Media Journal Describe your personal experience using a video camera. The Video Camera Basic Elements and Camera Care GLSHS Video Cameras Panasonic GS-14 Panasonic GS300 Panasonic AG-DVC7 Canon ZR-800 Canon FS200 Canon GL-1 Canon GL-2 Basic Camera Function Regardless of their size, cost, and quality, all video cameras operate on the same principle: to translate the optical image that the lens sees into a corresponding video picture. Three Basic Elements To fulfill the basic camera function, each video camera needs three basic elements: The lens Viewfinder The camera itself The viewfinder Camera Lens The Lens The lens selects a portion of the scene at which you point the camera and produces a sharp optical image of it. Classified by focal length, which is a technical measure of the distance from the iris inside the lens to the place where the projected image is in focus. Usually measured in millimeters (mm) Also classified as a wide-angle or narrow-angle lens Zoom Lens The zoom lens on a camera can change from a wide-angle position to a narrow- angle position in one continuous move. Because the zoom lens offers a great variety of focal lengths between its extreme wide-angle and narrow-angle positions, it is also called a variable-focal-length lens. Zoom Range (Zoom Ratio) Refers to how close a view you can achieve when zooming in from the farthest wide-angle position to the closest narrow- angle position. The higher the first number of the ratio, the closer you can get to the object from the farthest wide-angle position. Ex. 20:1 The Camera The first main component within the camera itself is the Beam Splitter, which separates ordinary white light into the three primary light colors- red, green, and blue. The Camera The second main component inside the camera is the Imaging Device. It changes light into electric energy. The imaging device in all cameras is a CCD. (Charge-coupled device or “Chip”) Contains horizontal and vertical rows of thousands or millions of light-sensing pixels. High quality consumer and all professional cameras contain three CCDs- one for each of the light beams delivered by the beam splitter. The Viewfinder A small video monitor attached to the camera that shows an image of what the camera sees. Most cameras have: An adjustable viewfinder tube A flat-panel LCD (liquid crystal display) viewfinder that can be folded out and reversed Camera Care Don’t expose the camera to the elements. Never leave it in the hot sun or a hot car or in a car when it is cold outside. Watch so the viewfinder is not pointed into the sun; the magnifying glass in the viewfinder can collect the sun’s rays and melt the electronics. Use a large umbrella when shooting in the rain or extreme cold. Camera Care Leave the camera with care. Never leave the camera unattended especially while on a tripod. When putting the camera down, place it upright. Laying it on its side may damage the viewfinder or attached microphone. Detach the camera from the tripod when transporting the equipment. Only Broadcast students are permitted to use the class video cameras. Camera Care Use the lens cap. The lens cap protects the delicate front surface of the lens. Never touch a lens with your bare fingers. Never use a cloth or tissue moistened with saliva to wipe a lens clean. Saliva ruins the lens. Use compressed air from a can to blow dirt off a lens. Never try to blow the dirt off with your breath. Camera Care Use fully charged batteries. Some batteries develop a “memory,” which means they signal a full charge even when only partially charged. Do not drop batteries or expose them to extreme heat or cold. Camera Care Verify the tape format. All GLSHS cameras use Panasonic MiniDV tapes. Other brands of tapes such as TDK can get caught in the camera and ruined. Review the previous footage on the tape before recording so that you do not record over important footage. Camera Care Examine all connections. Make sure the microphone jack is fully connected. When importing to a computer, make sure the USB or Firewire cable is connected securely. Camera Care Test the camera. Even when in a hurry, always do a brief test recording to verify the camcorder operates properly. Bring headphones to check the audio. Check the full range of the zoom lens and focus. Camera Care Heed the warning signs. Take note of caution signals and try to address the problem immediately. For example, you cannot ignore a “low battery” warning. Camera Care Put all tools away properly. Remove tripod plate and return to tripod. Remove batteries and place on designated charger. Place the camera in the camera bag and make sure ALL clasps are closed. Notify Mrs. Houck if you experience any problems or issues while filming so that the camera can be diagnosed and fixed.