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Point-and-Shoot Cameras

One easy reason to explain the immense popularity of point-and-shoot cameras is their simplicity. The models that feature the best ease-of-use have minimal buttons or choices: All you need to do is turn them on, compose your image, and start shooting.

Videomaking with point-and-shoot cameras has evolved over the years, from limited ten-second silent clips to low-resolution video with sound, to 720p HD, and now full 1080p HD on many of the top camera models from Canon, Nikon, Sony, and others (for my specific recommendations, see Chapter 3).

Taking videos is insanely simple and pretty uniform on point-and-shoot cameras. Look for either the red record button on the back of the camera and/or the movie camera icon on the mode dial. Either of those will get you going.

One tool you will definitely need is a big fat memory card. At top resolution, video files eat up a lot of memory. I recommend at minimum a 16 GB card (Figure 4.9), which will cost you about $30 and give you at least an hour’s worth of footage. It’s not just more storage that the heftier card gives you—it also lets you shoot longer clips. When buying the card, make sure it’s a high-speed card, Class 10 or higher, since you’ll need the added oomph to keep up with video files.

Fugure 4.9

Figure 4.9 If you’re using a point-and-shoot camera, get a hefty size memory card for video files, which are huge. I recommend a 16 GB card at the minimum.

The Kodak PlaySport cameras—which stopped production in 2012 but are still easily found in stores—have touch-screen controls, so don’t go searching for the red record button, it’s not there. Instead, just press play on the back of the camera to start recording. These cameras also have built-in tools to trim clips and share to sites such as YouTube and Facebook.

Unlike the iPhone, the PlaySport and Flip cameras are intended to be used in the vertical position, which won’t affect your final video. Once the video is recorded, it will still display horizontally.

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