Reviewed by Dave Newton
Stills In Motion
If you’re looking to get into the new wave of shooting HD video with your DSLR, you’ll find Stills in Motion a very good introduction. Whether you are an advanced professional photographer looking to offer HD movies to your clients, or an enthusiast photographer hoping to produce some short creative films, Drew Gardener and the Stills in Motion tutorial will give you the information you need to take your first steps in the brave new world.
Throughout the tutorial, the basics are covered to ensure you miss nothing out. By the time you get to disc 2 you’ll have a good idea of what kit you might need to buy or rent, as well as what settings you need to make on the camera to get the best results.
With Disc 2, you’ll learn how to put it all together - to take theory and make it practice. Two case studies are presented so you can see how the different equipment is used and how, in reality, making HD movies is actually quite a simple affair.
When you first see the tutorial, you may be initially skeptical having a very high-end commercial photographer presenting - if you don’t shoot in the commercial world you may feel his experience will be a million miles away from your own. While this could be a problem, Drew is like many, new to HD Movie shooting, so his stills experience and knowledge only gets him so far. It means the tutorial is explained in really simple terms without getting heavily technical and it ensures it covers all the questions you’re likely to ask as a stills photographer moving to video.
DSLR Video on Assignment
If you’re not a news photographer or photojournalist, you may be put off by this tutorial purporting to be shooting HD video for a news assignment. But to do that would be a big mistake. While Dan Chung is a photojournalist (and indeed one of the finest around) this tutorial does not only deal with assignment shooting. Sure there are hints and tips on assignment shooting, but it is so much more than that.
And in fact, the tips he imparts will prove useful to you no matter what genre of photography you shoot, and are equally valid whether you are a seasoned pro or enthusiast.
Since Dan made the transition from stills to video, he is well placed to explain how that transition happens and the perils and pitfalls of shooting HD video with a DSLR.
The tutorial is ordered very sensibly so that you start with the basics and build from there through to the last chapter where you see Dan pull it all together in actually shooting his assignment.
If you follow everything in this tutorial you’ll be up and running in no time and will have neatly sidestepped all the problems you’d otherwise face. Dan deals with all the basic and advanced camera settings, recording sound, accessories to consider and actually working in a live environment.
Despite being 2 hours long, the tutorial is easy to watch and the time passes quickly. Dan presents the information in an easy to understand way that’s free of tech speak. The best part about the tutorial though is not that you’ll learn loads from it, it’s that it is equal parts educational and inspirational. You’ll come away from watching it wanting to take Dan’s final advice – get out and practice!
Learn to Shoot Great Video with your Canon 7D
Philip Bloom has taken the DSLR world by storm since HD Movie functions were introduced to the cameras. In this tutorial he walks you through the EOS 7D, one of the best choices for shooting HD Movies, and he explains how to set the camera up, as well as what accessories you might need to consider to get the best out of it.
There are sections on camera setup, using filters, lens effects and lens choice, supporting the camera, recording sound and shooting timelapse, among many other areas. There is even a section at the end explaining the first steps of workflow – how to convert your ‘RAW’ footage to something you can edit with and how to turn stills from a timelapse sequence into something you can incorporate into your final movie.
Overall, if you’re just starting out in the world of HD video with DSLRs, whether you’re coming from a stills background or a video background, you’ll certainly find things you didn’t know before that will help you maximise your use of the camera.
Because Philip is a videographer professionally, there is a lot of expensive kit on show and he does talk about some high-end third party equipment. However, don’t let this put you off. As he says at the end, you don’t need all of it to create great looking videos.
Learn Canon 5d Mark II Cinematography
If you’re looking for a beginners guide to shooting HD video with your DSLR, this is a good first step. Philip Bloom, a professional videographer with a hobby in shooting stills, has embraced the DSLR revolution.
Explaining how he got into DSLR HD Video gives a nice introduction and is one many people can relate to, especially if you have a videography background.
The content is deliberately simple and takes you through Philip’s thought process explaining the pitfalls and stumbling blocks along way…and crucially, how he overcame them.
Even the stills photographers will find interest and learning in this tutorial because it deals with the topics in a down-to-earth, non-technical way.
The second part of the film deals with the workflow back on the computer, and while it doesn’t tell you how to edit (that would be a whole tutorial or 10 on its own) it does give you the basics of how to ingest, convert and begin to work with your footage.
Even those who have some experience with shooting HD Movies on DSLR cameras will pick up some tips on how to do it better, especially when looking at accessories to consider that will make you life much easier, and crucially, your results much better.