Updated: 04/08/2012

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Acquisition Formats

 

 

With so-called consumer-type (composite, color-under) camcorders there is a significant loss in quality whenever the video is copied -- a necessary step when doing editing and visual effects.

With the introduction of digital camcorders (compared to camcorders that used videotape) the quality problem was greatly reduced; however, all consumer-grade camcorders use compression.  This loss of quality becomes a major issue in professional applications.

There is a way around this shortcoming; it's not a cure-all, but it will improve video quality during postproduction.

It's possible to bump up (dub) consumer video to a higher-quality format for subsequent postproduction work. When these consumer-grade formats are used in this way they are referred to as acquisition formats.

Although the results are not as good as starting out with broadcast-quality professional digital format, this procedure offers the advantages of being able to use compact, lightweight and comparatively inexpensive equipment in applications such as news and documentary work.

 

Expendable Equipment

In covering high-risk, foreign news assignments consumer-grade digital camcorders can be considered "expendable.'' If this equipment is confiscated or badly damaged, there is no great financial loss.

So, it's no longer necessary to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in equipment to produce a professional-quality production -- assuming you know how to use it to best advantage.

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