In the first chapter, "What Is It?", you're introduced to the ins and outs of your DV camcorder. Author Derrick Story builds the solid foundation that helps you better understand the camera you have now, and will prove invaluable when shopping for your next camcorder. For instance, what is a tally lamp, and do you need one? What is the difference between the optical and digital zoom? Should you spend the extra money for a 3-CCD chip?
Chapter two puts the tools in action. It maps out, step by step, a sure-fire approach to successful movie making -- including home videos, tutorials, and even short features. This chapter takes the worry out of organizing and lets you focus on creativity.
Next, you'll accelerate your prowess by learning the rock-solid techniques of video experts. Among the tips and tricks featured in chapter three are how the pros shoot action video, arrange lighting for an interview, and capture clean audio. Finally, the Appendix is packed with well-organized tables and charts on a myriad of topics and includes: a color temperature chart, a guide to color correction gels, a table of everyday lux ratings, a handy cable connector guide, a reference for microphone patterns, and much, much, more.
Completely indexed, beautifully illustrated in color, and more compact than those bulky books that never make if off your bedside nightstand, the Digital Video Pocket Guide is the ultimate shooting companion that will help your create the videos you want to show to friends, family, or even the world at large.
As a video producer I found this book very easy to read and understand and felt this reference book would offer any level of videographer benefits from this information. The book is broken into 3 chapters and one reference guide. The first chapter starts with "What is it". This chapter covers the camcorder basics and may other more advanced concepts including time-code, analog line-in, aperture, image sensor, interlaced video and progressive scan. I was quite surprised that these subjects were covered since these are new features found on the newest camcorders and the average videographer may not be familiar with the concepts. It is nice to read about some of the newest features and how they can benefit the end user. This first chapter is very comprehensive going well beyond the camcorders instruction manual.
The second chapter covers the physical camera and its features, how does it work explain concepts and techniques for today's digital video shooting. The section on time-code and logging was invaluable. The third section is how do I...Tips, Tricks and Techniques offers 12 very helpful and modern information on what the average shooter may encounter.
One concept that often overlooked in the wave of new technology is the fundamentals. The art of storytelling is true regardless of the latest and greatest camcorders and accessories. The author emphasizes the camcorder is just the tool that allows the individual to create and visualize your message. I found myself revisiting several techniques that I have used in my video business on a recent trip to Baltimore for the US Open table tennis championships. I took my camcorder and candidly interviewed several players and officials. When taping my subjects I utilized the walking interview tips in the final section. The ability to change background offered variety to many of the candid comments. I also used the technique of entrances and exits. This allows the subject to enter the frame follows them for a period of time and then let them exit the frame. This clean shooting transition is a bridge commonly used in movies and TV shows.
Overall this book is very useful and I found several of the tips very informative. I recommend this book for the beginner and intermediate level digital video user.
"Digital Video Pocket Guide", by Derrick Story, is another in the series of "Pocket Guides" from O'Reilly & Associates, Inc. Like the others, it is a well-written, comprehensive introduction to a technical/aesthetic area.
This is a small, pocket-size book of 113 pages, including index, published on bright, glossy paper which provides brightness and contrast for its included photographs and makes it easier on the eyes for reading.
I have been contemplating investigating digital video myself for some time and found this little volume to be a near perfect introduction for a couple of reasons. First, the substantive material contains about everything one needs to get a start in digital video, from buying a camera, to learning and understanding its controls and features, to using the equipment, and tips on how to get some quality production from the camera. The second reason is the unusual (for a computer book) author's "voice". Story's style is casual, friendly, clear, simple, encouraging, and even soothing, Imagine attending a 2 or 3 hour presentation by an informed camera salesperson who knows how to produce videos, who has the personality and presentation of Mr. Rogers.
It's the substantive material which is most important however. Story walks the reader through the entire movie-making process, from start to finish. Even technical concepts like "black the tape", "bumping", and "zebra patterns" are made simple and easy to follow.
The book has three parts encompassing explanation of the equipment, how to use it, and how to produce some quality product. There is an appendix of a handful of quick reference tables pertaining to color temperature charts, types of microphones, and other incidental matters.
The best sections deal with learning how to shoot scenes including how to light a scene, and how to prevent wind from ruining your audio. There is a nice 10-step movie production checklist which details all one needs to start and complete a beginner's video project.
For a small volume on a technical topic, this is an unusual good read.