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02: HOW TO USE A DV CAMERA | iMovie

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Before you start…..

The most important thing about using this equipment is to remember it is very fragile and that should be handled with great care. The camera should never be left unattended at any time if out on loan, and any cost incurred through loss or damage is expected to be covered by the student in full.

This piece of IT equipment can be booked out from:

Isla Coruisk - i.e.s.coruisk@rgu.ac.uk
Fraser Denholm - f.denholm@rgu.ac.uk

Technical Support Officers
Gray's School of Art
Room Gb 21
Tel: (01224) 26 3675

 




The following guide is written for the Canon XM1 digital video camera.
However, it relates to all makes of digital video camera available to book out within Gray's.



Check the batteries

Depending on how you are working you can either use the camera on batteries or mains supply. If you are using batteries, first check the battery is charged.

To insert the battery - extend the viewfinder at the back of the camera and then push up.
Align the arrow on the battery with the line near the bottom of the battery position.
Push the battery in and down until it clicks in place.

Return the viewfinder to its original position.

If you find the battery requires charging, first make sure the camera has been turned off.
emove the battery by extending and lifting the view finder as before.
Then press and hold the release button while you slide the battery up.

(Always makes sure the camera is turned off before removing the battery)

Put the battery in the DC charger and charge for the required time.

Single flash indicates that battery is less than 50% charged

Double flash indicates that battery is 50% to 75% charged

Triple flash indicates that battery is more than 75% charged

Continuous red light indicates battery is charged


If you are working indoors, the camera can also be run from the DC charger without the battery.

Insert the mains adapter into the battery socket on the back of the camera in the same way as the standard battery. Connect the other end to the DC charger.

Turn the camera on by selecting Camera or VCR from the switch on the top left of the camera. A red light beside the switch will turn on to indicate power to the camera.

To insert the Digital tape, push the Open button on the right hand side of the camera and pull the Videotape hatch out.

Once the hatch is open press the green eject button and wait for the cassette compartment to open.

Place your disk into the holder with the tape cover pointing down and the two holes for the tape drivers facing in towards the camera. Press the eject button and wait for the tape compartment to return to its original position. Now push the tape hatch back to its closed position and you are ready to begin filming.

To make a recording

Press down and slide the power switch from OFF to CAMERA

Turn the standby lever from LOCK to STANDBY

The camera is now set to record but is set on PAUSE; Pause will be displayed in the viewfinder in the top right corner



Set the camera to EASY Mode (Green Square) . The camera will take care of focus, exposure, and other adjustments.

Press the Start/Stop button (Red Button) to begin recording. The camera can be zoomed in or out by pressing the T/W button forward or back to change the view to whatever is required.

When you want to pause recording press the Start/Stop button again.

As long as the power switch is set to CAMERA you can use the STANDBY lever to turn the camera on and off to save battery power

When you have finished recording

Close the LCD viewfinder panel. Unload the cassette and turn the standby lever to LOCK. Slide the power switch to OFF and disconnect any external power sources.


Playing back a Cassette

The camera can playback recordings using the LCD display on the side of the camera.

Push the power switch from the OFF position to VCR. The power indicator should light up to indicate the camera is now on.

Open the cover on the handle of the camera to find the VCR control buttons, which are in the following order.

REWIND, PLAY, FAST FORWARD, PAUSE, STOP & RECORD.

Open the LCD display on the side of the camera and use the control buttons to view the contents of the tape.

Changing the Recording Mode of the camera

As a default, the best method of making a recording with the digital camera is to set the camera to EASY Record on the dial to the left of the viewfinder. There may be occasions when this is not the most appropriate and the other options can be selected as follows:

  • EASY (Green Square)
    The camera will take care of focus, exposure, and other adjustments.
  • AUTO  (A)
    This is the same as EASY mode but you can also select Manual functions
  • SHUTTER PRIORITY (TV)
    Selecting this option allows the user to manually adjust the exposure of the recording. This can be useful if you want to lighten or darken the footage.
    To adjust the exposure turn the EXPOSURE dial on the bottom left hand side of the camera beside the lens. While the camera is set to TV you will see the preview lighten or darken as you attach the dial.
  • APERTURE PRIORITY (AV)
    Selecting this option allows the user to manually adjust the aperture of the recording.
    To adjust the depth of field turns the EXPOSURE dial on the bottom left hand side of the camera beside the lens; the display on screen should indicate an F-number.  F1.6 give a shallow depth of filed and F11 gives the maximum depth of filed
  • MANUAL (M)
    Selecting this mode allows complete control of aperture, shutter speed and exposure.
    This option is best not used, as it is a lot easier to Auto for recording.
  • SAND AND SNOW  (picture of a skier going down hill with the sun behind him)
    Use this option when the background is so bright that the subject seems underexposed in the display.
  • SPOTLIGHT (picture of beam of light on man)
    Select when recording spot lit scenes such as on a stage at a theatre.

Changing the Recording Mode (SP/LP)

As a default it is normally best to make all recordings in SP (Standard Play) but in an emergency e.g. you don’t have another tape, recordings can be made in LP (Long Play) which extends tape usage by 1.5 times

To change recording speed click the menu button when the camera is on and turn the menu dial below it to select REC MODE. Press the dial once to select the SP/LP menu, rotate dial again to make selection then click again to okay. Press the MENU button to close the menu window

Filming in Bright Light

In bright light, the camera may automatically close the lens down to its smallest aperture. In such cases the image may appear blurred. Click the button on the left side of the camera called ND FILTER. The icon ND will appear on screen. To turn this options off press the button again.

Turning off the Tally Lamp

The tally lamp on the front of the camera flashes when the camera is recording. Sometimes it is best for this not to flash i.e. When videoing through a window so that there is no reflection of the flashing light.
To turn it off click the menu button, when the camera is on and turn the menu dial below it to select TALLY LAMP. Press the dial once to select the YES/NO menu, then rotate dial again to make selection then click again to okay. Press the MENU button to close the menu window.

Record footage to a computer

To export the video footage to your computer open the DV IN/OUT hatch at the back of the camera and insert a Firewire lead to the socket. Attach the other end of the lead to the computer's FireWire port.


Set the Camera to VCR mode and then launch iMovie to begin downloading the footage.

 

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