Posted by: macintoshsisters | October 1, 2003

Digital Video Guide

Book Review

Digital Video Guide

This book like the others done by the same author falls short, as far as I am concerned. There are several errors that will cause problems. First problem presented in both books is with the use of a polarizing filter. The use is a good idea but, you have to obtain the correct one. There are two types on the market, circular and parallel, the circular being the most expensive. The one that the autofocus cameras require is the circular type. This fact was mentioned in several British magazines as a warning. You cannot use a regular parallel type and expect the auto focus to work, it will not. The regular parallel type can be used on manual focus with no problem. If you do not want problems the answer is a polarizer that must be circular type. That of course is more expensive, but a cheep filter on a good lens spells image problems. Polarizers are a good addition to your filter set but, be sure and obtain the correct one for your type of camera. You may have to tell the camera salesperson what you want, as many lack expertise in this area. Any autofocus focus camera requires the special filter. If you have a 35mm camera then the parallel type will work providing you use it on manual focus.

Adobe does not support the Macintosh version of Premier. The windows users should have no problem. This may have been a change after the book was sent to the press. I notice that all the screen shots are windows. It would have been nice to have more information of Final Cut Pro v4.0.1 for this appears to be the way the motion picture industry is going. They are switching from film to tape in many cases.
I agree, if digital imagery is what you are after, then purchase the proper camera to do the job. DV is not the best for still images. Cameras usually do one job very well.

The charts in the Appendix, for me, are a waste of paper. The people who will use these tables are not going to read this book. To the novice DV user these tables will not make much sense. According to my Father who has taught photography for thirty years most people do not read tables
As technology changes every three months, there have been vast improvements in 3CCD cameras with quite a substantial drop in price. It appears that the single chip cameras have run their course. The three chip is the way of the future. Videographers are using this technology. I agree that optical stabalizer is a must for any good camera. The digital method is not the way to go. 1Lux is now the only camera worth looking at.

Most of the features on the cameras should be left alone. Even the small video screens should be turned off. Learn to use the viewfinder with both eyes open when you shoot. Yet, make sure the viewfinder is set to your optical requirements. The power used by the LCD screen will reduce the battery time at your disposal. No mention of changing the vision requirements to match the person doing the video work to me is information that should not be overlooked. It is surprising how many people do not know how to change the dioptre in their camera. It makes more sense to do the fades and special effects once the tape has been made. The editing is where all this comes into play not in the camera. Once on the original tape the problem cannot be corrected. When you edit your imagination and program knowledge comes to the forefront. You have to know how to use the video editor program to get the best from what you have shot.

The use of digital enhancement once the optical lens is maxed out is an area that should be stressed more. This is where the camera sales person can really do a number on you. So, buyers beware. Also watch hot the camera is attached to the tripod. Make sure that you can change the battery and video tape attached to the tripod. No mention of a monopod that has legs and stands alone is mentioned. I have been using mine for about 10 years, So, this is not a recent design. A monopod makes a very good walking stick.

I think that you can find more practice information on the www than you will find in this book. Most manuals that people do not read are those with vast amounts of information that take considerable time to read and absorb. Therefore, the manual must be read several times, with camera in hand to make sense. I would rather buy 2 extra DV tapes and read the manual and practice what the manual says.

The How to shoot section of this manual is a waste of space and the information given is not very comprehensive. The colour coded cable connection page is a waste of colour ink. This page is redundant. Like the other digital camera book Both fit into you camera case, but I think the camera’s manual should be there instead.

3 out of 5 Macs
Reviewed by: A Wright
October 1st 2003

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