the internal and automatic ones fail.
A digital video camera is usually built to be easy to operate. Anyone can use it without prior knowledge of how to shoot video. But for videos of better quality, it would be good to know the different features that a majority of the cameras have, and how they help it to work better.
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