I’ve been working quite a bit lately with both the Canon 5D Mark II and the Canon 7D, shooting video. I’ve been shooting video with traditional video cameras for the last 11 years so I wasn’t in the dark as to how to shoot motion. But I’m not ashamed to say that I’ve made my share of mistakes with these hybrids.
Here are a few to watch out for:
- Don’t forget about audio. So many still photographers forget the importance of audio and then what they are left with are a bunch of video clips with lousy or unusable sound.
- Don’t capture audio with the camera mic. You’ll never get good sound if you do. I also stay away from plugging in an external mic with the mini stereo plug.
- Don’t turn off the camera mic when using an independent audio recorder. It’s always good to have the audio recorded to cards through the camera to use as a reference when syncing the sound later in post.
- Don’t discount reading the manuals. A lot of shooters think since they are coming from a photographic background, they don’t need to read the manuals. There are big differences when shooting video – make sure you read the manuals about some of the nuances and avoid making stupid mistakes.
- Don’t shoot video like a still photographer. Remember video is time in motion – so let motion play out in the camera. Let subjects move in and out of your frame. Let the camera roll – don’t shoot moments in time.
- Don’t forget about the story and sequencing. I usually see the big picture when I’m shooting. I think about the finished completed movie in my mind’s eye so when I’m shooting I’m always thinking about what is coming next – where will I go from this shot – where did I come from. If you don’t think like this then you’ll have a disconnected mess that won’t be easy to edit.
- Don’t be sneaky. These cameras look and are still cameras. Don’t deceive people into thinking that you’re not shooting video and/or sound.
- Get it right in camera. Unlike still photographs, video doesn’t do as well when it’s over manipulated or corrected in post, especially when trying to crop or enlarge the image.
- Don’t skimp on you shots. When shooting b-roll video – you’ll need lots of it to tell the story in post. Shoot different focal lengths as well as angles for variety to cut to.
10. Don’t shoot verticals. I know, I know there will be some of you that will disagree with me but if you want a vertical – don’t turn the camera sideways – crop the vertical in post. A contradiction perhaps to #9 you say. Well there are always exceptions.