Tag, Youre It
Have you ever struggled to remember which issue of Videomaker contained a particular article, review or tip? Heres a tip for Videomaker readers who need to locate things of interest in back issues. Try placing a self-adhering label on each magazines cover listing the topics that interest you. You can list equipment, reviews, prices, facts, letters, and tips (and whatever else you think of) with a corresponding page number so you can find them easily. And you can color code or highlight topics of special importance.
If you have ever had trouble getting a clean chroma key with your Videonics MX-1 because of a color or lighting problem, try this. Send the video signal out from source B (the one with the chroma key background) to a video enhancer (I used Simas Ed/it 2). Then send the color-corrected video signal out from the enhancer back into the MX-1.
By adjusting the enhancers levels, you should be able to fix some of your chroma effects without noticeably degrading your video signal.
I have noticed that a lot of people get nervous and act un-naturally when they see my camcorders red record light go on. To prevent this, try placing a small piece of black electrical tape over your cameras tally light. That way, you can record without everyone knowing that you are rolling tape. Ive found that the people I tape are much more relaxed, and my videos look much better. By the time they figure it out, I have already gotten the shot!
Columbia, South Carolina
Here is a simple, inexpensive way to protect your camcorders viewfinder lens from scratches, lint, dirt, and bugs. Cover it with a small, lint-free mesh bag made for squeezing lemon wedges. The bag lets juice through while catching the seeds, but its elastic opening is also just the right size to stretch neatly over your viewfinders rubber eye cup. Theyre yellow, come in packs of twelve, and you can buy them for only a dollar or two in kitchen-gadget stores.
South Windsor, Connecticut
I stumbled onto a "drop shadow" technique using the Digital Title Superimpose feature on my camcorder. Prepare a title card using dark text on a light background. With your camera on a tripod, frame the card and store as described in your manual. Adjust the image to your desired color and border. Then, shoot the original text again, tilting the camera slightly and, voila, the original text becomes a drop shadow for your camera-stored graphic.
Here are some things to keep in mind if you are about to buy a camcorder. While camcorders are sold under a lot of brand names, there are really only a few manufacturers. You may be able to get a camera with more features for less money if you are willing to look at less-popular brand names. Also, shop around for closeouts on last years models. This is a great way to find brand-name camcorders at discount prices.