sony pd 150/170 video cameras

One Chip vs. Three Chip

One measure of the video quality of different cameras is whether the camera is 1-chip or 3-chip.

The 1-chip camera uses a single computer chip to process the colors the camera sees. The more expensive 3-chip camera has three separate computer chips. Each chip processes a separate primary colors - red, green or blue. Because of this, the video quality is much better with a 3-chip camera.

The cameras often are labeled as 1 CCD for a 1-chip camera or 3 CCD for a 3-chip camera (CCD stands for "Charge Coupled Device").

One rule of thumb on buying a digital camera:

If you're going to be using the video for a Web site, you can probably get by with a 1-chip camera. The video served up on the Internet right now is still pretty low quality, mainly because it must be compressed so it transmits more quickly. So whatever quality you might gain initially from using a 3-chip rather than a 1-chip camera will be mostly lost when you later have to compress the video for use on the Web.

But if you're planning to also use the video for broadcast (such as in partnership with a television station), then you'll want a 3-chip camera because it produces video that is "broadcast quality". Video taken with a 1-chip camera will look much more like amateur video when broadcast by a TV station.

Once you've picked a camera, you're ready to get started.