DSLR Video

You almost certainly bought your Digital SLR camera to develop your interest and passion in photography. If you upgraded your DSLR camera to a newer model you were probably looking at a better camera sensor to obtain even greater picture quality, faster processer and perhaps more control over the exposure settings which will allow you to indulge you passion in photography even further.

However HD video capability is another great interesting feature in DSLR cameras and some of the other cameras with interchangeable lenses. When I upgraded to my latest DSLR camera I had already started to develop my interest in HD video and I'm continuing my learning experience with HD video through the DSLR.

The HD video capability will not impact on the photographic capability or quality of your DSLR camera but adds another interesting dimension that will provide a totally different set of challenges to taking a photographic still image and also may increase your movie making abilities.

From my experience and from what the experts say is that HD video will not replace camcorders as DSLR HD video is better for short sequences that you can then edit together whereas if you want to record family memories or occasions, a sporting event or school play sequence etc. then a camcorder would be a much better and easier option.

Also just to make clear that shooting a good quality HD video will present a different set of challenges than taking still images and it will take practice to get familiar with the required techniques and equipment but you will get some wonderful creative results.

An interesting comparison I then find is to compare a HD video to still images of the same subject to see which you think has more impact or better achieved the results you were looking for.

Here are a number of points to take into consideration if you are venturing into the world of HD video on a DSLR or other Bridge cameras that have HD video capabilities.

    Camera Stability: You will need a good quality camera tripod for HD video. Even with the steadiest of hands you will not be able to shoot a handheld HD video without it looking shaky and unprofessional. A tripod will also allow you to pan (move the camera from side to side) slowly and smoothly or tilt up and down. The are other accessories for a tripod like Sliders that will give you greater scope in your camera movement.

    Autofocus: It's great to be able to autofocus particularly for moving subjects but depending on your camera and lens, focusing can cause a lot noise which will be picked up by the camera microphone. One particularly good feature of some of the newer Canon lenses is the STM feature which allows for near silent autofocusing. These lenses will also allow for 'racking'. This means changing the focus during a shot from one person to another or from the foreground to the background and making it look a lot smooth and professional.

    Manual Focusing: Whilst Autofocusing can be great it can cause issues where it may refocus or recompose your shot in ways that you may not need or want. Consequently, manual focusing can be very beneficial when shooting HD video and it eliminate any noise from the lens motors whilst at the same time giving you smooth silent focusing along with the ability to be creative in how you focus your subject. When manually focusing your HD video you would obviously need to have your DSLR camera mounted on a tripod and practice it as it can take time to make it look natural.

    Sound: When your starting out in HD video the built-in microphone on your DSLR will be sufficient but if you progress further then you will probably need to look at an external microphone e.g. a shotgun type microphone.

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