We’re dealing with photography, so we’re not going to talk much about video mode. It’s also handled very differently by different cameras as there isn’t currently much of a standard. Additionally, video mode varies significantly between the different types of cameras. Point-and-shoots can often automatically focus very quickly in video mode and act a lot like a dedicated video camera. Compact mirror-less cameras with interchangeable lenses tend to provide a higher quality video but automatically focus a bit slower and are not terribly easy to focus manually. DSLR cameras generally produce the highest quality video, automatically focus extremely poorly (if they do at all), but provide excellent control over manual focus. If you’re recording video with a DSLR, you’ll want to become comfortable with manually focusing your lenses.
When you record video on any camera, it’s generally saved in the same folder as your photos on your flash card, but some cameras have a dedicated folder for video. If the file was saved as an AVI, MOV, or MP4, you should be able to just copy it off your camera and play it back. All of these formats also work fine for uploading to video sharing sites like YouTube or Vimeo. Other formats may be video streams which generally require conversion to be useful, so consult your camera’s manual if you don’t recognize the file type.
If you’d like to learn more about video, be sure to check out our guide on recording great video with your DSLR.