Digital Video Cameras — More Fun Than Ever

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Susan Jan asked:

With your trusty digital video camera by your side you can capture all those special moments, such your child’s first steps, your birthday or wedding, or your vacation with family and friends etc.

With so many manufacturers and models available in the digital video market, you may find it confusing trying to choose the perfect one for you. Your choice will, however, depend on the features that you want and how much you are willing to spend.

The most important thing to consider is the format in which your videos will be stored, as the video format determines the video quality. Digital 8 otherwise called D8, Mini-DV, DVD and HDD are the main types of video format that digital cameras offer. Both D8 and Mini-DV are tape-based formats, with the Mini-DV currently offering the highest quality video format to consumers. The DVD format allows direct video recording onto a digital disk, while the HDD type uses internal hard drives where the video is recorded. As the tape format is slowly being phased out by major manufacturers, it is a good idea to invest in disk or hard drive based digital video cameras.

Digital video cameras also come with charged coupled device or CCD imaging sensor. Digital video cameras come with 1-CCD or 3-CCD features. Cameras with 1-CCD suffer from poor video quality, whereas 3-CCD cameras produce much better quality videos. Most professional camcorders use the 3-CCD technology, thus making them more expensive than the other models.

The optical zoom feature of the camcorder lens generally ranges from 10X to 20X. The choice of zoom depends on how close you want to get to the action. Some digital video cameras also allow still photography at various resolutions, and some camcorders offer both video and still photography features. Some digital video camcorders have in-built flash for low-light photography, while some video cameras come with a ‘Night Shot’ feature. Other popular options include external flashlights, external microphones and external storage devices that can be attached onto the camcorder.

Camcorders with longer battery strength is also recommended. Digital video cameras have battery life ranging from 4 to 8 hours of continuous shooting. However, using the zoom or any external devices reduce the battery strength.

All cameras nowadays come bundled with a digital video editing software. But if you are not satisfied with the one provided, you can always buy a better and more expensive editing software from Adobe or any other reputable brand.

Video camera prices today vary from $500 to $4000, with Sony, JVC and Canon being the more popular brands.

Panasonic 42 Plasma TV

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Panasonic TC-P42C1 42” VIERA C1 Series Plasma 720p HDTV With 600Hz Sub-field Drive for crisp, focused images, VIERA Image Viewer for easy photo sharing, and VIERA Link to control all compatible devices with a single remote The new Panasonic C1 Series Plasma HDTVs are ideal for sports, with crisp, focused images during fast-moving scenes.br /
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Dimensions: 26.10″ h x 40.60″ w x 4.20″ l Weight 57.40 pounds. Available Beginning of March, 2009.br /
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-1024 x 768br /
-Native contrast 15,000:1, Dynamic contrast Infinite black for the brightest whites and darkest blacksbr /
-2 HDMIbr /
-600 Hz Sub-Field drive for razor sharp moving imagesbr /
-Viera Image Viewer, enjoy your photos on the big screen via SD cardbr /
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The picture is super clear even just connect it with cable and Satellite. DVD is incredible and you do not need a Blue-Ray player becasue regular DVD is just as good as Blue-Ray on this one. I have all the technologies, cable/DirecTV, Toshiba HD-DVD player, Sony PS3 Blue-Ray, DVD recorder all connected to this set.br /
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Pros:br /
Picture quality (PQ) is amazing. Panasonic is well known for their high contrast and deep blacks and this TV is no different. Black bezel looks so much better than the silver one. Something I learned: a black bezel actually makes the picture stick out since it provides a good contrast difference. Reflection (lack of) is actually better than my old tube TV. I was worried about this, since plasma’s are typically very reflective.br /
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Cons:br /
I am not a big fan of the zoom function since it makes the picture slightly pixelated. I initially wanted a 1080p LCD but at this size I guess it really doesn’t matter. Not to mention the PQ is light years ahead of an LCD in this price range. If a still image is left on the TV for more a couple of minutes, the image can still be seen on a white screen. This is more of a plasma issue, and I feel this TV does a much better job at clearing up IR than what I have read about previous generation plasmas.br /
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Overallbr /
The sound quality is superb as well, even when not running it thru the home theater system. The sound quality on this set is also above what other brands can offer. You have to hear and see it! Panasonic has always been a company for reliability and this TV is true to its word… Fantastic for the price. This was a great purchase. Enjoyed this TV and highly recommend it to anyone looking for a flat panel for normal home viewing. Go get one, you will be pleased! br /
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Best wishesbr /
Andrie Keyabr /
“Audio-Pro.usbr /
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Gadgets: Review About The Panasonic EP-30003 Massage Chair

