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Video Recording

All video recording is captured, stored and produced in some type of format. Anything that is not digital is not compatible. Even digital formats, depending on file type due mainly to compression restrictions and brand, may or may not be picked up or manipulated by different hardware/software products. For example " Studio 9" will pickup mainly AVI, MPEG, & MP2 video files & WAV, MP3 & AVI audio files. To bring in other video files such as WMA format, you must first use a format converter to change you clip into a format (language) that Studio 9 can understand. 

Formats used to be VHS, 8mm, DV,  or Beta. We commonly deal with AVCHD, Avi and  MPEG's. Each format provides it's own limit in regards to quality and functionality. Besides having limited quality potential, older formats such as VHS, beta and 8mm quickly degenerate with each copy generation. They could only be played on particular pieces of equipment. Digital technology has revolutionized media industries. Digital formats raised the bar for consumer recording quality, and narrowed the gap between consumer and professional picture quality. Digital opened the flood gates for multimedia exchange.  

DV format, as well as our older "Sony digital 8" tapes are in fact digital. These are not formats that are not so common any more. However, there still are people who have a library of hi8 material they want to continue to play. Quality is not quite as good as DV, but better than Hi8.  One of the biggest differences between analog and digital formats is digital's characteristic of cloning rather than copying each generation. A copy is never as good as the origonal. In other words; there is generation loss when you make copies. Digital allows making duplicates or modifications without loosing quality. Digital format is a better format to be manipulated and utilized for different media purposes. Popularity of a medium impacts the cost and availability of any product. For example there was an 8mm mini format that didn't last long and before that there was a VHS mini that lasted  an even shorter time. With both of these, technically the actual recording format was the same, but the physical cassette did not fit other devices unless you played them though an adapter. Just another thing to purchase and something else to go wrong. More recently, Sony tried to restrict it's customers to purchasing their own version of memory chips but had to conform to the more popular SD card format in order to keep up with the market.

NOTE: An important digital setting to make with our digital handy cams, is to set the "audio mode" to "16 bit". 
The reason is that if the video has any length to it, and you  are going to edit it in "I-Movie" on an Apple, you may find problems somewhere into your movie, matching your sound with your video. I have noticed  while still in I-Movie and before going to "I-DVD", this problem showed up especially with  movies an 1hr long or longer,. I have also experienced the same problem with shorter movies. Unfortunately, the miss-match of sound and video only showed up on the burnt DVD's. Everything looked fine on the computer, but the discs didn't work right.
If you happened to  find yourself with the second problem, the solution is:

  • Export the movie back to the camera, to tape.
  • set the  "audio mode" to "16 bit".
  • Recapture the movie and proceed to alter or burn DVD

Video Recording Terms

  • Format refers to the medium used to capture and produce your image.... such as the type of videotape (8mm or VHS), or MP4, MKV, AVI, and FLV
  • Analog VCRs record waves which sort of results in an averaging of distinction within the image. This averaging for each copy results in declining quality is called "generation loss." That is, copies of copies, not multiple copies of a singular original.
  • Digital, basically computer language made up of "0's & 1's. Reproductions of this format is called cloning as regenerations of the original do not  degenerate.
  • Image Quality refers to resolution or sharpness, as well as color .
  • Resolution refers to the amount of detail in an image. Some people would call this  sharpness or crispness.

  • Color distinction is the formatís ability to reproduce color. Some formats are  display only muddy, muted colors, while others can reproduce sharp life like or vivid colors.

  • Component video reproduces the best images, because it keeps the red, green and blue signals separate.

  • Composite Video will mix the three colors together, record/transfer the mixture, and then attemps to unscramble the mixed colours at the receiving end, on your TV or monitor. A VCR that records this combined color mixture is called a "composite" VCR

    Note: The last 3 terms above are connected. The 2 links below are meant to help you understand, firstly, that all the colours you perceive to see are the product of the 3 primary colors, red, green and blue. The addition or subtraction of light adds a new dimention.



Sometimes you are required to record and/or broadcast directly to the internet or to a screen for an audience to view. Whether we are actually physically recording or simply broadcasting, all the considerations for either or both are the same. Eventually you have to connect your camera to a TV or a computer. Either way, Ii doesn't matter if is to watch or to edit your movie. Your video will have to be transferred through cables. Analog cables like the typical RCA cables that connect your TV and VCR compromise your picture quality because the 3 colours that make up all the colours on your screen are mixed together for transfer, then are separated for display once received. Once DVD players and high resolution analog TV receivers became popular, Component cables began to replace RCA cables because of the better picture quality. For a visual on the difference on how they work "click" .

