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In addition to stills, your camera can shoot video. Digital SLRs are actually extremely capable video cameras, but there are a few things to know about how they differ from dedicated video cameras and from point-and-shoot cameras that have a video mode. You should already have a comfortable understanding of depth of field. If you don't, check out Foundations of Photography: Exposure. One of the factors that controls depth of field in an image is sensor size. When you have a bigger sensor, it's possible to shoot much shallower depth of field. Your SLR has a much bigger sensor than what you'll find in almost any video camera or a point-and-shoot camera, which means you have the capability to shoot video with very shallow depth of field when you use your SLR.
This affords you far more creative options and lets you shoot video that can have a much more film like look than what you'll shoot with a dedicated video camera or a point-and-shoot camera. Of course, your SLR also scores over a dedicated video camera. thanks to its removable lenses which lets you choose lens features, and quality that are better suited to your particular project. On the downside, when you're shooting video with your SLR, focusing is much more complicated. However, most point-and-shoot cameras lack the ability to zoom while shooting video is something that's not a problem with an SLR.
There's no special movie shooting mode on the D7000. All you do is activate Live View and you're ready to start shooting video. This is the Video toggle switch. If I press it, I'm now shooting, and you can se my Record Light is on and flashing. My Viewfinder has been cropped or letterboxed because this particular video format that I'm shooting in is 16:9 aspect ratio, press the button again and video stops. Now, I mentioned that this was a 16:9 aspect ratio video.
I have some other options for shooting video. I'm going to go into the Menu and way down at the bottom of the Shooting menu is something called Movie Settings. I can open that up and I get a few options. The first one is Movie Quality. I'm going to open that up and here I get a big set of movie quality options. 1920x1080, that's HD pixel dimensions. By default, I'm at 1920x1080, 24 frames per second and high quality. I could bump that down to same size and frame rate, but normal quality.
That's going to take up less space on the card. Then I've got 1280x720, I've got two of those both at 30 frames per second, again, high quality and normal. Then I've got 1280x720 at 24 frames per second, again, two quality settings. Then down here at the bottom, I've got 640x424, 30 frames per second and two quality levels. So again, my quality choice is going to be about how much space these things take up on the card. Obviously, going to a smaller frame size also consumes less space.
These frame rate choices give me choice between a look. 24 frames per second is going to be more of a film like motion, 30 frames per second is going to be more of a video like motion. If what I'm ultimately doing is destined for the web, then I might want to just go all the way down here to 640x424 if I know that I don't need more room. But you want to be careful with that. You never know for sure how you might repurpose a video later. I'm just going to leave this back here on its best quality default setting. Microphone allows me to adjust the sensitivity of the internal microphone.
Of course, if I'm serious about audio, I want to plug in an external microphone because the microphone in the camera will pick up handling sounds. my hand bumping into the camera, the lens moving back and forth, that kind of thing. Destination allows me to choose which of the SD Cards I want to record movies to. If I've got more than one card in here, I could for example set the second card to be movie card, so that my still images always go to the first card, and movies always go to second card. That's particularly useful if you don't have cards that are all fast enough for recording video.
To shoot video on this camera, you need at least a Class 6 card. That's possibly more expensive than another card. So you might get a slower card for shooting stills and save your fast card for video. Finally, Manual Movie Settings which we're going to talk about in a separate movie. I get all of my same info displays if I want them. This will show the crop of the movie. I get no data at all, a grid, or a level. So I've still got those features and of course I still have all of my normal status output. For the most part, you should find shooting video to be very simple on the D7000.
The critical watchword when you're shooting video with your SLR is care. You have to take great care to ensure that your images are in focus and this typically means that you can't do the type of run-and-gun shooting that you're used to doing with a video camera or a point-and-shoot. If you're shooting a documentary or candid footage of rapidly changing subject matter, then your SLR may not be the best choice. If image quality and creative control are paramount though, then it's hard to beat the results that you'll get from your SLR. You can learn more about how to shoot video with your SLR in Rob Sheppard's Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR.
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