Are you a struggling HDSLR filmmaker? The first step towards shooting a compelling DSLR video is to set up your camera properly. To help you find your way through the puzzling onboard movie-making options, we’ve used a Canon DLSR to explain some of the typical settings you’ll be using when shooting HD video on your DSLR…
DSLR Video: how to set up your camera to record HD movies
Step 1: Choose the definition
Decide on the resolution you want to shoot your movies at. This will partly depend on what you need your video for, but it will also be determined by how long you want the maximum clip length to be.
Step 2: Set the frame rate
Some cameras provide a choice of frame rates. The standard for Europe is 25fps and 30fps is the default for the USA. Use 24fps for a cinematic look – or choose 50 or 60fps for a cool slow-motion effect.
Step 3: Sound options
Your DSLR will also record sound, but this needs to be planned carefully to be of any use. If you’re going to add a commentary and music, you may simply want to turn the sound recording off.
Step 4: Mic mechanics
To improve your sound, use a plug-in microphone. A hotshoe mic is a simple option, but a tie-clip mic on a long lead is a good low-cost solution for recording someone speaking.
Step 5: Switch to manual focus
Your camera may be able to autofocus while recording, but you can’t rely on it to stay on target for the full take. Any errors could ruin the shot, so consider switching to manual.
Step 6: Using AF
If you must use autofocus, pick the option with care. You can use live and face detection options while recording, but Canon’s Quick mode should only be used beforehand.