Characteristics of Digital Video

Digital video technology makes it easy to edit videos on a computer, using video editing software, such as Adobe Premiere, Avid Studio or Final Cut. Typical editing operations include clipping and rearranging scenes and adding titles, transitions and special effects. Digital videos can also be copied to recordable CDs or DVDs or uploaded to web video sites, such as YouTube or Vimeo.

Digital videos are almost always compressed, making them more portable (since they occupy less space) and easier to transfer via the Internet. Compressed videos can be stored on devices with limited storage space, such as Smartphones or tablets. However, if they are too highly compressed this can lead to loss of quality, making them appear blurred, jerky or “blocky”. Digital video files can be stored in a wide range of different formats. Common formats include .mp4 and .avi. Most playback devices only support a small number of formats. Programs are available to convert between formats, but this can be a slow process.


From Wikimedia Commons

Camcorders are used to capture and record video. The original camcorders were analogue devices that stored videos on magnetic tape in analogue form. These videos needed to be converted to digital form before they could be viewed or edited on a computer. All modern camcorders are digital and record and store video in digital format. Digital videos can be viewed or edited on a computer without further conversion. Digital camcorders are smaller and lighter than their analogue counterparts, largely due to the use of smaller storage media such as SD Cards.

Webcams are generally connected to a computer and can record directly to the computer’s hard disk. They are often connected vi a USB port, but wireless webcams also exist. Webcams are widely used for videoconferencing or online chatting.

Next: Digital Video Editing and Outputs