How To Use a Mini DV Camcorder

A mini-DV camcorder captures high-quality video and audio, making it an ideal consumer choice. But as good as it looks, a mini-DV camcorder, like any other gadget, is somewhat intimidating. The truth is, a mini-DV camcorder is so simple to use. If you’ve just bought a mini-DV camcorder, here is a guideline on how to use it.

Note: This is only a general guideline. For specific instructions, refer to your model’s manual.

  • Attach the battery. Your mini-DV camcorder comes with a battery. It should be attached to the battery slot, which is usually located at the rear part of the camcorder. You will find an arrow on the battery that indicates the direction in which to slide it. Push it in place until you hear a clicking sound. If, however, you want to use AC power when recording, you need to plug the camcorder into a power outlet. Make sure to use the adapter provided in your package.
  • Turn the camcorder on. Find the power button on the camcorder. It is usually red in color (or at least have a red dot in the center) and is on the side of the hand strap. Gently press the button.
  • Load a mini-DV tape. First make sure that the mini-DV tape is recordable. Enable the record feature by sliding the Rec/Save switch located at the top part of the tape to the “Record” direction (usually to the left). If you slide it to the “Save” direction (usually to the right), you are write-protecting the tape, making video recording impossible. Now, open the tape compartment by pressing the open button. When the compartment opens, gently slide the tape down. Close the compartment after.
  • Start to record. Record a video by pressing the Record button. You can view the subject either through the eyepiece or the LCD. The LCD allows you to view the subject in a more convenient manner, but it takes up more battery life. So determine whether you need a better view or a longer battery life.
  • Decide if you need to use the zoom feature. If you want to do a close up shot or at least bring the subject closer, push the zoom slider down or to the left, depending on your camera model, until you achieve the desired size of the subject. If you want to do a landscape shot, zoom out the lens by pushing the zoom slider up or to the right.
  • View the recorded video. You need to press the Stop button to stop recording and switch the camera to the playback mode. Rewind the tape. Then press Play to view the recording.
  • Use the camcorder for taking still images. Almost all mini-DV camcorders today are equipped with a photo feature, which can be used to take still photos. A memory card, however, is required to store the pictures.

Mini-DV camcorders can be connected to a TV set, allowing you to view your video in a bigger screen. Your camera comes with cables that you can use for TV connection. For more information about how to use your specific camcorder model, visit the official website of the manufacturer.


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