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The focus of this review is the Panasonic EP 30003 which is part of the Real Pro Ultra series of massage chairs. We will review some of the more relevant areas of the purchase of this product. The Real Pro Ultra series is replacing the Real Pro Elite which was the prior series of model from Panasonic. The Panasonic Real Pro Ultra EP 30003 is a mid range model in the $2,000 to $3,000 range.br /
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Although warranty coverage is not as exciting as the features of the chair, it is important for you as a consumer. The warranty coverage should reduce the risk you are taking in the purchase of a given product. The warranty is to protect you from defects in workmanship of the product. The EP-30003 comes with 3 years on the parts and 1 year labor. Panasonic will cover the shipping for the first year. Panasonic has finally started to offer in home technician service for its massage chairs. Prior to this one had to take their chair to an authorized service center. An extended warranty is at extra cost, but is recommended, since this is a big ticket item.br /
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The features and options included in massage chairs are ever increasing. This means the controllers for these chairs become more complex. Therefore, ease of use is a key factor, since many features will not be used if they are not intuitive. Who has time to read the manual these days? Panasonic has deep experience in this area since they are a large electronics company. As such they include a helpful voice guidance system to navigate you through using the features. This is helpful in the beginner or for first time users. The remote is cleanly designed and fairly intuitive to use. The self programs take some getting used to, but are worth the effort. The remote is not very cluttered compared to many we see, which is a good thing.br /
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There are two important features of the EP30003 that we would like to point out. Of course, there are many more, but we won’t cover everything in this review. One of the more relavant features for Americans is the leg rest extension. The leg rest can be adjusted out to better position the areas on the legs. Also, this helps individuals that are taller to better fit in the massage recliner. The other innovative feature is a new massage technique. Panasonic has developed the Junetsu massage. Junetsu means ultra fine kneading in Japanese. This Junetsu technique uses small circular motions. These small circular motions are used in conjunction with firm pressure to penetrate through the muscles and to the surface of the bone. This is a great addition to the shiatsu and Swedish massages already offered in this chair.br /
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The Real Pro Ultra has a sleek, post modern design. It is somewhat industrial in its design and lacks some designer touches. This is a bit of a drawback. The massage recliner is comfortable to sit in. It has soft padded armrest covers. The synthetic leather is surprisingly soft to the touch. There is a contoured head pillow to give support. The backpad has adequate padding to be soft to sit in. The rollers do not stick out too far when not in use, so the chair is comfortable to sit in when not being used for massage. This is overall a well designed chair.br /
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There are one touch automatic programs in the Real Pro Ultra. These automatic programs include such programs as Shiatsu, Swedish, Deep, Stretch and Quick. The first four are 15 minute programs and the Quick is a 5 minute invigorating massage. Each of the automatic programs is targeted for specific benefits for the user. You are free to use the manual massage techniques. These manual massage techniques are Junetsu, Shiatsu, Swedish, Knead, Stretch, Tap and Full Roll. You can also select specific back courses to target your back. You can select the whole back, upper or lower back. This focuses the massage in that particular area. There is a built in air massage system which targets the feet and calves in the leg rest.br /
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We like the new innovative massage technique, the Junetsu introduced by Panasonic. We also like the extendable leg rest to better accommodate the American market. The chair is well designed and ergonomic. We are not impressed with the overall look and style of the chair. Panasonic should be able to produce chairs that are impressively designed on the outside, not just the inside. The massage therapies are fairly comprehensive and effective. This is certainly a contender for your attention if you are looking for a good quality and solidly built massage chair in this price range.br /
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Digital Videos Cameras Have Many Features

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David Fishman asked:

Digital video is a new technology that can be used and manipulated much easier than the old analog signal. This generic term is not to be confused with the name DV, which is a specific type of digital video. In the past video was recorded on tape but today with digital video it can be recorded on tape, DVD or straight to the hard drive of a computer. This generic term is not to be confused with the name DV, which is a specific type of digital video. Digital video can be processed and edited very easily today, special effects are easy to add with digital editing.

