How To Record With a DSLR Camera

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Stepping up from the  everyday smartphone or point-and-shoot? Well here's some tips on filming with those big DSLR (or mirrorless) camera's. You know, the really good ones that can't fit in your pocket.

Key Points

  • Set your camera to manual mode (because we're boss!)
  • Make sure to turn other auto settings off in the menu (like "i.Dynamic" etc.)
  • ISO is the camera's sensitivity to light
  • Higher ISO = brighter, but grainier shot
  • Aperture relates to how much light is let into the camera (higher numbers = less light let in)
  • Higher aperture value = more things in focus, but a darker shot
  • Shutter speed is how fast the shutter opens and closes
  • Higher shutter speed = less motion blur and darker shot (Low speed is brighter & smoother)
  • White balance refers to how cool or warm the colours in your shot are
  • I recommend using the white-balance presets and see what looks good to you

DLSR Camera Settings Cheat Sheet

Here's a handy cheat sheet you can download and print out!

Sam's Secret

While you should play around and find what's right for your video and environment, here are my basic rules just to get you started:

  • Keep your ISO and aperture settings as low as you can (while still being able to see the shot).
  • Set shutter speed to twice the frame-rate (so if your filming at 25p, then set shutter speed to 50fps).
  • Use the appropriate white balance preset depending on whether you're filming outside, inside, etc.)