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How Do Camcorders Work

May 28, 2008
How a camcorder works is by recording audio and video and then saving those to a storage device, there by creating your own movies/videos and capturing life on video.

Earlier models of camcorders only recorded to VHS videotapes, and they were so big and bulky that they had to be carted around on a trolley. These camcorders were mostly used by professionals for broadcasting via television. But those days are over. With the advance of technology came digital and with digital came the digital camcorder.

Today digital camcorders are available in small hand held devices that allow everyone to record and make video recordings, and their popularity continues to grow as they quickly make their way to more and more homes, where families use them to capture their lives on film.

For gearheads and technophiles, there's no mystery to the workings of most digital gadgetry. But for the average consumer, even basic operation can be perplexing. Here's a look at how a few different types of digital camcorders work.

To understand how camcorders work is to look at the three components that they are comprised of: Lens, Imager and Recorder.

As with film cameras and analog camcorders, digital camcorders use a lens to see the images they record. These lenses transform the various elements of the image in front of the camera into information that can be processed and recorded. In a video recorder, these lenses focus the light-intensity colors onto a semiconductor image sensor. This sensor is called a charge-coupled device, or CCD. The more of these a camera has, the better the picture quality. The final step in digital video camera operation is what separates them from older camcorders. The information is turned into bytes of data. The contrast and colors become binary code (1s and 0s), and this data is stored as digital video.

Camcorders display the recorded images via the a flat LCD screen feature that comes with most camcorders today. These screens are a big reason why digital camcorders have become so popular because the recording process becomes easy and fun when you are able to see what is being recorded on the LCD screen in real time.

An important part of how camcorders work is when the recorder provides complex signaling functions that capture the video signals and then transfers them to the recording medium, such as DVD or MiniDV tapes. The recording and storage device is an important feature to the usability of camcorders.

DVD Camcorders: One of the most popular camcorders today is the DVD type, which can replay video on a home DVD player via the digital camcorders recording and burning directly to DVD.

Three types of DVD media are available: DVD-R, DVD-RW and DVD-RAM. DVD-R is a recordable DVD format with a write-once only capability. DVD-RW is a recordable DVD but it allows rewrites and so provides unlimited writing to same disk. DVD-RAM - DVD Random Access Memory is a DVD disc, which can be recorded with information, erased, and recorded again.

There are two versions of DVD digital camcorders: one that works with rewritable DVD-RAM/R discs requiring a DVD player with RAM playback or a PC with a DVD-RAM drive, and the second works by using the more popular DVD-R/RW discs that work with most ordinary DVD players.

There are several other recording and writing formats available in digital camcorders. MiniDV, MicroMV, HDD, HDV, Digital 8, VHS and Flash Memory Drive.

Camcorders are wireless and they work by getting their electricity source from special batteries. Generally different models of camcorders have different battery capacity which allow for varying amount of recording time on a fully charged battery. The two most common rechargeable batteries are the NiCd and the Lithium Ion. The lithiums are usually preferred because they take a charge quicker, are lighter than others and have a longer life span. Most full charges give a battery 6 hours of life.

Today digital camcorders are commonplace. They can be seen used everywhere, from family picnics and birthday parties to those news headlines you see where a passer by was able to capture some extraordinary event, such as natural disaster, cops beating a suspect or videos seen on the infamous YouTube website.

Regardless of how many features you choose or how complicated the digital camcorder is, most are very user-friendly, and their popularity is mainly centered in how digital camcorders provide a user-friendly video recording experience for anyone.

Digital camcorders come with various price tags from hundreds to thousands of dollars, depending on the features of the device, the clarity of sound and video quality provided, and the company manufacturing it. Something to consider that in the world of the Internet many sellers and merchants compete for your business and lots of money can be saved by avoiding retail merchants and purchasing digital camcorders at a discount.
About the Author
To browse and buy all brands of digital camcorders at discount prices please visit: JR's Discount Digital Camcorders. If you would like to learn more about camcorders you may want to read this guide: Buying a Camcorder.
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