Capturing the memories of your family is something that should never be taken lightly! There is nothing greater than to be able to look back on all of our accomplishments and our firsts with a smile on our faces... except for maybe being able to embarrass our kids once they're teenagers, of course! With a little bit of equipment, and a smidgen of knowledge, you'll be able to make your home movies ones to be proud of!
The first thing you are going to need, most obviously enough, is a home movie camera! One of the best kinds you can get these days is any simple HD camera with an internal hard drive. They work exceptionally well for shooting home movies, and all have a very simple plug-and-play interface with your computer. With them, you can easily point, film, and export your home movies; making them ready for your viewing pleasure. HD cameras are also recommended due to the simple fact that HD is fast becoming the new standard definition, and there is simply no reason to go for anything less, especially with how cheap consumer HD cameras are. Their picture quality is great, and you can still burn them onto normal DVD's, viewable on older DVD players, as well as Blu-Ray players.
This next piece of equipment is fairly optional, but comes highly recommended; a tripod. You can purchase a sturdy, cheap tripod from just about any store, and they will make your videos so much more viewable! By using a tripod to shoot your home movies, you completely remove the "Blair Witch Project" look, of a shaky, hand-held shot. With a little bit of practice, you can really get the hang of them, and make some spectacular looking home movies!
The last piece of crucial equipment recommended for your home movie making venture is a solid piece of video editing and burning software. There are a number of home movie editing/DVD Burning applications, and they will all certainly get the job done. You can find them at any computer store, really, and can feel free to ask the employees what their personal recommendation would be regarding the software platforms. With home movie editing software, you can really customize your videos, and add a nice, professional touch to them. You can throw on transitions from one video to the next, fade in and out, cut out bad shots (where you might have moved the camera too much!), and even add opening titles and end credits. You should also be able to burn the final results to DVD, playable in most any DVD player.
So, with the right camera, tripod, editing software, and a little bit of practice you can turn your memories into movies you can be proud of!