Camcorders are pretty easy to use. But, many entry-level users and beginners find it quite intimidating when they try to learn how to use a camcorder. There’s no need to be ashamed, and in fact, this is normal.
Although user manuals are already included in the packages, these printed guides will only do you so much. Often times, these manuals are very difficult to understand. This is true not just with camcorders but with all gadgets as well.
Now, if you just purchased your new camcorder and you don’t really know how to use it, then this guide will help you. I tried to make it as simple as possible to provide you with a much better understanding.
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The first step to fully appreciate your camcorder is to actually read the instruction-manual. While other manuals are quite difficult to understand, we are not saying that these are useless. What you can essentially learn from it are the basics of your camcorder. You will learn the buttons to press and the knobs to turn.
Keep in mind that these printed guides are directly from their respective camcorder manufacturers and this is your starting point if you want to know how to use a camcorder.
As you read through it, test all out the features and functions of the device. Ensure that each and every aspect is working and that the unit is in mint condition. If something is wrong, then you still have the liberty to use the warranty, if you have it.
The best way to learn anything is to just do it! Once you have read the manual and checked all the features of the camcorder, shoot your first video. This doesn’t need to have a profound concept. It doesn’t have to be something that will win an Oscars. In fact, we recommend not to test your device during important occasions like birthdays or wedding. If something goes wrong, then you just wasted your energy and time, and that can be pretty frustrating.
Record a sample for 3 to 5 minutes.
When you are done recording your first video, check and examine the output. Do you like it? Do you need something to improve? Is it the lighting? Or is it the resolution? Check all aspects of the video and take note as many as you can. I know that we can be pretty bias with our own works, but be objective in evaluating your first output. In short, be your own critique.
After taking notes of the things you want to improve, look for ways how you can actually achieve it. Test it out by shooting another video. But this time, make sure to apply the new techniques. I suggest that you record a video with a similar concept to the first one. This is so you can make a more objective comparison and see if there are visible improvements.
The next best thing to do if you want to learn how to use a camcorder is to try all the features and functions.
Some people will think that this is a trial and error technique, but I would like to call it ‘experimenting’. Think of another concept but shoot the same subject using the different features of your camcorder. This is one of the ideal ways to see the difference of each feature. By doing so, you can already have an idea when and where to use each.
These are some tips on how to use a camcorder and how to do better in shooting videos.
Holding your camcorder while recording a video is only recommended when the motion has a running time of 3 to 5 minutes. But when the video gets too long and you don’t have a tripod, your arms will surely get tired. It is really good option in comparison to the other video cameras.
As a result, the video output might be too shaky. The worst is, you will not be able to capture the best motions because chances are, you need to rest your arms once in a while. The solution for this is to get a quality tripod that will help you endure long periods of shooting.
Camcorders have built-in microphones. And yes, they are great in comparison to other video-recording devices. But, if you are looking forward to recording professional-looking and professional - sounding videos, you must get yourself a decent microphone that can be attached to your camcorder.
Most camcorders have special effects as an added feature. Although most of them are good and fun to use, they are not largely recommended if you wish to create more quality videos.
I suggest that you make and keep raw videos as much as possible. And once you rendered these videos onto your computer, that is the best time to add the special effects. After all, it is easier to play with raw and ‘clean’ materials rather than trying to edit with already touched videos.
Remember, you can make wonderful videos too. All you need is to exert time, effort, and the will to learn new things. It will also help if you watch video tutorials or attend classes to further hone your skills.
My admiration for cameras first started in senior high school when I bought my first point-and-shoot. As soon as I heard that first click of the shutter, I knew I was in love. Since then, I’ve always had a camera in my bag, ready to photograph anything that gives me inspiration.