Read the Manual
I know, you never read the manual for anything. Make your new camcorder manual the exception to the rule. Camcorder manuals are filled with information about how to record video in different lighting conditions and operate your camcorders manual controls. Even if youre typically just a point and shoot kids of person I guarantee you tat you will want to at least know how to change the controls in your camcorder, and know what those controls do.
Most of what you'll learn about your new camcorder, you'll learn by doing. Once you read a section of your camcorder manual, pull out your camcorder and give it a try. Experiment with your camcorder in different lighting conditions and with different effects and filters so you can see how they operate. It's beat to learn about all these things now, rather than later when you're trying to record an important event.
Don't Be Intrusive
Just because you're excited about your new camcorder doesn't mean everyone else in your life is as well. Make sure you ask your family and friends if it's ok to film them before you pull out your new toy and start recording.
Lay off the Zoom
Some of the best video you will ever shoot will be a simple point and shoot with your camcorder sitting on a tripod. New camcorder users will typically try to zoom in and out frequently, and will move around a great deal with their camcorder. The result is a shaky, disorienting video that not one will ever want to watch. Try to keep your camcorder movements to a minimum.
Leave the Effects to Your Editing Program
Sure you camcorder may be able to record in black and white or put in fancy wipes, but so can your computer's video editing program. Once you record something with an effect, then you are forever committed to watching that particular piece of video with that effect in place. For instance, if you recorded you child's school play in black and white then you can never go back and watch it in color. If you wait to add the effect at home however, you can choose to keep the effect, or remove it if you change your mind later on.