One of the most useful, yet overlooked features that can be found on today's modern digital cameras is the ability to record and playback small movies.
Movie mode has pretty much always existed, but only as a novelty feature.
While this feature has been available with digital cameras for a long time, it was usually considered a novelty feature due to the following limitations with the camera;
1.) The camera's internal processor could not process the movie fast enough, so lots of frames were usually dropped from the saved movie file.
2.) The limitation of the camera's memory card prevented large movies from being saved.
3.) The lack of a built-in microphone prevented any worthwhile movies from being created, or saved for that matter.
The problems that plagued older digital cameras with movie modes have been fixed with today's modern cameras.
However in the past couple of years, digital camera makers have overcome most of these limitations. Today digital cameras have fast internal processors that are capable of not only taking high quality movies, but also encoding the movies in a popular format such as QuickTime in real time. Large memory cards also dominate the market. The largest cards from a few years ago can now be found today as the smallest and cheapest cards. As opposed to a few years ago, today literally thousands of flash memory producers exist, and therefore you can now find extremely large memory cards for extremely low prices.
Another nice development in digital cameras is the inclusion of a microphone built right into today's digital cameras. With the built in microphone, photographers can now become film directors and record movies complete with accompany sounds and dialogue.
With all of these improvements, a digital camera is not that far off from being a digital camcorder. There are still lots of places that need improvement in the video department of digital cameras, but it is still relatively fun to make small two minute movies of all sorts of the normal stuff that occurs in life.
Try out the movie mode of your digital camera- you might find that you have a new hobby!
Just think of how you can utilize the movie feature on your digital camera. You can record your baby's first steps, or your friend's airplane landing. The possibilities are endless. The best part, is after you capture the video, you can edit it with popular software and send your small videos to all your friends via email.
So the next time you are messing around with your digital camera, why don't you try out the movie mode? Who knows, you might just discover that making small movies is one of your favorite things to do!