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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 ways that people often judge their cameras is the menu system, because it makes it really clear what are the core features. Now I normally shoot Nikon, but I must say that I do think Canon has a better approach to menus, not scrolling up, scrolling left and right, it's just like when you hit the bottom of the page, you've ended that menu, you go to the next. Robbie Carman: Yeah, and you know, I think that Canon in particular has really, over the past few years as the popularity of their DSLRs has soared with non-photo people, they've really got into a simplified approach for the menus.
Rich: Yeah. Robbie: That makes it pretty easy to navigate and find the options. Now Rich, I know you're a Nikon guy, and we'll talk about a new Nikon camera in another set of movies, but Nikon menus kind of drive me crazy. Rich: Yeah, they take some getting used to. You definitely end up using the custom menu feature where you put all of the things you want on your own page. Robbie: Yeah. Rich: But let's take a look here at some of the major features of this Canon. Now the first couple of pages you are looking at are basically going to be the mode for photo shooting, so we're not going to talk too long about it, but I do want to review one here that I think is useful, that is the fact that you could turn off the beep.
There a lot of times that people are shooting stills on a set with a video set, turn that dang thing off, you don't want to hear the beeping, you don't want to hear that audio feedback. It gets recorded on the video set. Robbie: Absolutely. Rich: So turn that off and then you might want to even consider turning Image review off to cut down your battery usage to get the longer life. Robbie: Yep. Rich: Now, over here we've got some ability here for Mirror lockup, that's going to come in handy if you want to actually clean the sensor. Robbie: Yep. Rich: And then our next area here is really more shooting things, but notice you do have the ability to adjust the White balance here, and this is still important when shooting video, getting the right setting there or taking advantage of the custom setting which we'll cover more in future episodes, how you do a custom white balance.
But I think that's incredibly important, and I do like this, the ability to exactly dial in when using something like a light meter. Robbie: I love this. If you are working with a gaffer on set and they are gelling lights or they're adjusting the color temperature of the scene to a specific value, getting your camera tweaked to that specific value, piece of cake to them. Rich: Yeah, I mean and keep in mind Rob makes a good chunk of his living as a professional colorist. You would think, oh good, more work for me. No, you are the same belief, now could you please just get the right balance white at time of acquisition. Robbie: Just white balance the camera, it really helps, yeah. Rich: Yeah, it does make a big difference.
Alright, so our next category here, one of the things that is nice is the ability to adjust the Color space if needed and there are some third-party spaces we're seeing. Picture Styles, now you can load third-party Picture Styles, more controls here for Picture Styles, a lot of User Defined ones which I think are helpful. Robbie: Yeah, I always use the User Defined menu options to sort of create that flat shooting situation that you hear a lot of people talking about, a little lower contrast, a little lower saturation, so I have a little more flexibility.
I've found that the built-in camera Picture Styles are pretty good, but I often go in and adjust all of my settings, save it as a predefined user setting, so that way I can be sure that I am getting the settings that I want. Rich: Yeah. And other things in here, notice that we do have noise reduction for shooting at high ISO, that's more for still shooting. But I do like this here, Dust Delete Data. So this is where you could take a reference thing, it helps clean up the sensor a bit. Auto Focus method, now notice we actually have a Live mode, and if you turn this on, this will actually function in video and it's much better than past ones.
Now true focusing is still true focusing and usually and I shoot manual. But if you are run-and-gun, you're all by yourself, this is a little bit more sensitive. I wouldn't use it with a lockdown interview, because you don't want the focus changing there. But for something like shooting a live event or maybe sports, this could come in handy. Robbie: Yeah, it's one of those things that me personally, I am a big fan of doing it manually. I don't know, you know, I've gotten over the past couple of years with DSLRs to not really trust their auto focus systems. Yes, they are getting better now, should give you a point in your category here, I think Nikon is doing auto focus for DSLR video potentially a little bit better than Canon is, the Sony stuff is also pretty good.
But you know it's one of those things, play with it. Of course if you find it works well for you, by all means try it, but know that you know going back to the manual approach is always a good way to go as well. Rich: And in the menu here, a couple of other things to look at, this is important what sort of overlay you get. I am going to change that to the 3x3 grid, so I have the rule of thirds for classic composition. Robbie: Yep. Rich: And let's take a look at the movie record sizes, we've got more options here, some important ones. Robbie: Yeah, and now Rich, one of the big things that Canon did with this camera as well as the Canon 5D Mark III, you'll see in the menus here that you actually have IPB and ALL-I, right? What this means is the compression that you're actually recording.
So ALL-I means all I frame. So where every frame of video is a real frame of video and this makes it much easier for editorial packages and stuff, to sort of navigate the video. It helps a little bit better with sort of things like accuracy and compression and all kind of stuff. Rich: Much better system performance, you don't actually have to have as much real-time decoding going on by your computer, because the video file is less compressed. Of course, less compressed means more disk space. Robbie: Right, so the other option is to go to the IPB method of recording and that is traditionally what cameras like the 7D and the Rebels and stuff like that have in the past shot and what this does is it interpolates frames between I frames, so not every frame is a real frame.
Obviously, this gives you a smaller file, but it gives you a more complex file that's often harder to decode by editorial packages. Rich: And notice as we change through here, it does tell me the record times for the card I have loaded. that if I'm shooting 1920 at 30 frames per second in this ALL-I, I am going to get about 19 record minutes versus almost 30 minutes using those more compressed formats. So it's important that you know the difference, I would say at this point buy bigger memory cards and shoot the higher-quality method. Robbie: That's my attitude as well. Rich: Now Auto here, we do have audio record levels, and notice finally we have some great controls here where we can go in and get out of Auto and go to total Manual.
