Seven Steps to Getting the Most Out of Your Personal Video Camera

Sony Creative Software by Gary Rebholz

Video cameras are getting smaller and more portable. It's amazing how much technology has improved and the high-quality, high-definition video that you can shoot with these personal devices is very impressive. In this article, I'll walk you through the seven major steps that you need to follow in order to get the most out of your video camera. For this discussion, I'll be using a Sony MHS-TS20/S Bloggie Touch Camera like the one shown in Figure 1. But these seven steps are essentially the same whether you're using this Bloggie, one of the other Bloggie models, one of the Flip cameras, or a GoPro camera. Whichever one of these cameras you're using, you can bring your footage into Vegas Pro software and Vegas Movie Studio Platinum HD software and turn your great video into a compelling story.

It's not unusual to be a little unsure of how to proceed when you start using a new device and so you may find yourself struggling to figure out exactly how to use the footage you've shot with your camera in Vegas Pro or Vegas Movie Studio. The process can really be broken down into seven general steps, so let's take a look at those steps now.


Step One: Set the proper camera resolution
Editing effectively in the software really starts before you shoot your footage. This type of camera typically offers you several different resolution options. As always, it's a tradeoff between quality and file size (which translates to the amount of footage you can shoot to the camera's storage device). The resolution setting may also have an effect on other factors such as sensor aliasing. The main thing to keep in mind though is that setting your camera to a higher resolution will mean you can shoot less footage before you run out of storage space. Lower resolutions (while already providing lower-quality by definition) will probably also introduce compression artifacts that will further lower the quality of your video footage.

On my Bloggie, I have three possible video resolution settings:
  • 1080-30p
  • 720-60p
  • 720-30p
Obviously, if I want the highest quality, I'll shoot at 1080-30p. If it's more important to me to be able to shoot for as long as possible, I'll shoot at 720-30p. If I need more frames per second—for instance, if I'm planning to shoot high-action video like sports—I may decide to sacrifice resolution in favor of more frames per second and shoot at 720-60p so that I can avoid excessive motion blur. In all likelihood, your camera offers you these same types of resolution choices, so your first step is to decide what you're shooting and what resolution settings will most effectively give you the results you're after. read more...
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