Digital Video Production
Check out my Video projects
to date, or read my video editing
techniques page. I'm also putting together some
book reviews for books I have
purchased on video production.
Buy on Amazon
We purchased a Sony DCR-PC110. It is a
vertical-format digital camcorder which records onto MiniDV tapes. I
did a lot of research on
Epinions and on
Consumer DV Reviews and
the toss up was between the Canon Elura 2 and the Sony. In the end we
went with the Sony, and we are very pleased. At first it appears intimidating with
the controls scattered all over the camera body. However you rarely use all of them
at once. Ignore the gimmic features such as in-camera effects, digital zoom and
in-camera editing and aall you need to focus on is the zoom and focus settings. The
digital camera takes pictures at 1024x768 which is acceptable but lags far behind
today's average cameras. Think of it as an added bonus rather than as a must-have
feature. It can take 15 second clips onto the MemoryStick - very handy for a quick
email to grandparents!
Final Cut Pro 4 from Apple to log, capture and edit my raw DV footage from
the camera. Typically I will capture a few weeks worth of raw footage, sort thorugh it
on the computer, and then organize it into projects. I try to keep the pace lively
through the movies, even though mostly they are just glorified home videos. I edit
out all of the dull parts, set up action-reaction shots, lay over cut-aways where
it illustrates a point and try to minimize the classic "smash-zoom" so common on
home videos. Finally I gather appropriate audio from CD, the web and my musician
brother to lay out a soundtrack and then I do audio sweetening and level adjustments.
Once my wife (!) has signed off on the final cut, I export to DV and burn the movies
to DVD using iDVD. Then I sit back and await more gushing praise from family members
who still are amazed that I can make 30 minutes of home movies more fun to sit through
than some TV shows. Job done.