VCU Libraries

Research Guides

Choosing Equipment from The Workshop

Basic Camcorder Use

This is modeled after Canon R72 but will generally work for most Workshop camcorders

To start recording:

  1. Charge batteries using wall charger before use!
  2. Connect camcorder to tripod using tripod foot and screw
  3. Open the LCD panel to turn on camcorder, or press ON/OFF button
  4. Slide lens cover switch down
  5. Check that shooting mode is set to AUTO
    • Note: AUTO mode, the camcorder will automatically detect certain characteristics of the subject, background, lighting conditions, etc and then adjust various settings
  6. Check that image size and quality are set to high
    • Note: We recommend recording MP4 and 24 Mbps, or AVCHD and 60p.
  7. Make sure you have enough space on the memory card to record what you need - usually this is listed as a time by a memory card icon. By default, movies are recorded to internal memory
  8. Frame your subject (refer to Video Project Guide for more information about composition, location, etc)
  9. Press start/stop to begin recording

 

When you have finished recording:

  1. Press start/stop to end recording
  2. To playback video, press → arrow on side of camcorder, then look for scene you want to play back
  3. Close the LCD panel or press ON/OFF button to turn off camcorder
  4. Slide lens cover switch up

 

Saving files onto computer:

  1. Connect the camcorder to a computer using included USB cable
  2. Turn the camcorder on
  3. Press the playback → button
  4. Note: this sometimes doesn’t work well on Mac computers. Visit The Workshop to use a PC computer to retrieve your files if the camcorder doesn’t connect to your Mac properly
  5. On your computer, find your files in the DCIM folder and copy onto your computer

Advanced Camcorder Functions

When you want more control over the video settings:

  1. White balance - white balance helps you accurately reproduce colors under different lighting conditions so that white objects will always looks truly white in your recordings. This is important when recording scenes with a projected image from a projector - the camera will continually adjust the white balance based on the colors from the projected image. In these settings, set a custom white balance.
  2. Exposure - if you want to record a subject that is much brighter or darker than its surroundings, the automatic exposure obtained by the camcorder may not be best for that specific subject. Find exposure within the menu settings and adjust to be brighter or darker. This might also be referred to as “iris” or “aperture.” It’s all controlling how much light is entering the camera.
  3. Focus - auto focus may not work well with subjects including reflective surfaces, fast moving subjects, subjects with low contrast, or night scenes. Switch to manual focus.
  4. Frame rate - You can change the frame rate (the number of frames recorded per second) to change the look of your project. 30 or 24 fps (frames per second) are standard. 60fps


When you want more control over the audio settings:

  1. Check out a Zoom H1 and a mounting bracket from The Workshop
  2. Attach the mounting bracket to the tripod hole on the underside of the camcorder
  3. Attach the Zoom H1 to the mounting bracket with the hot shoe connector
  4. Plug the included audio cable into MIC terminal on the camcorder and LINE OUT on the Zoom H1
  5. On the camcorder, make sure audio is set to mic in

 

For information on creating a video project from start to finish, check out the Video Project Guide. The guide covers everything from video editing techniques to pre-production scheduling tips.

  Video Project Guide