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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Male Speaker 1: So, Rich, obviously everybody loves DSLR's, because why? Rich: Shallow depth of field. Male Speaker 1: Shallow depth of field. Shallow depth of field, not so good for helping you get critical focus. Rich: Yeah. Male Speaker 1: When the only thing that's in focus is the end of the nose of the, of the subject that you're shooting. Rich: Yeah. Male Speaker 1: It's pretty difficult to do. Rich: Well, people have this obsession with bowcut, that shallow depth of field, they're buying these 1, 2 lenses and they're shooting people. The only time, Male Speaker 1: That are moving by the way. Rich: Yeah, the only time I'm going to shoot 1, 2, is if I'm trying to make something look like a dream sequence. Male Speaker 1: Mm-hm. Rich: Or it's on a controlled turntable and I want the front of the product in focus and the back out of focus.
Male Speaker 1: Right, absolutely. So, one of the things that people, and, you know, and we've talked to people and they're like, I'm having a really hard time getting something in focus. One of our first questions is, well what f-stop are you shooting? Are you shooting wide open? And they're like, yeah I'm shooting at 1.2, 1.3, whatever. Rich: Right. That's not necessarily, you're not supposed to shoot that. Male Speaker 1: Right. Well the thing is, even if you want to shoot that way, one of the techniques that I often use is temporarily. Step down. Rich: Yeah. Male Speaker 1: To a higher f-stop, f5, f6, f8, you know, whatever. Grab your focus, Rich: Yeah. Male Speaker 1: And then step back, because it's going to be easier to grab that critical focus at a lower f-stop.
Rich: Right now, we're at 4.5 Male Speaker 1: Right. Rich: Which is a reasonable thing, but go ahead and take two steps forward. And he's going to go soft, because it's a relatively shallow depth of field. Can you go ahead and step back? So now if we change our f-stop a bit, of course it's going to get darker, so we might have to get in there and actually adjust the ISO or the lighting. Male Speaker 1: Sure. Rich: But for purposes of just seeing the impact here, go ahead and step towards the camera. Male Speaker 1: And he's still in focus. Rich: Yeah. And go ahead and take two steps back. There we go. So by changing the depth of field, I didn't have to sit here fiddling with my focus.
Male Speaker 1: Yeah, and this is something again that, like, it can be a stylistic decision. You can say, hey, I'm going to step down so everything's in focus or I'm going to keep it wide open. But as I mentioned, one of the techniques that I like to do is just step down temporarily, maybe step down to f10, f12, or whatever. Place the, you know, the actor or the talent or the subject that I'm recording on their mark, get focus, and then step back down to my, you know, my wide open aperture. Rich: All right. So, just a, several different techniques you can try out. Make sure you employ at least two of these in your next production.
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