Digital video can also be edited on a personal computer which has the proper hardware and software. Regardless of software, digital video is generally edited and needs quite bit of disk space to store everything. Digital video is also used in modern mobile phones and video conferencing systems. The quality of the digital video is far superior to the analog counterpart.

Artistic people will claim that the quality of digital video is cold, that you don’t have the warmth of the look of film images. But one thing is for sure. Digital video is here to stay, which means that our films of our 25th anniversary celebration are also here to stay.

These new cameras can record for several hours on end. The recording is done either on a small videocassette, blank CD or a DVD. Visuals are continuously recorded by these cameras and can be played on the screen.

Marketing videos with poor picture quality are likely to reflect a poor quality company in the mind of the viewer, so try to get the best quality video you can get. When people talk about interlacing they are talking about a special technique that improves the quality of the picture without increasing extra or more bandwidth. Using a camera that is analog you will need multiple tapes for long filming, but with digital video you need plenty of disk space to store all of the video. In the past when recording with tapes you will lose the quality of the recording when duplicating the information but with digital recording you do not have that problem plus the footage will last forever. Today many of the cameras come with many features that you only find in professional cameras. You can get better picture quality when using a more expensive digital camera.

When filming with a DVD format it will allow you to record right to digital disk, the other type of technologies are HDD and this allows you to record right to a hard drive. As the tape format is slowly being phased out by major manufacturers, it is a good idea to invest in disk or hard drive based digital video cameras. While this format is very easy to use and is supported by practically all software it is not efficient as there is no compression applied.

With digital video cameras today there are features that allow you to take low or medium quality footage to save space.

Tips for Buying Right Digital Video Camera

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Russ Snapper asked:

Digital video recording system uses a digital video signal. Based on image capture formats, Digital video cameras are of two types: interlaced and progressive scan. In the Interlaced camera technology, the odd numbered lines are scanned first and later the even numbered lines are scanned. Again the odd numbered lines are scanned and so on. A set of even or odd lines is called as a field, and a frame is a successive pairing of two fields of opposite parities. In the progressive scanning digital video camera, each frame is recorded as distinct having both fields as identical. Hence, interlaced video records two times the fields per second similar to progressive video, when both work at the same number of frames per second.  This is the cause of the video having a ‘hyper real’ look since images are drawn at the rate of 60 times per second whereas the film records 24 to 25 progressive frames per second.

Digital Video digital cameras have emerged technically superior. Today, we have a new generation of digital video cameras having a technology that eliminates the difficulty of frequent exchange of tapes as in the earlier digital camcorders.

There are some important factors that can help you choose a digital video camera.

Tape or Disc: Decide whether you need a camera that records on tapes or discs. Digital video can be recorded on both tape and disc formats. Other Medias are also used such as Card Cams, DVD cameras and Hard Disk Drive Cameras.

Pixels: Your images will be clear with more realistic colors, as the number of megapixels is more.  Instead of considering the gross number of pixels that a camera can capture, the number of effective pixels should be considered. Effective pixels are the numbers used by the CCD chip of the camera while recording.

CCDs: CCD chip captures the Pixel information similar to the way in which the film captures light for a film camera. You get brighter pictures with better colors with larger CCD as more light is taken along with the image.

Low Light Performance: As most home digital video cameras are used indoors, it is essential to find a camera that performs better in low light conditions. Some models offer night vision function to shoot pictures in dark conditions.

Zoom: There are two types of Zoom available in Digital cameras; Digital and optical. Optical zooms maintain picture clarity and are important. Some Digital video cameras have more digital zooms, i.e. the existing picture is enlarged resulting in less clearer images due to less pixels.

Image Stability:Another complaint associated with picture quality is the shaky pictures apart from lowlight pictures.

Interconnectivity:Most Digital video cameras are available with a number of sockets in the back for connecting the digital video camera to a VCR or DVD Recorder. Check out the available connections on your VCR or DVD or computer for compatibility.

LCD Screens:More the pixels on the LCD screen, the better the picture quality.

Manual Settings:For point and shoot pictures, automatic settings in the menu will be desired. For tailoring the image to the desired conditions, manual controls for the focus, iris, shutter speed and white balance affect the picture quality.

Where to buy: Ensure that you buy your camera from a reputable source.

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