Tuesday, June 24, 2008

After investing in a good camcorder, a sales person may suggest a lens filter for your new purchase. You wonder, are they just trying to make another sale or is there a justifiable reason for considering adding on a filter? Most of us aren't professional videographers and have no intention of producing a feature film with our camcorder, but lens filters do have a purpose even for those of us who use a camcorder only for recreational purposes.

There are many types of filters for camcorder lenses, each with their own purpose but some of the most common may be of interest to the average consumer as a way of assuring better films and protecting their investment.

Protective filters

A clear filter can be used over the lens of the camcorder to protect it from dirt, fingerprints, and other debris which may scratch or otherwise damage the lens. Replacing a damaged filter is far less expensive than replacing the lens. Using a UV lens filters can also protect against damage from ultraviolet light. Protective lenses are often attached and remain on the camcorder throughout its lifetime.

Polarizing filters

A polarizing filter can act to reduce glare caused by reflected light that bounces off of surfaces such as glass, snow, and water. These camcorder lens filters are particularly useful when filming outdoors where it can be particularly difficult to control reflective light or when shooting a film through a window.

Neutral density filters

Attaching a neutral density filter on your camcorder can help to reduce over exposure in shots as they decrease the amount of light entering the lens. The darker grey the lens filter the more light they filter out and thus the darker the resulting images in the film.

Color correction filters

There are a variety of color correction or color compensating filters that can be used to create different effects. For instance, to make a sunset more red or an ocean more blue. As these tend to be used for more creative or artistic purposes these lens filters are used less frequently by the average consumer.

Diffusion filters

Both diffusion and fog filters on a camcorder can soften images. Diffusion filters in particular are used when filming up close shots of people to flatter their faces by softening any lines or imperfections on the skin.

Although many consumers do not opt to purchase additional accessories for their camcorder, lens filters can be very useful. While some provide a very affordable alternative for protecting expensive camcorder equipment, others allow users to produce better films with less overexposure and more creative effects.

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