Audio: The sound that is recorded on the videotape.

Automatic Level Control: Circuitry in the recorder that turns the audio level up when it is quiet and down when the sound is loud. It listens for the loudest sound and adjusts the audio to that level.

Back Lighting: When there is stronger light behind the subject than in front of it. This causes silhouettes.

Chroma Key: A chroma key is the removal of a color (or small color range) from one image to reveal another “behind” it. The removed color becomes transparent. This technique is also referred to as color keying, color separation overlay, greenscreen and bluescreen. It is typically used for weather forecasts. The presenter appears to be standing in front of a large map, but in the studio it is actually a large blue or green background.

Focus: Adjusting the camera so that the picture isn’t fuzzy.

Input: Receiving an audio signal. Also referred to as “mic in” or “line in.”

Line Level: Audio input designed to receive sound from an electronically powered source such as a CD player, a VCR or a DVD player.

Macro: Lens adjustment used to focus for extreme close-ups.

Microphone (Mic): A device used to pick up sound.

Camera Mic: The microphone that is an integral part of a camera.

External: Mic on a cable plugged into the camera or recorder.

Hand-Held Mic: A microphone held in the hand that is useful for conducting interviews.

Internal: Mic attached to the camera.

Lapel Mic: A small mic that clips to a person’s clothing.

Wireless Mic: A mic that uses a radio transmitter to send the sound from the mic to the camera.


Output: Sending an audio signal. Also referred to as “mic out” or “line out.”

Storyboard: A panel or series of panels on which a set of sketches is arranged depicting consecutively the important changes of scene and action in a series of shots.

Tripod: A good tripod will greatly enhance your video production. One of the principal rules of video production is camera steadiness. Shooting with the camera on the shoulder requires care and practice. A tripod lets the less experienced camera operator concentrate on other aspects of shooting.

Video: The picture that is recorded on the videotape.

White Balance: The white balance function adjusts the camera’s color range to the light illuminating the subject. Light from different sources has different color. Sunlight is blue. Incandescent light is red. Fluorescent light is green. For accurate color you must adjust the white balance every time the light changes.
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