It stands to reason: When we take control of our camera we take control of our storytelling. If we’re a singer, we modulate the tone and timbre of our voice. If we’re a writer, we temper our choice of words and phrases, and if we’re a shooter, we control our images’ look and feel.

For shooters with consumer camcorders, this chapter may seem moot, as most models lack rudimentary setup options. The cameras’ key imaging parameters – white balance, color saturation, and detail level – are controlled automatically according to the preordained dictates of omniscient engineers located in far-off lands.

The demands imposed by video’s mass market have had a profound effect on the storytelling capabilities of today’s cameras. ...

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