Digital cameras have come a long ways in the past few years. They are now more affordable and feature rich than ever. A comprehensive list of features and advice for choosing a digital camera is beyond the scope of this article, but this article will highlight one of the most popular features, video capture capability.
With a video capture feature on your camera, you can take low to medium quality video footage using your digital camera. All cameras with video capture are not created equal, though. Here are some things to check on before buying a camera with video capture:
1 – Sound
Does the camera support sound? If so, does it capture it through a built in microphone, or does it have an input for you to plug in an external microphone?
2- Video Quality
There are two main factors that determine video quality – resolution and frames per second. The higher the resolution, and the higher the number of frames per second, the higher quality the video.
3- Video format
What format is the video in? Ideally, it will be in a standard, easy to edit format, such as MPEG. Some cameras use proprietary video formats, which means that you can’t edit your videos with most editors. Windows Movie Maker, which comes free with Windows, is a great editor to use for most generic video formats.
4- Video length
Some cameras limit the length of video clips you can take, often to 30 seconds. This can be a great aggravation. The better cameras allow you to take as long of a video clip as your camera’s memory can hold. Of course, you can add a larger memory stick to take a longer video clip. You can now get memory sticks up to 2 GB or larger.
On most digital cameras, you can use the zoom when taking video footage. However, you can generally only use your optical zoom, not your digital zoom.