Posts Tagged ‘tripod’

Shooting Video With a DSLR

Tuesday, November 9th, 2010

When I purchased the Canon T2i over the summer, I immediately went out, shot some test footage, and posted the results (along with my initial impressions) here on the blog. Now that I have had an opportunity to work with the camera on client projects, I wanted to come back and post a follow-up article on what it’s like working with a DSLR when shooting video.

  • One of the first things I noticed is that if you want to shoot hand-held, it’s a good idea to invest in a lens with image stabilization. Or, you can invest in a DSLR rig that offers camera support. I did some hand-held work with a standard 50mm prime and it was almost impossible to eliminate camera shake.  If you have a lens that does not feature image stabilization, then I recommend using a tripod as much as possible.
  • If you need to shoot hand-held and don’t have image stabilization on your lens, I advise moving closer to your subject. Any time you zoom in on your subject from a distance, you increase the level of visible camera shake in your image. However, by physically moving closer to the subject you can keep your lens set at its widest angle and get some very steady hand-held shots.
  • A major drawback to the T2i is that there is no “time remaining” indicator as you are shooting. It’s very possible to run out of space on your memory card without any kind of warning. This is bad for anyone shooting events or documentaries.
  • There is no way to monitor audio while recording. There are no VU meters and there is no headphone jack. If all you need is some great looking b-roll, then you’ll be fine. However, if audio is crucial, then you will need to record to an external audio device where you can properly monitor the levels.

DSLR’s allow cinematographers to capture incredible HD images and the affordability of the cameras mean that these tools are here to stay. However, like any tool, they do have their limitations. So, adaptation is the name of the game. However, accessories like camera support systems, external monitors, and lens packages provide some excellent work-arounds.

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