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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 discussed how EVFs can help you do things like check focus and check exposure, but they also have another benefit that I think is really cool and that's the ability to see different camera settings and even audio on the display of the EVF, without having to fiddle around with the back of the camera here. Rich Harrington: Yeah, there is a lot of information that can be passed through to the electronic viewfinder and different manufacturers will have different options, and one of things I like is they keep releasing new firmware updates to unlock even more features. So most of these electronic viewfinders can be updated, and so, they could better interact with the cameras.
Now when I'm looking at this EVF here, one of things I'm able to see is that I have actually got audio meters, so I could see that they're peaking here, in fact, I could see that I'm hitting red, and so the camera audio in this case would need to be adjusted if we were actually recording. Another nice thing is I can actually see the battery meter. So it's really nice that I can look in there and see the status of where I'm at. I've got overlays here for things like safe title area, crosshairs; I could punch in and out to do pixel magnification, so I'm truly seeing a one-to-one ratio.
Now that is incredibly useful if you think you're getting moire on set, those tight patterns. Punching in, you can absolutely see that, and there's a whole wealth of other things. So if you're a very traditional shooter and you like shooting with blue gun on or looking at just a gray scale image, sometimes it's really useful to be able to actually switch this to monochrome. I see different things when I look at a grayscale image. Do you do that as well? Robbie Carman: Yeah, absolutely! You see, now sometimes when we are having trouble with some of the thing that we're talking about before, judging your exposure or judging your focus.
For example, if something you have--an object that's very saturated in the scene, it can distract you from really seeing what the exposure is like in the scene, so oftentimes switching over to a grayscale is going to be the way to go. Now the one thing that I do really enjoy about these EVFs is that as you get more sophisticated in your shooting, and you start building more complex rigs, and have more gear going on the tripod or a rig like that, it can be-- Rich Harrington: Making it more manly! Robbie Carman: Well of course, the more stuff you have on your camera rig, the cooler-- Rich Harrington: The more manly it is. Robbie Carman: Exactly! But one of the things is that as you start getting more stuff on the camera and also of course, getting more people involved, focus pullers, camera assistants and things of that nature, it can be very difficult to access some of that data and that information on the back of the camera, right? But by having this EVF and by being able to pull some of that information from the camera, being able to see, hey, what F-stop are we shooting at? You know, what's my audio doing, and things of that nature, it's just more ergonomic and more convenient, and when you add up all the benefits of an EVF in terms of being able to check exposure, focus, viewing at a much higher resolution.
Even though they're slightly more expensive than say a traditional loupe, in my opinion they're well worth it, and if you're sort of in between; should I buy a loop? Should I buy a bigger external monitor? This is a nice happy medium, because it's going to provide you that nice form factor of the loupe by giving you the ability of the view camera settings and audio, and all of the other stuff we talked about, but by still having a nice small compact form factor. Rich Harrington: So truly useful. I find that using an electronic viewfinder just improves my confidence when shooting.
There's a lot of manufacturers out there. Feel free to research them, decide what you want, but this really is the happy middle ground. It gives you a monitor that you can easily see, and others can see, much higher quality than what's built into the back of the camera. It typically runs off the camera battery itself, so you can get a really long record time and be able to use this throughout the day. And I even find that I could set it to turn off the back live view display in lot on my cameras and still feed out a signal giving me better battery life on the DSLR itself.
So give these a shot. Take a look at the different manufacturers, see what you think, but I really feel that this is one of those things that will help a lot of you feel more confident when shooting. For DSLR Video Skills, my name is Rich Harrington. Robbie Carman: And I am Robbie Carman. Rich Harrington: And be sure to join us next week where we'll explore more topics to improve your shooting.
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