Playing Back a Recording on a Camcorder

Whether you're shooting your child's kindergarten play or a feature-length film, you're going to want to play back a recording on your recording camcorder. This could be done on location or it could be as soon as you get home on your TV. Here are a few ways you can play back your footage.

Tapeless Media

All camcorders have two modes that are controlled by a switch. These are Record Mode and Playback Mode. Most camcorders being sold today are now tapeless. They record onto a hard drive and can be transferred to your computer just like any other file from an external drive. This means every time you hit record and then cut, you create another video file. If you wish to watch what you just shot, simply switch the camera into playback mode. A touch screen menu will allow you to navigate through your video clips, beginning with the last clip shot. The video will play back on the LCD screen unless it is hooked up to a monitor, but more about that later.

Depending on your camcorder, you may also have the ability to shoot still images. You should be able to access the still in the same way you access your video, but the exact method may vary from camera to camera.

Cameras with Tapes

If you're shooting on tapes, then the way to get to playback is the same. This time the switch controls Recording Mode and VCR Mode. On tapeless media you can instantly view older clips, but on tape, you need to rewind back to it. It's a little more time consuming, but it works. Keep this in mind though: when watching an older clip, make sure that you fast forward to the end of all your clips before you start shooting again. You don't want to tape over your footage, because there is no way to get it back once you do this.

Play Back on a TV

LCD monitors are small, and you can't see every detail on them. Fortunately, it's easy to play back your recordings on a TV. The cables you need vary from camcorder to camcorder and from television to television. Your camera should have a A/V out jack. Use the provided A/V cables, and plug them into your camera. The cable then splits into three cables that are yellow, white, and red. The yellow cable carries the video signal, and the red and white cables carry the audio. These cables plug into the television, allowing you to watch playback.

If you have a new HD camera, then all you need is a mini HDMI to HDMI cable to connect to your TV.

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