HDMI is now replacing component connections. Although HDMI also seperates the 3 colours for transfer, it deals with digital formats. You may ask: HDMI versus Component Video--Which is Better?

The principal differences are that HDMI carries audio as well as video, and uses a different type of connector, but both use the same encoding scheme,

HDMI Cables

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Camera Connections:

USB and USB mini

The USB mini is commonly found on the camera perhaps to save space. USB deals with digital transfer.

HDMI and HDMI mini

Again, the mini HDMI can be the out port choice of the camera for digital transfer.

DV out to Fire wire is an older vehicle for digital connection.
  AV out to RCA

The red and white cables are for the right and left audio (speaker) transfer while the yellow is always the (composite) analog  video  transfer vehicle. 

This is an example of a product specific connection (Sony)

 Video Camera Mounts are means to support and steady your camera and ultimately your shot.<<< This is an excellent resource for camera mount education.

  • Steadicam- Is typically an expensive, counter weighted mount worn by a professional cameraperson for taping on the move.<<< Sample video of Steadicam usage. >>>How steadicams work<<<Zero-cost Steadicam ... not exactly, but this video offers an option and an understanding to how they work.

  • Shoulder_Support_Brace is a cheap substitute for a steady cam. Our pink shoulder brace could help when shooting on the move or to give the allusion that the viewer is seeing from the perspective of a character such as that of the perspective of the grizzly bear stocking his prey in the movie "Grizzly".

  • Tripod- most of us know what they look like, but don't use them enough. This type of mount comes with 3 different types of heads.

    1) Friction heads like the ones we have on our tripods. They are the most common as they are relatively  cheap. They great for still shots, but are not necessarily effective when trying to produce smooth pans and tilts because they rely on the friction between rubbing parts according to the pressure applied by screws.
    2) Fluid heads can easily cost $5000.00. They are much better at producing smooth swing and tilt of your camera because of the built in resistance in the head produced by a thick fluid passing through the chambers as you move or your angle your camera.
    3) Cam heads are the most expensive and naturally the most effective at maintaining smooth changes in camera direction. The smoothness is maintained as the result of cams and counter weights. They are most commonly found on studio cameras.
    Amateurs rarely use tripods where professions rarely don't. Go figure??


  • Bodymount- is simply using your body to support or hold and steady your camera. Obviously the cheapest and least steady mounting option. It is sometimes necessary for professional shooting (like chasing a celebrity on the fly), but is enormously over used in amateur videos. As most amateurs can not afford a steadicam, and we often get caught without a tripod. So, what can we do to help make a smoother and steady shot when using our body mounts?

      -  Make sure you use your 2 hands to steady the camera, even if you just use one finger on the end of the screen
      -  The simplest thing then would be to lean against something like a wall or post, or rest your elbow on something like a desk.
      -  One could rest the camera on a table, a car hood, a fallen tree.
      -  You might have the opportunity to press your lens against a the glass at the rink or against a window of a building


  • Studio pedestals are especially used in news rooms and TV studios as mounts for very heavy and very large cameras that require very smooth but limited height change.

  • Dolly- has many forms, but basically is a mount on wheels used to smoothly move the camera along a specific path.

  • Jib Arms enable the camera to seemingly fly through the air and over the heads of crowds. 

  • Drones becoming more and more popular and common as a consumer product for aerial shots


  1. A video signal that is a mix of the red, green and blue image is called _______________________________.
  2. A mount used to permit the camera produce over head shots and sweeps _______________________________.
  3. A copy of a digital tape is more properly referred to as a ___________________________________.
  4. Which of the formats below is digital?

    a.) VHS    b.) WAV    c.) betamax    d.) DV    e.) AVI
  5. Resolution" refers to a recording formatís ability to reproduce______________________________________.
  6. What might be some options to help steady the picture when operating a camera supported by a body mount?
    7 If money is no object, What would be the best mount to use for recording as you chase your subject?


3. refers to the medium used to capture and produce your image
5. duplication without generation loss
7. cables keep colours separate between devices and produces the a better picture
8. an expensive, counter weighted mount worn by a professional camera person
1. a signal resulting in generation loss due to it's averaging of distinction.
2. a cheap tripod head dependant on the moving parts controlled by pressure applied by screws
4. basically computer language made up of "0's & 1's
6. refers to the amount of detail in an image.

8 of 8 words were placed into the puzzle.
Created by Puzzlemaker at