I argued against the need for owning a full-service, legacy video camcorder for our purposes in the previous chapter, but if you already own one or are thinking of buying one, here are some usage tips.
When the Flip cameras were first introduced in 2007, Jonathan Kaplan, the chief executive of Flip-maker Pure Digital, declared that video was an opportunity because over the years, video cameras had become way too complicated with their plethora of buttons. So when Kaplan introduced the Flip, it had but a few: a red record button, a playback button, and fast forward/rewind button. That design was quite revolutionary.
In 2012, video cameras are a shadow of their former selves, and are relegated to the back of the store where they get little attention. But I’ll say this for video cameras: They have become simpler to operate!
Take the Panasonic SDR-H100, for example (Figure 4.12). This $200 video camera is not littered with buttons. Here’s how to use it and most other similar camcorders:
- Flip out the LCD preview screen to find the empty slot for your SD card. Slip it in.
- Insert your external microphone into the (poorly identified) A/V slot for sound, which is next to the memory slot.
- Compose your image on the LCD, and click the red button on the back of the camera to start recording.
- Press the zoom button atop the camera to get closer to the action.
When you’re done, click the preview button, also on top of the camera, to play it back. That’s it.
Figure 4.12 Video cameras such as this one are still perfectly fine for using in your web productions and are simpler to operate than previous versions.
Now that we’ve reviewed how to use your video gear and accessories, it’s time to plan for your video production. So turn the page and let’s dive in.