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In Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR, photographer and videographer Rob Sheppard provides the essential foundation that photographers need to make the leap from still pictures to moving ones. From technical considerations, such as audio and frame rates, to aesthetic issues, such as composition and story development, this course presents concepts and techniques photographers need to get the best results from their gear and learn the art of video-based storytelling. Exercise files are included with the course.
Once you have a DSLR that shoots video, you need to be able to record that video onto a memory card. You are already familiar with memory cards, because you need them to shoot still photos. However, there are some things that you should keep in mind about memory cards when shooting video. If you are shooting RAW photos for your still photography, then you probably have a large memory card, maybe more than one card. You know that RAW files take up a lot of space and so you need that memory to deal with that. Video takes up even more space.
One of the things that is critical for shooting video is that you use big memory cards and that you have enough total memory. Remember that video is like 30 little pictures taken per second and every one of them has to be recorded to your memory card. How much memory do you need in your memory cards? I can't give you an exact figure, because this depends on the resolution, the frame rate used, and how the video is compressed when it is shot and recorded to your memory card.
Different types of video compression are used depending on the camera. Still, your camera is likely to do something similar to mine. What I have found when I am shooting with this camera, which is a Canon EOS 60D, I get approximately 20 minutes of video per eight gigabyte card. The 8 gigabyte card is a good size, because it's relatively inexpensive compared to bigger cards and yet it is large enough to record a significant amount of video. If you can afford a bigger card though, go for it.
Anything smaller than eight gigabytes will cause your card to fill up very quickly when you are shooting video, and if you add in some shooting of RAW files, you will probably be frustrated with that smaller card. Different cameras will take different types of cards as well. The two main cards that are used for DSLR cameras today are SD cards and Compact Flash or CF cards. If you have bought one of these cards recently, you're probably okay for recording video. Remember that your camera is doing a lot of work capturing video by recording all of those little images onto the card very quickly.
The card has to be able to keep up, so that it has to be fast enough to write data without choking the video. Almost any eight gigabyte or larger card that you would buy today is likely to be fine for video. Though you do want to be careful to use Class 6 or higher for SD cards, or use CF cards with a high speed rating. If you have older smaller cards, you will want to test them to see if you can actually use them for shooting video.
Batteries are another important accessory because of the amount of time that your camera is on while shooting video. Also in video mode, the LCD screen is always on, which can really use up battery power, and that's more than most photographers are used to. I find that I need approximately one battery per eight gigabyte memory card. You may find that you need more or less depending on your particular camera and how you are shooting. The point is that you are going to need enough batteries when you are shooting video.
It is very frustrating to have that great video shot in front of you and your camera is out of power. Having enough batteries is an important investment.
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