What's The Best Video Camera For You?

Learn the important technical considerations to enable you to make an informed decision on the next video camera you buy
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Instructed by Chet Davis Design / Design Tools
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  • Lectures 16
  • Length 2.5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
    30 day money back guarantee!
    Available on iOS and Android
    Certificate of Completion
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About This Course

Published 5/2013 English

Course Description

 So you're looking to buy a new video camera... whether you are looking to capture your children or grandchildren in their growing up moments, planning to capture a special summer vacation, videotape events for your school, church, or synagogue... Chet will help you better understand the most important tech foundations of today's video cameras.

This class will provide you with just enough technical knowledge to help you make an informed decision - to weed out some of the marketing hype and sort through the assortment of cameras available.  Chet will help you think about what's important to you in a camera and narrow down your search. 

This class will not provide you with a solid recommendation for a specific camera manufacturer or model, but will help you understand the camera features and functions that will be important to you, and find a camera that includes those.

What are the requirements?

  • A willingness to learn something new and bring a smile to the classroom. No pre-requisite knowledge or skills required.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the difference between stream and file based video (a huge shift in camera technologies)
  • Overview of the most common video formats in today's cameras (MOV, AVCHD, etc)
  • Introduction to the major components in a video camera: Lens, Camera Element, Storage/Media, Viewfinder/Screen, Microphone
  • Distinction between major video camera categories: Camcorder, Digital Camera, Pocket Camera, Mobile Device
  • Introdcution to the speciality category of action cameras (GoPro Hero)
  • Chet highlights some of the most important camera settings to look for on a camera (White Balance, Shooting Modes)
  • An understanding of the value of manual focus and why you might want this function.
  • Learn when and why Chet recommends your next video camera should have the option to use an external microphone
  • Gain an understanding of the valueable (short-list) of recommended camera accessories
  • Receive an introduction to some considerations of viewing, editing, and sharing video from your new video camera.
  • In two valuable videos, Chet shows you how to read camea specifications (Chet will help you begin to make sense of the techno-garble)
  • Print out the 1-page checklist you can use to help sort through the choices when you are ready to purchase your next video camera.

Who is the target audience?

  • This class is designed for anyone considering the purchase of a new video camera, who would benefit from a greater technical understanding of today's video cameras. Whether you are going to use your new video camera for home or family use. This class is _not_ intended to serve a professional video producer as we do not cover cameras in that range.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Tech Stuff You Need to Know to Make a Wise Decision
In this lesson Chet introduces the goals of this class, and delves right in with a differentiation between Video streams and video files.  More and more video cameras employ the latter technology and it is helpful to understand the difference, especially if you're looking to purchase a new video camera.
In this lesson Chet 'dissects' a video camera to show you the most important main components inside: Lens, Pick-up element, Storage Media, Viewfinder/screen, microphone.  This is not done so you can design  your own video camera but rather so you know what to look for in your next video camera.
In this lesson Chet provides an introduction to the most common video storage formats found in streaming and file based video cameras today. You'll get a quick intro to H.264 (MOV, MPEG4), AVCHD as well as MPEG2, DV, and HDV. As mentioned in this lesson - you can listen to Chet's podcast 'Your Technology Tutor : Episode 11 to learn more about video camera Codecs, etc.  You will find this podcast in the iTunes store here .
Section 2: Differentation Between Types of Video Cameras: Benefits and Limitations
In this lesson Chet shares thoughts on what makes a traditional video camera or camcorder a good option for your next video camera. Chet weighs the strengths of using a device that is created primarily or specifically to 'do' video recording.

In this lesson Chet points out the benefits and limitations of using a digital camera as your next video camera.  We'll take a quick look at both Compact or PAS (Point And Shoot) Cameras as well as the more sophisticated HDSLR (High-Definition Single Lens Reflex) Cameras.  

In this lesson Chet shares strengths and limitations of the 'pocket' video cameras - which were initiated by the FLIP Video camera, and continued by the Kodak line of 'Play' video cameras (both of which are discontinued but still available as new product)... as well as the newer Panasonic pocket camera.
In this video Chet shares info and thoughts about the use of an 'Action' Camera to capture video - focusing specific attention on the wildly successful GoPro Hero line of action cameras.
In this video lesson Chet shares thoughts about the use of your SmartPhone or Digital Tablet to capture videos.  Specifically Chet talks about the technical specifications of the iPhone and the iPad/iPad-mini.  You'll get an honest answer from a guy who loves his iOS devices but prefers other options when capturing video.
Section 3: Additional Considerations in/for Your New Video Camera
In this lesson Chet explains some of the common functions you'll find on video cameras and what their value is. He also introduces some of the more common options on newer video cameras.
In this video Chet shares accessories for your video camera that he has found are valuable.  Included are tripods (and other camera platforms), external microphones, and a short list of items that can make your videotaping more successful and more convenient. 
In this video lesson Chet shares tips and knowledge related to what to do once you have your video and you wish to view, edit, and/or share the video/s with your audience.
Section 4: Camera Specifications: Making Sense of the Mumbo-Jumbo
In this video Chet visits the Canon consumer camcorder website and demonstrates how you can use these on-line specification pages to find and make sense of the technical details that may be important to your video camera search.
In this short video, Chet shows you how to use the on-line CNET Camera Comparison website to compare several video camera models - from the same or different manufacturer.  You'll find this web page here: CNET Camera Comparison website
Camera Manufacturer Websites
Section 5: Conclusion & Additional Resources
In this lesson Chet 'wraps it all up'... providing a quick summary of the learnings in this classroom.  He shares when he believes you might best select from the 5 specific types of cameras mentioned in this course.
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Instructor Biography

Chet Davis, Your Technology Tutor

Chet loves to teach...he loves helping others learn, whether it's an artistic technique in video or photography; or a software application or technology tool. Whether you join Chet for a live hands-on workshop or an on-line lesson on Udemy you clearly experience his enthusiasm, his expertise, and his passion for teaching.

Chet 'cut' his teacher teeth with 17 years in the classroom as teacher of a high school Video Technology program in California. He's made presentations at National and Regional Conferences and led hands-on workshops for in 41 US States, 3 Canadian provinces and in Europe (European Schools Program). Chet is listed in two volumes of Who’s Who in American Education and has testified before a Congressional Sub-Committee on the importance of Technology in Education.

When he's not teaching, he enjoys traveling - and producing travel video and photography. He likes playing tennis, snowboarding and mountain biking... and he loves to cook (he makes a mean Chimichanga from scratch).

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