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The DV Camcorder > The DV Camcorder - Pg. 39

If your subject is a family member or friend, they may be able to confrm that you're getting the shot by checking the tally light--the small light on the lens end of the camcorder that lights up, or blinks, while you're recording. Most videographers, however, turn off the tally light (using the camcorder's built-in menu system) or put a piece of black tape over it. If you're trying to be surreptitious or to put your subject at ease, the light can be extremely distracting, especially when it starts blinking to indicate that you're running out of tape or power. Similarly, make sure the indicator disappears when you punch the Record button a second time. Sometimes this button sticks and doesn't actually make the camera stop flming. Tip: If the recording-the-ground syndrome has struck you even once, check your camcorder's feature list. Some models, including most Sony camcorders, offer a special feature that's designed to eliminate this syndrome. When you slide a switch into a mode Sony calls Anti-Ground Shooting, the camcorder records only while you're pressing the Record button. As soon as you remove your thumb, the camera stops re- cording. This scheme isn't ideal for long shots, of course, and it ties up your hands during shots when you might need to adjust the zoom or focus while flming. But it's extremely good insurance against missing important moments. Get the Shot