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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.
Rich Harrington: One of the things I notice most, particularly as I continue to get better and better shooting, is that everything on the back of the camera always looks good. It always looks in focus, it always looks tack sharp, and that's because it's such a small little screen that shrinks everything down. Robbie Carman: I can't tell you Rich how many times I've had clients come into my studio totally excited about their footage. And then we put it up on the big screen and they go, it's little soft isn't it? And I go, mhmm. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: And then my next question is, you just used the LCD on the back of a camera didn't you? And they go, yeah! I needed to do something else? Rich Harrington: Yeah, you did need to do something else.
Robbie Carman: Exactly. Rich Harrington: And that is step up. So in this case here, let's take a look through the viewfinder, and what you're seeing, clearly an out-of-focus shot. Robbie Carman: Well right, this is like a starting point, right. A lot of people say, oh this looks beautiful, right? But no, this is in fact obviously out of focus video. Now on this particular camera what we have going on is we have the electronic viewfinder mounted to the hot shoe here at the top, and we are just coming HDMI out of the camera, and so up here on the actual monitor, I actually have a nice crystal-clear image of what I am seeing out of the lens.
Rich Harrington: And you've been able to adjust it, so it's at eye level for you so you don't spend the whole day doing this staring down the back of the camera. Robbie Carman: Exactly. Now one of the things about this particular viewfinder is that it actually can accept a loupe as well. This is just a loupe made by Zacuto, right. So this is the actual electronic viewfinder itself and then this is just a loupe, and you can use it in either way. So now right now without the loupe attached, I get a nice 3 or 4 inch screen here that I can view which is actually pretty nice. If you want to have clients walk up to the camera and take a look at how the shot is framed, and the focus and that kind of stuff, but oftentimes if you are in the studio or especially outdoors and on set, you might want to add a loupe to this and you can simply put that loupe down and that gives nice light controlled view of the screen.
Now I do want to be clear that the benefit of this is that it's much higher resolution than the screen on the back of a camera. I am actually viewing on this particular model in 720p resolution. So what I'll do is I'll just come in and I'll get a nice sharp view here and I am just going to adjust my focus until I get a nice sharp focus something like that working. Now the other benefit is that besides been able to just view it, depending on the electronic viewfinder that you are using, there are other features like false color and things of that nature that can make focusing a little easier.
Rich Harrington: And this is also going to allow us to check exposure, but the big thing here, you can't fix focus with a filter in post. If it's out of focus, it's out of focus. That could really be the difference between a shot that's usable and one that's not. So the ability here to just punch in, really see that these cameras will allow you to see the image. You can also go ahead and push in a little bit on the camera itself if you want to check that, but between that and the higher resolution display you can absolutely positively tell do I have focus, and it just gives you that confidence in the shot. Plus the loupe itself, in this case, is magnifying the display here.
So it kind of looks like you're looking at like--about a 10 inch television. It's a lot easier to tell than the little tiny thing on the back of the monitor. Robbie Carman: Absolutely, and like we've mentioned in an earlier movie these can be adapted to different camera systems and rigs. So if you do like that traditional viewfinder look, where it's sort of in the back of the camera and extended towards your eye. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: You can put this on an arm or something like that so it reaches out on the side and however you are comfortable to get sort of a more ergonomic view at a higher resolution using the EVF. Rich Harrington: Yeah, I could just put an arm right here and attach that EVF so it's sitting right here, comfortable for the eye while the camera is well-placed, and that gives me great flexibility and control.
So the fact that you are now better control over ergonomics will improve your shooting style and really removes any excuses you might have for bad monitoring. Now focus is just one issue, the other is exposure. When we come back, we are going to take a look at that.
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