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The DV Camcorder > The DV Camcorder - Pg. 26

Buying a DV Camcorder Tip: The number of minutes' recording time advertised for camcorder batteries is continuous recording time--that is, the time you'll get if you turn the camcorder on, press Record, and go out to lunch. If you stop and start the camera to capture shorter scenes, as almost everyone does, you'll get about half the advertised amount of time out of each battery charge. Built-in light As you can read in the next chapter, insuffcient lighting is one of the leading causes of "amateuritis," a telltale form of poor video quality that lets viewers know that the footage is homemade. In the best--and most expensive--of all possible worlds, you'd get your scene correctly lit before flming, or you'd attach a light to the "shoe" (light connector) on top of the camera. Those few cameras that have such a shoe, or even have a built-in light, give you a distinct advantage in flming accurate colors. Preprogrammed exposure options Most DV camcorders come with a number of canned focus/shutter speed/aperture set- tings for different indoor and outdoor environments: Sports Lesson, Beach and Snow, Twilight, and so on. They're a useful compromise between the all-automatic operation of less expensive models and the all-manual operation of professional cameras.