Generally, HDSLR cameras regard audio as an added feature with very little importance. This is a little short-sighted as audio is an important part of any production. However, some of the new camera models from Nikon and Canon are now incorporating a 3.5 mini jack for an external microphone. The Panasonic GH1 does have a built in stereo microphone which is located on the camera’s prism and it also has a mini plug for an external microphone. Other cameras use a small mono microphone which is located on the camera body itself, which annoyingly can pick up all your handling noises.
Editing Video files
If you thought image editing software was complicated then take a look at video editing applications. They are like putting Photoshop on steroids. However, as with anything once you get the hang of how the application works then dropping clips sequentially onto a timeline becomes very easy. You can apply more or less the same colour correction tools, such as colour balance, Hue Saturation, curves etc., to a whole clip. Add in a music track and then export the entire production to a DVD or YouTube. Popular start up applications include; iMovie (Mac), Adobe Premiere Elements, Corel Video Studio X3, Movie Edit Pro amongst others. For professional editing then there is Final Cut Pro (Mac), Adobe Premiere Pro CS5, Avid, Adobe After Effects CS5 etc. For the high end applications there is a steep learning curve, many of the popular consumer applications offer easy to follow wizards.
Adobe Premiere Pr CS5, a professional video editing application –
think of it as Photoshop on steroids
Like stills images, JPEG, TIFF, PSD, GIF etc., video can also be delivered in several different formats, these are called “Wrappers”. A movie file is wrapped in a format that can be read by a player, this can be a MOV file for QuickTime, WMF for Windows Media player, FLV for Flash players etc. The output file can be decided after you have finished editing the movie and are ready to export it. You will also be offered an endless list of output codecs, these will define how the movie is compressed etc., but that’s for another day.
For the user who doesn’t want to become involved with video editing, then you can simply link up the camera to a domestic TV set via the HDMI output and watch your movie clips from an armchair. However, as with stills photographs the manipulations and editing are key to producing first class pictures or movies.