Ten Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Your Camcorder.

camcorder mistakes

For those of you who are new to doing video interviews for a life story, here are some common mistakes to avoid.

  1. Failure to read the manual. First and foremost know how to use your camcorder.  Read the manual.  Practice, practice, practice.  And then practice some more!
  2. Failure to use the color balance. Don’t want blue or green looking skin?  Learn how to set the color balance, which will improve your picture color.
  3. Dead batteries. Make certain your batteries are fully charged and that you have an additional back-up battery.
  4. Failure to check electrical outlets for AC hum. If you’re using an electrical outlet to power your camcorder, check to make certain that you’re not getting an electric “hum” on your audio.
  5. Dirty lens. Nothing marres a picture more than a spot or smudge.  Always clean your camera lens with a lens cleaning solution and lens tissue.
  6. Out of focus. Check to make sure your subject is in focus. Use the manual rather than the auto focus.
  7. Incorrect exposure. Make certain to check your exposure so that your subject is neither over or under exposed.
  8. Incorrect Recording Mode. You can choose from SP (standard play) and LP (long play). Use SP mode. It allows for downloading to computer and provides a better picture.
  9. Failure to monitor audio quality. Use a good quality lavaliere microphone if your camcorder has an external mic terminal. If it doesn’t, then make sure that you place the camera no more than 4 feet from your subject. Also try to record in a room that is quiet, one with rugs, drapery, and padded furniture.
  10. Leaving a cassette in the camcorder. Rewind your tape when you’re finished and remove it from the camcorder. Failure to do so can cause the tape to become slack or damaged.

In future posts I’ll be talking about proper composition and lighting for your interviews.

Photo by Aleksi Aaltonen

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2 Responses to Ten Common Mistakes to Avoid When Using Your Camcorder.

  1. This may be dated information, but take the lens cap off! A friend got married a few years ago, and had an acquaintance video tape the ceremony. Guess what. He left the lens cap on. They got nothing. Maybe the newer cameras don’t work with the lens cap on, which would be a good thing!

  2. @Digital Dame. Good point! With cameras these days you wouldn’t be able to see the picture if the lens cap was on. So it would be hard to shoot anything.

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