Et Cetera, Et Cetera
More than just an afterthought, camcorder accessories can actually increase the quality of your videos.
True confession: I love the back pages of video magazines like this one, almost as much as the back corners of video equipment stores. These oft-overlooked places offer green fields of goodies on which to graze and ruminate, pastures of nourishing forage like lens converters, slide copiers, right-angle mirrors, shoulder braces--in short, fascinating video accessories. Some folks buy doodads for their cars or sports, others are software junkies. Me, I'm a sucker for video add-ons.
Not that they're frills, mind you. Most accessories contribute directly to the capability and versatility of your videomaking kit. In fact, the only superfluous accessories are, by definition, the ones you don't use. Which ones are those? Too often they're the ones I've found myself suckered by, the stuff that just seemed cool at the time.
To help you avoid my affliction, I've tried to prioritize video accessories by overall usefulness and level of operation, from weekend video keepsakes to entry-level industrial programs. Since this is a column about the production phase of videomaking, I've excluded accessories for preproduction (like, say, a spreadsheet for budgeting) and post production (like a time-base corrector).
Within the production phase, however, I'm casting a wide net. For my purposes here, if it ain't a camcorder, it's an accessory.
So here's my personal take on what to acquire, in what order, and for what purpose. We'll make seven trips back to the video store, to buy add-on packages that begin at less than $80 and then range upward from there.
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