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RISMEDIA, June 29, 2010—The popularity of those palm size video recorders continues to grow. In the last month, we’ve seen several new models and brands hit the market. They’re especially popular with real estate agents who can now shoot their own home tours quickly and inexpensively.

At the same time, many users are experiencing a learning curve after realizing there’s more to it than simply “point and shoot.” To give you a hand, VScreen has come up with an acronym that will hopefully slap some sense into you. No offense intended…but s-l-a-p is what you need to remember.

For starters, the “S” stands for stability. And that means use a tripod. Smooth and steady is what you’re looking for—not something that looks like the Blair Witch Project. And while you’re at it, invest in a tripod with what’s called a fluid head, because it makes panning from side to side, or tilting up and down, much smoother.

Next comes the letter “L,” which stands for lighting. Rule number one, don’t point your camera into direct bright light. The iris will immediately try to adjust by darkening the picture. Instead, shoot with light coming over your shoulder, or streaming in from the side. Lighting up a room with table and floor lamps is usually okay, but watch out for sunlight coming in through large windows.

“A” stands for audio, because whether you’re narrating your own video tour, or recording a testimonial from someone else, it has to be clearly understood. That means to always speak up, and practice recording voices at different distances from the mic. And speaking of mics, it’s always best to use an external lapel mic if possible. Also, watch out for background noise like air conditioners, traffic, barking dogs, radios, TVs and cell phones. Oddly enough, they’re often overlooked during the recording, .so always double check .

And finally, ”P” is for perspective. These palm size cameras are best for up close and personal—not taping the Grand Canyon or your kid’s baseball game. Remember, those video screens on the Internet are small, so your subject matter needs to close at hand. Above all, avoid the temptation to use the zoom. Instead, simply move closer to the subject you’re recording.

We hope our little acronym will make your video recording a slap happy experience. As always, your comments and questions are always welcome! Thanks for watching!

Stephen Schweickart is the co-founder of VScreen. For more information on this topic, visit VScreen’s blogsite at

To see last week’s video tip, click here.