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Little cameras do video in a pinch

J.R. has been at Crutchfield since 1996. He's been helping customers buy the right products from us for many years, and now he supervises and trains our Advisor Group. He worked as a D.J. on our local rock n' roll radio station, does video production on the side, and plays drums in a band called Ice House Road.

More from J.R. Stoffel

As I've mentioned in a previous post, I do a lot of video recording. When YouTube got big, I realized I'd found an easy way to share videos with family, friends - even the world.

Before I got my nice Canon HV-20 Mini DV camcorder, I used a Sony Cyber-shot DSC-W30 (similar to the current DSC-W80). In addition to taking pictures of my family, I would occasionally put it in movie mode. With a 2GB Memory Stick, I could record about 40 minutes of full motion video with sound.

I'd use Window's Movie Maker program on our home computer (a standard application on most PC's, Macs use iMovie) to do simple editing and post-production on these clips. The final results were surprisingly good.

Once I finished a video in Movie Maker, I'd upload it to YouTube. Then I'd e-mail everybody I knew with a link so they could watch it. I've uploaded about 55 videos so far. As you probably guessed, I pretty much keep a camera with me all the time.

I like to use my video camera whenever I can, but it's big and bulky, and I don't always want to carry it around. My little Cyber-shot fits nicely in the back pocket of my jeans though, so it's usually handy when a video opportunity arises.

Last summer, for example, I went to a concert and filmed a lot of it with my Sony DSC-W30. Once I got home, I used Movie Maker to edit the clips into a short YouTube video. A lot of people at that same concert shot video with their cell phone cameras, and posted the clips on YouTube.

I was struck by how bad the audio was on most of those videos, especially when compared to the sound recorded with my little camera. In fact, someone even favorably commented on the audio quality in my video. (And naturally the video quality of the Cyber-shot was much better than a cell phone's, too.)

Pretty much all point and shoot digital cameras have a movie mode (and are much more portable than a full-sized video camera). So, in addition to the excellent pictures, you can also shoot video when you're out and about. And if you're into posting to YouTube, or other video-sharing sites, you should find the quality more than adequate.

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