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From Star Wars to Consumer Cameras... Digital Video

Techstination feature for Wednesday, May 12, 1999

It's good enough for Star Wars, how about for you? I'm Fred Fishkin with Bootcamp, a report on computers and technology. (sound) Another shameless Star Wars tie in. This one has to do with digital video. Canon says its XL 1 model was one of the primary cameras used by George Lucas...

"Its really proven its ability in being able to deliver the image quality and the speed and the ability to connect to the computer that didn't exist years ago."

Mike Zorich of Canon. What George Lucas uses may be beyond your budget, but digital video cameras are becoming more affordable. Some models are in the thousand dollar price range, just a little more than a good 8 millimeter model. So what's the difference?

"Well what it means is that as a result of recording the picture information digitally, people will appreciate much better picture quality than they've ever been able to obtain from a camcorder previously."

The cameras are generally smaller and lighter and can link to PCs with the right equipment for digital editing. Sony is big on that with computers and the company's new Digital8 camcorders. Instead of using more expensive DV tapes, they use standard Hi8 or 8 millimeter tapes, easy to find and relatively cheap. If you're in the market for a camcorder, check out the latest in digital before you buy.