By James Wells

SYDNEY: Sony Australia has released the findings of consumer research which reveals the three most common mistakes made by amateur video camera users.

According to Sony Australia Handycam product manager, Di Shepherd, the third most common mistake is boring shots which use unimaginative positions, a lack of composition and don’t tell a story.

“Constantly shooting from the one direction and from unvarying angles means viewers will often become bored. Consider trying creative ways to capture a scene, such as shooting from above or fading in and out. This will add more depth and texture to home-movies, and create a more professional look and feel overall,” Shepherd said.

The second most common problem with using video cameras is one handed filming casing shaky shots, blurry images and cause motion sickness among viewers.

"It is tempting to hold the camcorder with only one hand, using the hand strap. This however is not the best method of filming, as the weight of the camera coupled with the natural movement of shaking hands causes the picture to waver. The best option is to hold the camcorder with two hands to ensure a steadier shot. Another option is to lean against a wall or support elbows on a table for more stabilisation," Shepherd said.

The most common oversight made by Australian home movie makers is overusing the zoom so that the shots are no longer in context producing distracting motion that moves in and out.

"The top mistake generally made when creating a video is zooming. Overuse of the zoom is a habit picked up from using digital cameras where you frequently zoom to obtain the best picture. When making movies, zooming can cause viewers to feel motion sickness and hence should be avoided. Instead, move slowly towards the subject being captured for a more natural close-up,” she said.

According to Shepherd, the consumer research conducted by Sony found that amid the plethora of camcorder buttons and options, people are hard pressed to know exactly what features do, and what the benefits are.

To alleviate the mistakes made by consumers, Sony has today released a user-friendly guide called ‘Home movie-making made easy with Handycam’. The guide, which is only available online via the Sony website – – outlines a broad cross-section of advice for movie making. It has been collated utilizing research Sony gathered from Handycam users as well as insights obtained from Sony’s technical centre.

“Capturing moments with family and friends on video is a popular past time,” said Shepherd.

“Shooting videos that impress an audience can be simple to make by keeping a few essentials in mind. Locating the record, stop, zoom and power buttons do not equate to a home movie masterpiece.”