Now the Manual here is not as manual as you might like, but I can go through and it's not just solid increment. So while those ticks might look like you only have a few, I'm adjusting the volume here so we're not going too much above the -12 value there. Robbie: Yeah, and then, Rich, I've said in a previous movie that one of the limitations of this camera was not having a built-in headphone jack, which is still true, I think that's a limitation. But, finally now on these Canon bodies we have this ability for true audio meters and the ability to just record levels.
So if you're piping in audio from a different source, you can at least visually check and see where your levels are, because after all one of the biggest problems that people have of audio on these cameras is that when you get back to post, you go, oh, my audio is over-modulated or it's too low, so by having a visual representation here, you can get in the ball park of getting good auto levels. Rich: And if you have the ability here to also deal with things like wind or other noise coming in, so it's nice. And as we go through you'll see continuous additional controls, actually I went past one there that people like. Robbie: Yeah, big one.
Rich: Time code, why time code, Rob? Why does this matter? Robbie: Well time code is of course an important thing, it gives you an accurate representation of what frame is what frame and where it is in the overall piece of video. And of course at on a professional level, everybody uses time code to a certain degree, whether it's SMPTE time code, it's time of day time code, that kind of stuff. And the nice thing with this camera is that you can record true SMPTE time code, which gives you hours, minutes, seconds, and frames. And you can go in and you can start and customize your own starting time code.
So if Rich put in 1 hour and 5 minutes here, when we start our recording, the time code would start at 1 hour and 5 minutes and count upwards as you are going. Now of course, if you step back a little bit, Rich, if you see that Count up menu right there, there we go and click on there, we have Record run and Free run. And this is something that's interest to note. Record run is going to do exactly what it says, you hit record, the time code is running. Free run, what does that do, Rich? Rich: Well, the nice thing here with free run is that if you had multiple cameras you can all set them to the initial start time and then trigger your first recording by calling action.
Then, as people are starting and stopping cameras at different times, it's still running that counter throughout the day. Robbie: Yep. Rich: So as you go to sync up cameras off of time code, you stand a much better chance that time code on multiple cameras is actually going to line up. Or, if you just wanted to know in relationship to maybe an event, maybe you set it to like you're covering a soccer game and you set that timer to actually count down from 90 minutes, that's 90 minutes is a soccer game, right? I think so. Robbie: Sure, I think so. Rich: Probably, I'm sure other people will tell me I'm wrong. Robbie: I mean, we look like we're really in the sports zone. Rich: So I can at least see the time of day related to the event I was shooting, or I want to know where within that event it sort of falls based on the event time.
So the fact that you have some control even if you're not continuously shooting is going to give you greater control. Now a couple of other things here, this just really starts getting into a additional still things like ordering prints and rating or resizing, so you're probably going to bypass most of these menus. I do like the ability to adjust how quickly it powers off, like I am going to set that lower, so I am not running through a bunch of excess use of the live view and the ability to pull the brightness down if I was going to an external monitor. All of those comes in real handy, and notice here we can actually adjust the brightness level of the LCD and it shows us a nice setting here and I can actually see that.
Now, I'm sending a live feed, so it's not adjusting as much, but I like that you have a PLUGE there on the side, so you can register, can you see the gray or what's happening. Now as we go back here, a couple of other settings that matter. Of course we had this before, the ability to choose your Video system, and if you are going to use Wi-Fi or not, leave that off for most video. But I would take the time to actually load up your Copyright information, put to your Sensor cleaning when you need it, check your firmware. It's great how all of that stuff is easily visible, and if you go over my favorite page, My Menu settings.
Robbie: Right, you can find the things that you adjust the most often and store them here and then actually you know back on these other menus sort of here, that's worth mentioning, this is where you have custom function controls, and we're not going to bore you with all the details here, definitely consult the manual with some of these custom function things, because there is a lot of very deep technical information that adjust, you know, auto focus, and exposure and stuff like that. But you're right, Rich. On the last page here, My Menu settings, a great thing to have to be able to store custom settings. Now, I don't want anybody to think that this short video was sort of replacement for the manual.
Rich: Yes, yes. Robbie: There's a lot of things going. Rich: Read the manual. Robbie: Right, there is a lot of things going on with this camera, but I think through a quick tour you can see that there is a lot of really interesting things, from time code, to audio, to all the different photo things that you can do, I think we can sum it up it and say, Rich, that this a camera that we're becoming really big fans of, and I think that depending on what you're doing, this is a great way to get into a full-frame camera because it's a relatively affordable, it does shoot pretty good video, it does shoot great stills.
So I think it's something--especially if you have an investment in Canon Glass, non EF-S lenses of course--it's definitely a camera that you should kind of consider for your projects. Rich: Yeah, I think if you were looking at the 5D Mark III and had camera desire, you really wanted that camera but you couldn't justify the price, if you're willing to go to get SD cards and you are willing to give up a headphone jack, this camera has all the same major functionality for terms of a video shooter and at $1400 or less, that's going to free up a little bit of money to either give a second body some accessories or maybe additional lenses.
For lynda.com, my name is Richard Harrington. Robbie: And I am Robbie Carman, thanks for joining us.
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