Wind cut

A feature on some microphones that attempts to cut out loud roaring, whistling noise that you might not notice when shooting but which spoils the sound quality. It can be effective, but it’s even better to use a muffler on an external microphone.

Video basics

Almost all digital cameras can now shoot video as well a stills. The key specifications are the resolution (standard HD, full HD or 4K) and the frame rates (30fps, 25fps or 24fps). Some cameras offer faster frame rates for slow motion effects.

UHD video

This is what most people are referring to when they talk about ‘4K’ video. UHD video has a frame size of 3,840 x 2,160 pixels, so it’s slightly less than 4,000 pixels wide, but it does have a true 16:9 aspect ratio, so the picture proportions are the same as standard HD and full HD video.

Timelapse

A filming technique where frames shot at intervals are combined to make a video. For example, if you shot 300 frames at 1-second intervals and turned them into a movie running at 30fps, then five minutes of real time would be compressed into a 10-second movie.

Slow motion

Video shot at a higher frame rate and played back at a normal frame rate. For example, video shot at 60fps and played back at 30fps would appear to be running at half speed. Higher frame rates require more processing power, so not all cameras offer them.

MP4

MP4 is a video file format used by many digital cameras. It’s simple to work with because it produces a single file containing both the video and audio and it’s simple to drag from one device to another. It’s often provided as a similar alternative to AVCHD on Sony and Panasonic cameras.

Microphone

Any camera which shoots video will have a microphone built in, often stereo mics. For serious video work, though, an external microphone is needed. Some types plug into the camera’s hotshoe, others are used on the end of a boom or clipped to a presenter’s clothing (lapel mics).

Intervalometer

A camera setting or remote controller which fires the camera’s shutter at set intervals, stopping when it’s taken a specified number of images. The pictures can then be used to analyse movement or change over time or, more likely, combined to make a time lapse movie.

Interval timer

Sometimes called an ‘intervalometer’, this is a feature on more advanced cameras that takes picture at fixed intervals automatically. It’s most often used for time lapse photography. You set the interval between pictures and the number of shots you want the camera to take.

Headphones/socket

All DSLRs or compact system cameras which shoot video will have an external microphone socket for better sound quality – but for pro videographers it’s just as important to have a headphone socket for monitoring sound levels while shooting. You only get this on more advanced models.

HDMI

Standard digital interface for connecting video and display equipment. Cameras have HDMI ports for direct connection to TVs, for example, but more advanced models can also connect to external monitors for video recording, or external video recorders.