Beginner’s Guide to Shooting Videos with DSLR Cameras
The digital single-lens reflex (DSLR) camera is a relatively advanced digital camera that’s used to capture high-quality photos and shoot HD videos.
Users can conveniently switch from taking photos to shooting videos using a simple button flick. DSLR cameras are compatible with an assortment of lenses, allowing you to change resolutions and vary video quality.
Today, most high-end DSLR cameras can be used to record high-resolution videos (1080×1920 pixels), making them extremely useful for budding videographers. Entry-level cameras, on the other hand, a record at 720p HD resolution which still produces great videos with remarkable quality.
Here are some beginner tips for shooting HD videos with a DSLR camera:
1. Avoid using the Autofocus feature
Most DSLR cameras come with a cute autofocus feature that is meant to simplify the work for you. However, when you’re shooting a video, your camera should always be set to Live View mode. This distinct mode is primarily used to record High-Definition videos.
When the Live View mode is switched on, the camera streams pictures directly to its LCD screen. Since the DSLR’s mirror is raised up, autofocus will be extremely slow and ineffective. Therefore, it’s wise to focus your camera manually to ensure you get the best video quality.
2. Purchase a good lavalier mic
Shooting HD videos using a DSLR camera is best complemented by a good quality Lavalier microphone. These tiny mics are clipped onto your collar, tie, or any other apparel to offer hands-free operation.
After all, boom mics are quite expensive and cumbersome to carry around. In modern times, most people prefer lapel microphones because they are small, wireless and convenient to use on set. In addition, most varieties are inexpensive and can easily be afforded.
3. Use the best frame rate
Most individuals prefer using 24 fps (frames per second) when shooting videos, mainly because it delivers a wonderful artistic and cinematic effect. Frankly, most films produced these days are shot using 24 fps.
However, try going against the grain by shooting your videos at a slightly higher frame rate. This will ensure that you don’t leave out any good action on-set, making your videos incredibly fun to watch. For instance, try shooting at 60 frames per second and later playback the video at 24 frames per second. This will open your eyes to an entirely different level of video production.
4. Experiment using various lenses
DSLR cameras are compatible with a wide variety of lenses that you can easily take advantage of. If you desire to cover a large area, use the super wide-angle (also known as the fisheye) lens.
The 50mm f/1.8 lens, on the other hand, is great for capturing narrow angles. Working with an assortment of lenses allows you to incorporate different camera angles and effects into your work.
Ordinary camcorders don’t offer such intriguing flexibility since they come with inbuilt telephoto lenses that have mediocre wide-angle characteristics. Don’t shy away from trying out different lenses when shooting videos with DSLR cameras.
5. Use the appropriate ISO
ISO is simply a measure of the sensitivity level of a digital camera’s image sensor. The higher this value is, the brighter your video/image will be. Conversely, a lower ISO value translates to a darker image.
It’s best to set a higher ISO value (one that exceeds ISO 640) when shooting your video inside a room full of natural light. However, if you’re shooting outside in the glaring sunlight, ensure that your DSLRs ISO value is kept low at all times. The same case applies when shooting under the bright lights located within a studio.
6. Shoot your videos in short sequences
DSLR cameras aren’t designed for continuous recording. In fact, shooting videos for elongated periods using a DSLR could potentially overheat the batteries and cause unprecedented damage to the internal components. Another reason you should sequence your shots is to create more interesting videos.
Lengthy shots are often static and dull, making them quite monotonous and unappealing to view. However, using a variety of shots to capture the same subject using diverse angles will create artistic videos that are thrilling to watch.
7. Keep your camera steady using a tripod
Over time, most photographers hone the delicate art of breath control and elbow relaxation with the aim of taking steady photos. However, video recording is an entirely different ballgame. You’ll need to purchase a good camera tripod that will hold your camera steadily as you shoot.
Stability is the trademark of a professional video – without it, your film will simply look shaky and lacklustre. If you’re on a tight budget, you can easily create your own tripod with the help of various DIY projects online. In addition, fast panning and rapid zooming are a terrible idea when shooting videos. Stick to steady, controlled panning and slow zooming when starting out.
8. Practice makes perfect
You’ll probably be utilizing your DSLR camera to shoot professional videos during important events such as weddings and social gatherings, so why not set ample time to practice? After all, your skills can only improve with practice.
Don’t be afraid to experiment with different video effects – you might just create a masterpiece while at it. Use different settings and change the focus to view what happens. Shooting your videos from different angles will make your videos super interesting to watch, so try shooting from elevated/lowered surfaces as well.
You can also try zooming in on the unexpected reactions of your subjects to evoke different feelings among the audience.
DSLR cameras offer a myriad of possibilities for budding videographers. If you’re looking to have some fun making movies with your colleagues, purchase a good DSLR – you can’t go wrong with it. Apart from supporting a wide range of lenses, DSLRs are smaller than camcorders.
This makes them conveniently portable and lightweight when you’re moving around. In addition, digital cameras are remarkably affordable these days. You can save up some money, purchase a DSLR and get your videography career up and running.
I’m Akshay R.H, an audiophile and a professional blogger at Soundmaximum.
In this blog, I cover everything I learned regarding audio recording, will be reviewing high-end audio equipment.