I’m 14, I love video, and I love your magazine. I had always loved video, but it wasn’t until recently I really got into it with mixers and stuff. Pretty soon, I hope to add video capture cards, animation software, a new hard drive, etc. I decided I would need some sort of video reference material. So I picked up your magazine from a shelf at a local store, bought it, and took it home and read it. After that, I had no choice but to get a subscription to it, and I’m really glad I did. I love it!
Sometime during the last year your magazine made a point of “shifting gears” from just plain camcording to video processing with computers, including nonlinear editing. A great move!
But you have not yet accomplished your goal. With each article I read in Videomaker concerning nonlinear editing, I come out just short of how to put it all together. Some of the professional publications deal with this issue, but they don’t address the low-end systems that I and most of your readers are concerned with.
Will someone please start from scratch and describe in detail what is needed to put together an affordable nonlinear editing system?
Until very recently, the phrase “affordable nonlinear editing system” was a contradiction in terms, and most good-quality systems are still quite expensive. But now that nonlinear-editing components (and even turnkey systems) are coming down to a reasonable price level, you can be sure that Videomaker will cover them.
I am totally frustrated and tired of spending money for so-called one- and two-hour batteries that barely last 25 minutes. How can I be assured of enough power to run my camera for the entire length of a wedding or special event that lasts over 20 minutes? Got any suggestions?
Also, one of the most frustrating things about batteries is trying to keep track of which one is charged, and making sure they are discharged before storing them. Is there a battery that you can use for a few minutes, remove from the camera, store for a week or two, and then connect to the camera and use the rest of the power in it? Is there a battery that keeps its charge?
Pennsville, New Jersey
We assume that the batteries your’e having trouble with are the NiCd variety.
To answer your first question, here are some suggestions: First, forget about the one-hour or two-hour label that manufacturers give their batteries; it’s meaningless. Instead, buy the most powerful batteries–in terms of milliamp-hours (mAh)–you can afford. Consider 2000mAh to be the bare minimum. Keep in mind that different camcorders have different power requirements. They nearly all run on six volts, but consume different amounts of current. A camcorder that consumes 2000 milliamps (mA) of current will record for one hour on a 2000mAh battery, whereas a camcorder that consumes 3000mA will deplete the same battery in only 40 minutes. Also, if you use the zoom much, the camcorder will consume more power and deplete the battery sooner.
Second, steer clear of so-called memory-free NiCd batteries; they have a poor track record for power capacity.
In answer to your second question, all NiCd batteries lose their charge during storage. Since they lose charge whether youve used them some or not at all, just charge them all the day before you plan to shoot. No need to discharge them first. Those still holding some charge will charge quicker than those that are "empty."
Volunteers of America
I just read the February, 1997 “Viewfinder” column entitled “A Video Exercise in Good Will,” and all of us here at Capital Community Television admire your call to volunteer for non-profit organizations. The reasons you cite for doing so are right on target. The outreach budgets of these organizations are stretched very thin, and they need all the volunteer help they can get. And volunteering just makes you feel good.
You might be interested in knowing that this kind of volunteerism happens all the time at public-access television centers across the nation.
Good work on your column!