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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.
Robbie Carman: You know Rich, I've been telling you for years, Kevin I've mentioned this to you today. Why have your hands on the camera when you can do everything with an iPad? Kevin: Of course. Rich Harrington: Oh, I know. It seems like my entire life is on an iPad lately. And, what's really cool here, is we have taken remote control of the cameras, right? So, I can go ahead and connect to the Go Pro. I can connect to this DSLR. And, and what to you got in your hands there, Kevin? Kevin: It's called a Cam Ranger, plugs in to the USB port on these DSLR cameras, and it will transmit the signal basically in real time, which is incredible to me.
Rich Harrington: Yeah. Kevin: And it gets everything that I'm seeing. So there's Rich, there's Robbie. Rich Harrington: We're waving. And you see it's actually coming through. Kevin: It's coming through. Rich Harrington: And it's not, it's not just real time monitoring, that's one thing, right? Like oh, great, I can now see that the picture's overexposed. I can go in, and if I decide we're a little hot. I could just change the ISO remotely. So this is awesome when like lets say as he's driving down the road and as the lighting conditions are changing while the cameras recording I can switch the ISO on the fly.
I can get in there and we can actually change shutter speed while the cameras still rolling here. I'll go from a 50th to a 60th. Lets pop the ISO up. And Rob, let me hand this to you. Robbie Carman: Okay. Rich Harrington: And we actually have live histograms there, right? Robbie Carman: Yeah, this is actually a wonderful thing. We did a previous episode where we talked about using scopes and one of the problems with, you know, scopes on, built in your camera, like the histogram is, it doesn't update live. But as Kevin's moving around here, you can see the histogram this overlay of the histogram. So I have my brightness, then my color channels, overlaid on top of each other.
Works wonderfully and works in real time. Rich Harrington: Yeah, what's really cool here is that we could place the cameras. And then instead of having to send somebody climbing up to that remote location, we can start and stop. So, maybe you need to put a camera remotely over a basketball backboard or mount it inside of a moving vehicle. This has got a reasonable range, you could always extend it. And you could just start and stop the camera. Adjust its settings, all without ever having to touch the camera. So that doesn't mean like, oh okay, I have to pull the camera out, make all the changes, put it back in, find focus again.
Set it and forget it and take remote control. Robbie Carman: Yeah, and there are manufacturing, you know, different ones, Cam Ranger is one of the ones on the market, and also keep in mind that some of the, you know, OEM camera manufacturers like Nikon, as well as Canon. They have less feature apps but they do have remote control apps that you can control your camera with. Most of the time though those are over WiFi. Rich Harrington: Yeah, and what you're going to need is not all DSLR cameras have WiFi built in so you may need to buy that WiFi adapter. In the case of this Cam Ranger one which Kevin has in his hand there, the WiFi adapter is right in this device, and in fact it can actually become a wireless base station, so if you're in a place where you can run Ethernet into it, it works, works for tethered shooting for stills, works for time lapse.
It's pretty cool. Kevin, having these sort of remote control options on the go pros, on these cameras, does this give you any extra flexibility in shooting situations? Kevin: I think it's great like if you're on top of a crane or something where you can't access the camera with your hands, this would in super handy. You can, not only the ability to start and stop the camera but the ability to adjust ISO, the ability to adjust shutter. I mean it's incredible. Robbie Carman: It happens all the time. I had this I had a client the other day who was talking about a situation where they had this huge crane and then they realized when they got everything up there and, you know, everything set up.
Rich Harrington: The clouds moved? Robbie Carman: No that the camera was set up in the wrong frame rate. And they were just ugh gosh we gotta take it down you know adjust the menus so yeah having this kind of feature is amazing. I would give one word of warning though, right? Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: Is that everybody wants to play with this. You have to have somebody on set that is the only person that can touch this. Right. Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: It's like, ooh, buttons, oh. I want to push them, right? Rich Harrington: Robbie Carman: And if you have a DP that's a little sensitive about these things, that can really drive them crazy, but it also can really slow down your production a lot. So, often times they say hey, give just the director to or just the DP, control of this app and everybody else, you can look, but you can't touch Rich Harrington: Yeah, I would more likely give it to the DP, and not touch it because that's a really good way to start a fight on set.
But even as a remote monitoring Kevin is recording and we're still seeing a relatively frame accurate speed. Kevin: Yeah. Rich Harrington: So notice here, as I wave my hand, wave, wave, wave stop. It's not 24 frames a second. But it's enough that I could be standing way over there and watching the take. So I can actually see what's happening. It's really quite cool that you have this flexibility. And this is all built to cameras getting things like WiFi or WiFi adapters.
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