DSLR Video 101

Video Mode

Switching to Video Mode on your camera is easy, but there are a few things to be aware of to get the best results.

-Shoot everything in Manual mode, including Manual Focus.

-Change the picture style in your camera’s menu to Neutral and decrease the sharpness and contrast all the way down.

– the shutter speed should be kept at double the frame rate you have chosen  To get the film ‘look’ choose 24 fps, then you should choose 1/48 (1/50) shutter speed to get the optimal results for capturing lifelike movement, slower will result in too much blur or too fast will look a bit staccato.

– Since you have lost a lot of control with keeping the shutter speed at 1/50, you are probably going to need  ND filters during the day to ensure correct exposure,  for example if  you also want a shallow depth of field.

– DSLRs don’t do fast panning type movements very well, making sort of a jello effect, so best to keep to slower controlled movements.

– An external mic is pretty necessary of you want to use dialogue, the camera does have a mike but you can get much better results with something like a Rode VideoMic , which is what I use. If your DSLR has a headphone jack use it to monitor what kind of sound you are recording.

– Lighting stays really important, so you are going to need constant light sources if you want to add light or control the light in your scene, such as  LED lights. I have one of those that can on top of my camera, but obviously this is where you can get creative and there are infinite different lighting set ups you can use.

– Switch to live view (the mirror in the camera is not used in video mode) and use the +/- button so you can zoom into focus manually. You will need to use your LCD screen, not the viewfinder, to view the action.


(the picture is from my on-camera days, taken by moonhouseproductions.com)





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