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Jargon Buster

Digital camcorder terms explained


Compact Flash (CF) Memory A form of removable memory card used in some HDD camcorders to store and transfer images.
Digital zoom Enlarges the centre of a scene digitally. Very easy to use but image resolution and sharpness can be affected.
DVD camcorder A camcorder which records footage on a small (8cm) DVD recordable disc, playable in most DVD players.
Exposure The process of allowing more or less light into the camera and exposing the image sensor to light, which results in a captured image.
Hard Disk Drive camcorder A built-in hard disk drive (HDD) means there is no need to buy additional discs, cards or tapes as all footage is recorded directly to the hard drive.
High Definition A new format for television, with a picture made up of 720 OR 1080 lines rather than 625. Some camcorders can film in this format which delivers a far superior quality picture.
LCD screen Liquid Crystal Display. A screen that allows you to frame and review your movies in addition to displaying camcorder functions and menus.
Lithium ion battery A rechargeable battery that does not require a full discharge before being charged again. Higher capacity than most battery technologies.
Mini DV camcorder A type of camcorder that uses high-quality digital tape. Each tape holds approximately 60 minutes of footage.
Optical zoom Allows zoom filming without any loss of picture quality. The higher the magnification, the closer you'll get - some high zoom camcorders can reach over 30x.
Secure Digital (SD) Memory A memory card format that is smaller and lighter than Compact Flash, and that is becoming the standard.
USB A 'plug and play' hardware interface between computers and add-on devices such as camcorders to quickly and easily transfer movies.
Widescreen A video format with a wider aspect ratio to normal television, usually 16:9.


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