Join Richard Harrington for an in-depth discussion in this video Shooting video, part of Up and Running with the Canon Rebel T4i and T5i (EOS 650D and 700D).
- Your DSLR camera is also capable of shooting high-definition video. Shooting video on a DSLR is great, because you can use the same high-quality glass and the camera that you already own. But, it can be a bit challenging. If you want to learn more about shooting video, I'd encourage you to check out the DSLR Video Tips series, here on Lynda.com. Shooting video is very similar to live-view photography. In fact, most of the things you just learned in the last module apply. For best results, I recommend that you choose an aperture to let in the right amount of light, and control the depth of field.
To do this, you'll want to be in Aperture Priority, or Manual mode. Then, rotate the power switch to Movie shooting. This will automatically engage the live view. Choose a focus mode. Many people prefer to shoot video using a manual focus, but the auto-focus methods have gotten significantly better when shooting video. It just depends on how much your subject is moving. If you're using auto-focus, be sure to choose an auto-focus method. Press the shutter button halfway to set focus.
If you need to adjust the exposure, you can modify the shutter speed, or ISO sensitivity when shooting manual. Or, use exposure compensation for other shooting modes. I generally prefer to shoot in the manual mode, and will use a shutter speed of 1/50 or 1/60 of a second for natural looking motion. To start recording, push the start/stop button. A recording indicator lights up, and the duration of the recorded movie starts counting up on the LCD screen. Audio is captured using the small microphone on the front of the camera.
This tends to be pretty poor quality sound. For better audio, you'll want to plug in an external microphone into the mic jack on the side of the camera. To end recording, press the start/stop button again. There are a lot of video settings that you can adjust. For example, you can change the frame size and the frame rate as well as other quality settings. This is all done under the movie settings in the menu. Press the menu button, and make sure you choose the Movie Record tab. Choose "movie record size," and press the Set button.
You'll now see different frame sizes. 1920x1080 is useful for recording a high-quality HD file, but you'll also find 1280x720, which is another flavor of HD. The 640 size is not very useful, and is standard definition video, which is not widely used anymore. As you'll step through, you'll notice that there's different frame rates. For example, for 720p, the only frame rate available is 60 frames per second.
If you're shooting PAL, you'll see a frame rate of 50. For 1080, you can use a frame rate of 30, 25, or 24, which matches the standards for your country. Now, there is a very important option to change in the setup menu. From Setup Menu II, choose "Video System," and you'll need to pick between NTSC and PAL. NTSC is the standard widely used in countries like North America and Japan, while PAL is used in much of the rest of the world.
You'll find extensive coverage of frame rates and frame sizes in the Lynda.com DSLR Video Tips series. Use the sound recording menu to control the sensitivity of the microphone, and which microphone is used. For best results, manually set your recording levels. Focusing video is essentially identical to focusing in live view mode for photography. You may want to turn off the servo auto-focus feature though, to make sure that the camera doesn't keep trying to adjust in the middle of a shot. Be sure to watch the previous movie on live view again, to get more comfortable with the auto-focus methods.
Want to get up and running even faster? Check out the "Quick Start" chapter to learn how to use your T4i or T5i straight out of the box.
- Reviewing the lens controls
- Changing image format and size
- Adjusting ISO and exposure compensations
- Using Program Shift mode
- Exploring Autofocus
- Focusing manually
- Shooting in Continuous (burst) mode
- Switching between metering modes
- Shooting with flash
- Shooting video