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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: So Rich question that we get all the time, especially from photographers is why would I go into video mode does my viewfinder stop working? Richard: Yeah, and what they are really referring to is the optical viewfinder. So when you're looking through, and you are framing up the shot in your scene, you got a picture, but as soon as you turn on live view, it stops. Robbie: Right. Richard: Well, there is a reason. Robbie: Okay. Richard: You just send your camera to me, and I'll fix it, no. The reason is that when you are shooting, and you're doing normal pictures there is a mirror on the camera, and essentially it's acting like a periscope.
So when you're framing up the image, it's just using that mirror, it's reflecting it through the system and showing you a preview. And then when you push the plunger, it flips the mirror up and takes the still picture, then flips back. Robbie: Right. Richard: Well, when we're shooting video, you're not shooting a bunch of stills, you are shooting continuously, so the mirror in the camera has to stay up the whole time. And this makes it different, it changes your shooting style. You know, if I'm shooting, and I'm used to hear, and I've got this all right up against the face, it's a more stable shot, I've got a nice script. Now all of a sudden I can't do this and look at the live view monitor, some people are doing this and they're holding it out.
And this changes the whole shooting style, which we will get into when we talk about camera support as well. Robbie: Right! So just to be clear, there is nothing wrong with your camera when you go into video mode and the optical viewfinder is no longer showing you what you want to shoot. Richard: Yeah, it's just a totally different way the technology works. When you're shooting video, the optical viewfinder is disabled, and that is by design, because the mirror in the camera is up. So don't panic, don't return your camera, we see people posting on this all the time, people freak out, it's supposed to happen that way. Robbie: Right. And we'll get into it a little later, we'll talk about ways of--because we are not using the optical viewfinder--different ways that we can monitor the signal on the back of camera with the LCD, different attachments, monitors and so on and so forth.
Richard: Yeah. Robbie: So that's just a little bit more about why the viewfinder doesn't seem to work when you switch and go into video mode. It's not broken, but as Rich pointed out, it's just the nature of how these cameras technically work. Their mirror flips up, thus blocking sort of the periscope effect that you get through the optical viewfinder, and you're only able to see the image that you are looking at through the LCD or some other monitoring attachment on your camera.
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