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About to make a film on Canon D70, need some advice!

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alex delfont
About to make a film on Canon D70, need some advice!
on Jul 27, 2014 at 5:10:38 pm

Hi guys

Ive been asked very short notice to make a short documentary, and I have borrowed a Canon D70, but have never used it before. I have a few questions, and it would be amazing if anyone could answer them as I start in a few days.

I cant decide whether to shoot in 1080 25fps or 720 50fps, and whether to use ALL-I or IPB. I need editing to be smooth as I will be in a hurry and my computer isnt the best. I know ALL-I is menat to be better for this, does it make big difference? And would the framerates and hi def modes make a difference in the edit?

+ I want to shoot in Auto, as it will make things easier for me and still looks good, but I cant see how to manually set the mic level, it seems I have to be in another mode. What other mode on canon DSLRs is closest to auto?

Thanks


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Steve Crow
Re: About to make a film on Canon D70, need some advice!
on Jul 27, 2014 at 6:05:06 pm

You can read about the differences between All-I and IPB on this thread here:

http://www.canonrumors.com/forum/index.php?topic=13707.0

I'd opt to shoot in 1080 over 720 given the choice. Traditionally, if you want a more filmic look you keep your frames per second at 24 or 25.

Shooting in an auto mode is not a great idea because cameras can get confused and focus on the wrong thing (like the background instead of the subject), expose differently than you'd like or set other controls to a mode that would be bad for your film. Some of these "mistakes" can be corrected while editing but focus isn't really one of them.

For instance, the camera might select a very high shutter speed if you are shooting video in a bright outdoor situation when what you would really want to do is keep your shutter speed at 1/50th of a second at all times and use the ISO and aperture controls to control the exposure and/or use Neutral Density filters on the lens to cut down on the light. High shutter speeds will give your video a "jittery" look.

Make sure you get some kind of loupe for your LCD screen otherwise if shooting in bright light outdoors the screen will be completely washed out and you will have no idea what you are actually shooting or what the settings are.

Steve Crow


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alex delfont
Re: About to make a film on Canon D70, need some advice!
on Jul 27, 2014 at 6:08:49 pm
Last Edited By alex delfont on Jul 27, 2014 at 6:30:46 pm

Hi

Thanks for the tips. I think I will use 1080 as 720 has very bad aliasing

I just have so little time and am doing this for a friend. Ive never used the camera before and while Ive made videos, I dont really know how to use cameras in depth. I will be filming lots of kids playing and doing activities, its going to be very hard to be playing with settings as I just need to capture everything. Do you think auto will be that bad?

On the 70d, it seems even in auto you can manually focus and you can use the touchscreen to decide what you focus on.

Also, some of the time I will want it to autofocus, but sometimes I just want to focus on something and then hit record and it to stay focussed at that distance. Is the best way to do this just to press the screen so it focusses on what I want, then turn it to Manual Focus on the switch on the lens?


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Rob Manning
Re: About to make a film on Canon D70, need some advice!
on Jul 27, 2014 at 8:22:58 pm

Hi Alex,

As Steve aptly pointed out, setting an HD capable DSLR to auto, is not a good choice. There are other issues complicating auto mode and if you decide to dive into this further, perhaps getting the book by regulars here on CC, called From Still to Motion, would help long term.

I would say, borrow instead an HD Camcorder, and save yourself from the learning curve.

Rob Manning


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alex delfont
Re: About to make a film on Canon D70, need some advice!
on Jul 27, 2014 at 8:25:57 pm

Hi Rob

Thanks for the advice. The canon 70d actually has got amazing autofocus capabilities, unlike any dslr in the past, wchi I know can jump around all over the place. But as I said I am able to focus manually too.

So I am wondering more about the other settings that i would like to keep on auto, apeture, shutter speed, iso. I understand how these work for stills, but not really for video.


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Steve Crow
Re: About to make a film on Canon D70, need some advice!
on Jul 27, 2014 at 8:41:46 pm
Last Edited By Steve Crow on Jul 27, 2014 at 8:48:21 pm

Shooting DSLR video is a skill that takes time to learn and it sounds like you don't have that time available. We are really trying to save you from potential disaster. The best suggestion so far, for you, is to rent or borrow a HD camcorder as there is less to go wrong and far fewer controls to worry about - consumer grade camcorders are designed to be used by people who want the auto-everything experience.

In terms of DSLR settings here are some suggestions:

Shutter Speed: Keep at 1/50th and don't move it - assuming you are at 24/25fps

Aperture: Use apertures higher than 4.0 so that you have a deep depth of field

ISO: Keep as low as possible for the best possible image


Absolutely you must use an external microphone - don't rely on the in-camera one.

Be aware that if you are using a kit lens it probably doesn't have a fixed aperture which means as you zoom in the image will darken because it will shift to a higher aperture/smaller diameter. I would suggest setting the focal length as wide as possible and use your feet to move closer - one less thing to worry about.

Get a monopod so that you have a chance of steady shots at least and still can easily move around

Steve Crow


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Rob Manning
Re: About to make a film on Canon D70, need some advice!
on Jul 28, 2014 at 7:30:43 am
Last Edited By Rob Manning on Jul 28, 2014 at 7:32:29 am

Steve's latest post is spot on and, Canon does a good job now with dual point AF on the newest cameras as long as you also have the new lenses designed for that but, both Nikon and Canon use in lens motors for AF which is no match for Sony of Panasonic, which resolve in camera software, or CPU.

Note Steve's caution about lenses without a fixed aperture, repairing the exposures from a lens like that can take hours, if not days in editing. IN practice (I've been there) it may not be repaired at all which gives way to the artsy, B & W overlay on certain clips.

Camcorders use phase detection to help acquire focus, HD enabled DSLRs use contrast detection so say a bright blouse, or dark suit walks through the scene (shot) when on Auto, that changes exposure values, as does using a kit zoom as Steve pointed out.

You seem intent on a crash course with Canon but as a caution, we agree you may be better off in the rush for time, to borrow or rent a HD DV cam, tripod and external mic.

If, you have time, learn to shoot the 7D as noted, and do some practice runs, otherwise the results may not be up to your client's expectations, or your anticipated results.

Shooting DSLRs for video, does assume certain techniques be applied, tripod mount, lens choice, manual operation etc.

Good luck, however you take this on.

HTHs

Rob Manning


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alex delfont
Re: About to make a film on Canon D70, need some advice!
on Jul 28, 2014 at 7:48:31 am

Hi guys

Thanks for all the tips, really helfpul. I have a few days to get familiar with the camera. I might have made myself sound like a bit more of a noob than I am. I am not a photographer but have used SLR's a fair bit. The reason they asked me to do it, is because I recently made a promo film for a community I was sating at, and they really liked it. It was the first thing I'd done like that, and I filmed it all on a Panasonic Lumix G3 with a 20mm fixed lens. I recorded the audio for interviews with a Zoom H1, and also worte and recorded the music for it. I was pretty happy with the results, even if it is a bit cheesy! Have a look if you like :







But this time I thought I would use the Canon, as I have better and more versatile lenses, OIS, etc. The first film I made was pretty much all on a tripod with fixed focus.

So if I wasnt to use auto mode, what mode would be best. Aperture priority, shutter priority, or Program mode? I dont really get program mode, it seems the closest to Auto, except you can change ISO and a few other things...but the manual is useless.

Thanks again guys, its really helpful


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