First time with a camcorder? Consider these tips when shooting your videos...
Don't position the subject dead centre - try to offset it slightly - to the side, above or below dead centre. (Watch a few movies ... see how the pro's do it). Use the rule of thirds - divide the screen into three horizontally and vertically: position your subject at the intersection of the top right or top left (depending on movement) dividing lines.
Use a mix of close-ups and long shots. And don't worry too much about the sequence when shooting. Remember, you have a video editor now - so you can put the scenes together to make an interesting movie in the order you want, not necessarily the order you shoot.
Plan your video before you start (storyboarding) - it will help to save time when you come to edit. Try to introduce your movie with an overview or establishing shot(s) to 'set the scene' for what is to come.
Start shooting sooner, stop shooting later to allow for easier scene selection and trimming when you come to edit
Don't 'pan' from side to side or up and down unnecessarily - or quickly. If you really want to pan, plan it first: allow three seconds of no movement at all at the start and end points to establish the respective shots. Whatever speed you plan to pan, make it twice as slow. Chances are, it will still be too fast. I f you must pan - do it in one direction only. Finally, before you pan, swing round to the end point to check you feel comfortable in that position, then swing back to the start point and start the pan.
An exception to the ‘never pan’ rule - when following a moving object (car, runner): but then the camcorder is doing what it was designed for - capturing movement, not creating it….
Don't zoom in and out like a frantic trombonist ... it makes people seasick (as in “sick of seeing”...). It is OK, for example, to zoom in slowly on a speaker at a wedding, but not to zoom in and out as if playing with a horizontal yoyo.
An interesting trick with the zoom - video (for example) someone coming towards you from afar, starting at maximum zoom, and gradually zooming back as they approach, trying to keep the person the same size throughout. See what happens to the background in the final movie!
Use a tripod, monopod or or some other sort of support for the camcorder at every opportunity. You'll be far, far happier with the results every time you do.
Don't try to video whilst walking or running (unless you are well practiced!)... the pro's use a very special piece of equipment (e.g. Steadycam) to keep the video camera rock steady during such moves. BUT, if you really must, bend your knees slightly when walking - it will help to smooth out jolts in the camera movement.
REMEMBER, always ... camcorders are designed primarily to capture movement, not create it.