If you're looking to get into videography and video editing as a hobby, the options can be daunting. Here is a small question and response that may help you get started in this fun and rewarding hobby.
What type of camera do you recommend?
Response: For a beginner, a Canon single CCD camera will suit you well. It has a cost range of $500 to $700. Canon is well respected at all levels of video camera quality and has probably the best quality for the price at the low end.
If you want to start out with something more professional, you may want to look into the Canon GL2 which is a low end 3 CCD (1/4" each) camera running about $1500. This camera is great for an enthusiastic hobbyist or a beginning special events videographer.
If you're looking to make some money on the side (or as a career) with your camera doing special events such as wedding videography, you may want to look into the Sony VX2100, a high-end consumer 3 CCD (1/3" each) camcorder, running at a price between $2100 and $3000, check out prices here. The high definition capable version of the same camera is called the Sony HDR / Fx1 and goes for $3700 at all major retailers.
What is CCD?
CCDs are imaging chips. CCD stands for charge-coupled device and is a light sensative circuit which stores an electrical charge representing each tiny part of an image. The difference between low and high end video cameras is usually determined by the number of CCDs (one or three), and the size of the CCD. In video cameras the number of CCDs determines the clarity of the picture in low lighting (most indoor) situations. The size of the CCD is directly linked to the amount of "color bleeding" present in the video.
It is also interesting to note that for video cameras, unlike photography cameras, the size of the pixels is far more important than the number of pixels. Fewer pixels that are larger make a better video camera. It is also interesting to note that as you go from low-end to high-end cameras, you will be getting fewer "extras" on your camera such as the ability to take "still photography".
Next question: What video editing software would you recommend?
Response: Pinnacle Studio 9 has many great features for beginning in photoediting. It runs between $70 and $90 at major retail stores. It gives many options and is very user friendly. If you're looking for some more advanced options in lighting, transitions, and sound editing, you may want to consider the more professional editing software Pinacle Liquid Editions for around $600.
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