Tuesday, June 22, 2010
Travel With Still+Video
Tips for better technical and creative results shooting video with your DSLR
With the ability to shoot HD video with hybrid cameras has come the need to have a continuous light source for low-light and fill-light situations designed for those cameras.
Lightweight and compact LED lighting such as those made by ikan, Litepanels and Lowel are the hybrid video equivalents to carrying around a flash for still shooting. All have dimmers to vary the output. Attention to color balance (most often by adding warming gels) must be taken into consideration with these daylight-balanced artificial light sources.
These lights can fit in the hot-shoe on top of the camera or in an extension plate, so both a mic and the light panel can be onboard the camera at the same time.
The visual results from the Nikon 300S and the other high-end hybrid DSLRs are stunning, but as with all digital SLRs, they need external microphones for the audio to live up to the picture quality.
Weighing just over 10 ounces and powered by a 9-volt battery, the RØDE Stereo VideoMic fits into the camera’s hot-shoe and plugs into the camera with a stereo mini-jack. It comes with a wind shield that RØDE suggests should be used at all times. If you’re going to shoot high-definition video, you need to generate high-definition sound.
For my on-camera introductions, I stayed within the recommended six feet of the mic for optimal dialogue quality. To expand the recording range, the RØDE Boom Pole that extends from 33 inches to 129 inches can be used when the mic is connected to the Rode 3.5mm Stereo Audio Extension Cable (VC1).
You’ll also want to have headphones to better hear the sound that’s being recorded.
Digital cameras have given us the ability to adjust the white balance on every shot, reducing the need for carrying color-correction filters. Yet there are still several filters that should be a part of every DSLR user’s arsenal. At the top of the list are polarizers to enhance blue skies and reduce reflections and a variety of neutral-density graduated filters. Neutral density works by lessening the amount of light that reaches the camera sensor. Graduated neutral density allows for a darkening of a single section of the image, most often the sky.
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