What is HDSLR: why your camera’s video feature is underused and underrated

What is HDSLR: why your camera's video feature is underused and underrated

HDSLR audio recording

An HDSLR is also capable of recording synchronised audio alongside the video. The format allows sound to be recorded in ultra-high quality ‘PCM’ digital stereo form, but the reality is that getting good sound is not so simple.

Shooting options for HDSLR videoFirst, the HDSLR’s built-in microphone is not stereo. Second,  sound doesn’t travel as well as light, and the mic is in a poor position for recording the sound you actually want to record.

A mic socket is provided on most HDSLR models, which enables you to add a stereo mic that you can position closer to the sound source, and further away from rustling fingers on the camera.

However, it’s still less than perfect – particularly as there is no headphone socket so you can keep an ear on what you’re actually recording. Professional users tend to use DSLRs to record the video alone, using a separate portable digital audio recorder to pick up the sound.

Focusing can also provide unexpected problems when videoing. Videos are made in Live View mode, and you get the same AF options as when shooting stills in Live View.

It is usually best to set the focus before you start recording HD video (with one of the AF options, or manually).

As you are often forced (or want) to shoot video at wide apertures, the focus point needs to be selected carefully to allow for subject movement during the shot.

You can set exposure manually, but unless you have plenty of time to set up each shot, the auto option is usually the best choice.

Here the shutter speed, aperture and ISO are altered in order to achieve the calculated exposure.

You can then use the exposure compensation (as you would do with stills) to brighten or darken the image to get the look that you actually want.

In order to retain the ability to use the widest apertures, even in bright light, a useful accessory to have at your disposal is a variable ND filter (from £60, www.lightcraftworkshop.com).

PAGE 1: What is HDSLR?
PAGE 2: Getting to grips with HDSLR: free cheat sheet
PAGE 3: HDSLR audio recording


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