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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: So Rich, we've talked about using a loop, we've talked about zooming into the sensor. Another method that I love to use with my camera is, well, actually let the camera do it itself. And what I mean by that is that these cameras have immensely powerful auto-focus systems. When you think auto-focus in video and DSLR, you kind of really don't connect the dots there, right? Rich Harrington: Yeah. Robbie Carman: Auto-focus, a lot of times people think on a DSLR, oh yeah, it works great for photos, but not so much for video. Rich Harrington: Well I don't like to use it if the subject is moving a lot. Some cameras, like some of the new Nikons and Cannons are adding continuous auto focus for movie modes Robbie Carman: Right.
Rich Harrington: And those work okay. Robbie Carman: Yeah, pretty well. Rich Harrington: I find a little bit of a lag or I might, you know. If something dramatically changes or walks in front of the camera it can get messed up, but in a shot like this, we're just going to do a, sort of a posed shot. There's really nothing different than shooting a still here. We're just shooting a lot of stills repeatedly. Robbie Carman: Right, and so, you know, looking here at the shot, I can tell that it's pretty out of focus because, you know, Rich was the camera operator. Rich Harrington: Yeah, that's of course. Robbie Carman: So you know, of course I could go in and sort of manually search for focus until I got it, but I'm going to let the camera do the work itself. Now you'll notice this white box there on the screen, that's basically telling my camera, in this case the Cannon 7D, hey this is the area that I want you to pay attention to for focusing.
And notice I have it kind of, sort of around his nose, his mouth, the details on his face that I want. Rich Harrington: Well, if we put that white box on the tree, the tree would be in focus but our guy could be out of focus. Robbie Carman: Right, and you can position that with the joystick mode here and you know depending on your camera it's going to vary that particular control. Rich Harrington: And, and in some of the new cameras that I actually like, they're adding like just, like an iPhone, you just tap the focus. I love that feature. Robbie Carman: Yeah, it's beautiful. So I got it around his face now. And just like I do with taking a still photo, I'm simply going to sort of half depress the shutter button. And there you go. It clicked green there, and it automatically found the perfect focus for me.
Rich Harrington: Yeah, and it make an audible beep, which is great feedback. The only problem of that is if you've got multiple operators, make sure that you're not rolling any critical sound, because you're going to start hearing beeps on set. Robbie Carman: Now, the question comes up, Rich. Will you depend on this for everything? Surely not. I, as you mentioned before, when something's moving, or you have t o be sure there's you know, your eyes and, you know, making the adjustments with, you know, either on the lens or a follow focus unit, are often going to trump the autofocus on the camera itself when you're shooting video. But, in quick situations where you just need to be able to get a quick, you know, quick focus? Rich Harrington: Yeah.
Robbie Carman: That auto functionality is really good. Rich Harrington: Hey, if the camera can do it for you, let it do the work. Robbie Carman: Absolutely.
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