I have my Canon 550D and I am over the dish, the spoon, the cow and the moon.
The stills capabilities of this camera have blown me away to the point where I have almost forgotten about the video component. Well, not quite forgotten
In this week that I have had my HDSLR, there have been a few questions that needed to be answered in order for the camera to be best used in taking good video. These are basically the first lessons I have learned.
1. How to work with Focus
Auto focus should be a term associated with profanity – nothing worse that watching a video pumping in and out of focus as objects move in and out of the foreground. However, how does one focus correctly with HDSLRs when the D.O.F. can be very narrow. A suitable Follow Focus rig may be the answer, preferably with a dedicated focus puller, but hey, not many have the budget for that, me included. So I would follow a 2 step process.
1.1 Auto Focus
This first step just gets the focus as near as possible to the object, could be perfect first time – yet probably not.
- Set the focus switch on the lens to AF (Auto Focus)
- Focus using your method of choice.
Here is how I focus quickly with AF:
Movie Mode menu Options:
AF mode : Quick mode – This mode allows for selection points; automatic or specified, and responds quite quickly
Shutter/AE lock button : AE lock/AF
- Press Q, then cycle to a focus selection point if you need to change it. I keep it at middle top.
- Press * until sufficiently whirled and focused.
1.2 Manual Focus
Set the focus switch on the lens to MF (Manual Focus)
You could always start where, especially when there is time, and make use of the zoom function to refine you focus.
Or you could skip this and stay automatic – as you see fit.
2. How to control the shutter
Proably the first thing I figured out – just rotate the dial before pressing anything else. It is written all about that the best shutter speed is about double (over one) of the frame rate – as is possible. So shooting 24 fps would mean about 1/48 – although the lowest I see is 1/60. hmmm.
3. How to set the Aperture
This one had me going for a bit. In the end I found that I needed to press the Av button while turning the dial.
4. How to set the ISO
Press the Iso button and then use the dial to cycle through the iso options available.
I hope that this is also helpful to you.
There are other lessons to be learned with regard to lighting and audio, those I will learn in the coming weeks.
If you would like to share some quick thoughts, tips or lessons that you learned when you first started with HDSLR, please feel free to share them.