Michal Dzierza
film | photography

Blog

Film. Photography. Journalism.

How to shoot DSLR video

If you own a relatively new DSLR, chances are it is capable of shooting high-quality video - and indeed many photographers, myself included, shoot short- and long-form video using their DSLR. But for many the switch photography to videography is not easy. Not everyone has a great guru to teach them or enough patience and determination to discover how to use their camera's more advanced features. Sometimes we even neglect or ignore the basics.

But thanks to the University of Waterloo in Canada and its Digital Arts Communication course in particular we have now access to a brilliant series of ten short videos explaining the basics of DSLR videography. The series was produced in July 2010 and, although made using a Canon DSLR, most of these short tutorials should satisfy any budding videographer, regardless of what DSLR they are using.

The first video in the series explains the advantages of shooting video with DSLRs (great quality, switchable lenses, shallow depth of field), but also points out the disadvantages - or rather challenges (not really built for video, the need for an external microphone).

The whole series can be found on the brilliant Vimeo Video School page (which is, by the way, very useful if you're interested in more advanced tutorials too), but here are links to the remaining individual parts of the above series:

2. Lens assembly 3. On-off, recording, movie mode 4. Focal length & Prime vs Zoom 5. Perspective 6. Shutter speed and FPS (this one is particularly good) 7. Aperture 8. Depth of field 9. ISO 10. White balance

So these are just the basics. I would suggest you watch Philip Bloom's series for Vimeo too - it also covers the basics, but Philip also explains many other useful things - including camera settings, timelapses, filming at night and dealing with sound.

If it wasn't for his really annoying sidekick, this mini-series would be really fantastic:

Introduction to DSLR Cameras with Philip Bloom from Vimeo Staff on Vimeo.