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Introduction > Introduction - Pg. 22

Buying a DV Camcorder Tip: Using analog inputs, you can fll a couple of DV cassettes with, say, a movie you've rented. Then fip out the camcorder's LCD screen, plug in your headphones, and enjoy the movie on your cross-country fight--in economy class. Smile: The people up front in frst class paid $1,000 more for the same privilege. Three chips (three-CCDs) Professional camcorders offer three individual image sensors, one for each color component of a video picture: red, green, and blue. These camcorders are advertised as having three chips or CCDs (charge-coupled devices--electronic plates, covered with thousands of individual light sensors, that convert light rays into a digital signal). The result is even more spectacular picture quality, resolution, and color rendition than the less-expensive, one-CCD cameras. Unfortunately, you'll pay extra for this breathtaking video quality. Most three-chip camcorders are larger and more expensive than one-chip cams (see the photos in Figure 1-8)--but they deliver much better color. Not all three-chip models are big and pricey. Panasonic sells one for $600 that's no larger than a standard MiniDV camcorder. Note, however, that it contains three very small CCDs, so the quality improvement is visible primarily in bright, outdoor scenes.