"Camcorder" is the commercial name for professional and home video
cameras that combine a camera and video recorder in one unit. Since
the introduction of this technology in 1981, camcorders have become
the tool of choice for local and national Electronic News Gathering
(ENG). Consumer camcorders, introduced by Sony in 1985, have rendered
Super-8 film for home movies obsolete. Moreover, some critics and
academic media theorists claim the camcorder has democratized the
media, as well.
and consumer camcorders are based on several, non-compatible formats.
Ed Beta and MII are popular professional formats, while VHS, Compact
VHS, and ultra-compact 8mm dominate among consumers. The 8mm format
lead to significantly smaller cameras that can be operated with
one hand (Sony uses the trade name Handycam to describe their 8mm
models). Super VHS (S-VHS) and Hi-8, which are compatible with their
lower resolution counterparts, offer higher definition and color
control when used with high resolution playback equipment. S-VHS
and Hi-8 are used by high-end consumers, as well as academic and
industrial videographers. The camcorder has also lead to a growing
sophistication in ancillary equipment for the home video market,
with numerous titlers, editors, and mixers available to both average
and high-end users. Computer-based multimedia allows camcorder images
to be incorporated in computer presentations for business and instructional
camcorder came into prominence in early 1991, when Hollywood plumbing
store manager George Holliday focused his camcorder on the beating
of Rodney King by members of the Los Angeles Police Department.
The tape, which Holliday submitted to KTLA, received international
attention, and showed the power amateur video can wield over the
national, indeed, world psyche. Previous to this, local stations,
as well as cable news giant CNN, had solicited and used newsworthy
amateur video. The popular ABC series America's Funniest Home
Videos and similar television programs throughout the world
are based on the existence of camcorders, as well.
camcorder has also become an icon of numerous dramas and sitcoms,
which commonly frame home and family scenes within the confines
of a camcorder viewfinder, replacing the very notion of "home movies"
as a form of expression.
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Access Video; Videocassette;