Top 5 DSLR Video Shooting Tips for Beginners


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For the last couple of years, I’ve thought about ditching my point-and-shoot camera and upgrading to a DSLR but have held off for a couple of reasons: One, I don’t have several hundreds dollars to drop on a new camera. Two, I wouldn’t know how the hell to use it. For a professional photographer, having a DSLR is like having the keys to a Ferrari if you’re a race car driver. You know how to get the most out of it. To a beginner, however, a DSLR camera can be both clunky and intimidating. Fortunately, there are several sites out there that offer tips to beginners looking to shoot pictures or make a movie.

Below, we’ve shared a few tips on how to shoot better HD video with a DSLR from the folks at CNET.com. Happy shooting!

  1. Make a tri-pod your best friend: Use a tri-pod when your starting out for stabilization to prevent your video from looking “shaky and unprofessional”. You can also use the tri-pod to help with slow, controlled panning. 
  2. Take focus into your own hands: Find, learn, and experiment with video controls, including manual focus, rather than relying on the automatic setting to get the best video results.  
  3. Shoot in sequences: Though you may be tempted to continuously record an event with a DSLR, you shouldn’t for a couple of reasons. One, continuous recording could cause the camera to overheat. Two, “long, static shots can be dull to watch”. Use a variety of different shots to make a more interesting video. It’s recommended to shoot at least three to four separate shots of the same subject from different distances by moving the camera closer or farther away. Shooting sequences is the “key to storytelling,” according to CNET. 
  4. Don’t tune out on audio: Before hitting the Record button, take into account all that is happening around you. Be sure to check your camera’s level controls to make sure sound from your subjects is clear. Use an external microphone when you’re working in anything but a quiet environment and not shooting at close range. 
  5. Practice, experiment, and practice some more: Practice is the key to quality videos. Experiment with different techniques and angles. The more you shoot, the easier it is to spot strengths and areas for improvement.

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