What is a video camera?

A camcorder or video camera is a generally portable device that allows images and sounds to be recorded, converting them into electrical signals that can be played back by a specific device.

In the beginning, video cameras used electronic tubes as sensors and, very different from what is found today, they were composed of thermionic valves that, by means of electron beam scanning, allowed the formation of images with a system of lenses. In the 1980s, interconnected charging devices were developed, which allowed for a considerable reduction in the weight and size of cameras and improved image and sound quality.

The camcorders’ working process begins with the decomposition of light into three components (red, green and blue) through a prism of dichroic mirrors. On the other side of the prism are the sensors, which reconstruct the image and forward it to the preamplifier circuits. The image continues its journey to processors that are responsible for correcting various parameters. Once ready, the image can be recorded or transmitted to a production system, that is, to the network of devices that make up the work environment. In the case of TV cameras, two main types can be recognized: the portable ones, which are associated with a signal recording system, and the studio ones, which work integrated into a production system. Home video cameras, on the other hand, are intended to record images using video tapes or digital formats such as DVD or memory cards such as SDHC. Once captured and stored, the user can play the images on a computer or by connecting the camera to the TV, depending on the possibilities offered by the product. In recent years, with the advent and rise of the Internet and, more recently, YouTube and social media, video cameras have gone from being a luxury for those who showed a genuine interest in the art of filmmaking to being an accessory. Indispensable for all individuals who pride themselves on belonging to the present. In the mid-1990s, webcams captivated millions of Internet users who had already become loyal followers of the chat phenomenon; Thanks to these small and relatively inexpensive peripherals, it was finally possible to make video calls from the comfort of home. Early versions of these quirky descendants of conventional video cameras had a number of weaknesses that would make them obsolete today: first, the video quality was very poor, with extremely low resolutions and frames per second; on the other hand, many of these models do not include a microphone. Regarding the first limitation, it is very likely that the Internet connection speed limit available at that time (as well as its instability) would overcome the lack of technology to improve performance.

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In no time, such devices became more sophisticated, offering options and a level of quality that just a few years ago would have been unimaginable. However, the web has spread to cell phones, causing the biggest social impact of the last decade, forcing manufacturers to incorporate as many functions as possible into their products. The camcorder is one of the most important components of a smartphone, allowing you to video conference, take photos, capture videos, interact in innovative ways with apps and games, and even scan QR (Quick Response) codes to access online content instantly. If the quality of the traditional cameras is still far superior to the one offered by a mobile phone, many professionals carry both types of device with them, since it is always necessary to carry out a perfect capture, but to perform it in a quick and comfortable way.

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