How to Choose a Camcorder –– page 8 of 9
|Camcorder Connections and
Most camcorders, even digital camcorders have analog A/V outputs to connect to your TV, VCR, etc. Analog camcorders typically use RCA phono cables (yellow video, white and red audio) to connect to TV or VCR.
In addition to the camcorder
itself, many manufacturers include some accessories such
as remote control, cables, chargers, battery, software
for copying video to computer, carrying strap and
owner's manual. You may want to purchase additional
items such as a tripod, carrying case, extra battery,
higher capacity memory card, external microphone or
The remote control
can come in handy when viewing your video on the TV. The
memory card can store your still photos. Remember
a digital still camera will often give you far better
pictures than a camcorder. Many digital camcorders with
photo capability also feature a movie mode in either
MPEG or M-JPEG format. This mode lets you record short
video clips (at reduced frame rates) and save them to
flash memory in a file size that's easy to attach to an
Some camcorders now offer a
video streaming, or web-cam function. This means
you can use your camcorder to transfer live or taped
footage (usually in MPEG or M-JPEG format) to your PC,
usually through its USB port, and show that video to
friends on the Internet.
You want to have a fully
charged battery before shooting your video. Having a
backup battery in case you exhaust the primary has often
been a life-saver in the
Today's camcorders have a variety of
connection options to hookup to TV, VCR, DVD recorder or
computer. Typically the USB and RCA audio/video cables
are included in the box. These cables allow you to
hookup your camcorder to TV, VCR or computer. A Firewire
or iLink digital video cable is usually not included but
can be purchased at electronics
FireWire (Apple) or i.Link (Sony) is a high-speed serial bus that allows for the connection of up to 63 devices. It is widely used for downloading video from digital camcorders to a personal computer or DVD recorder. Also known as the IEEE 1394 standard, the i.Link connector and the High Performance Serial Bus (HPSB), the first version of FireWire supported 100, 200 and 400 Mbits/sec data transfer rates and a distance of 4.5 meters between devices.
The 6-pin socket is commonly found on desktop computers. A 4-pin version is used on laptops and audio/video devices. The faster FireWire 800 requires a 9-pin connector. Almost all modern digital camcorders have included this connection since 1995. FireWire is used on the Apple iPod music player.
Sony's implementation of the IEEE-1394 is known as i.Link, and uses only the four signal pins, discarding the two pins that provide power to a device.
Digital camcorders can use RCA cables or S-video cable to hookup to a standard TV or if the camcorder is High-Definition, use a component A/V cable or HDMI cable connection to devices with component video and/or HDMI ports such as HDTV.
|USB, iLink and RCA A/V ports
Camcorder hookup to TV or
VCR - Composite video, stereo audio
How to connect camcorder to TV, VCR, HDTV
Firewire (iLink) hookup
to copy video to DVD
DV IN/OUT i.Link
Virtually all consumer digital camcorders have a small 4-pin FireWire (IEEE-1394) connection.
FireWire connecting cables
There are three types of cables with which to connect FireWire devices. They are as follows:
4-pin to 4-pin
Used between camcorder and computer (or DVD Recorder), where the FireWire (i.Link) socket is of the smaller type;
4-pin to 6-pin
Used between camcorder and computer where the computer ports are of the 6-pin type;
6-pin to 6-pin
No consumer digital camcorders contain the larger 6-pin jack but computers have these ports.
You can also use a USB 2.0 cable to connect your camcorder to a computer.
The smaller "Mini-B" end connects to the camcorder while the larger "A" end connects to computer's USB port.
See USB - Universal Serial Bus
• Which Camcorder Should I Buy?
Camcorders - Digital8
Camcorders - MiniDV
solid state memory cards
Camcorders - DVD
Camcorders - Hard Disk Drive (HDD)
Connections and Accessories
How to connect camcorder to TV, VCR, HDTV
How to connect camcorder to PC
Video Editors for PC and Mac
Photo Gallery of camcorders
Camcorder Buying Guide
Contact Columbia ISA