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You don't need a pro DSLR to make a pro video

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Benjamin Wu
You don't need a pro DSLR to make a pro video
on Jul 14, 2016 at 12:54:22 pm

Check this out. Constructive criticism welcomed.






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Blaise Douros
Re: You don't need a pro DSLR to make a pro video
on Jul 14, 2016 at 5:30:21 pm

I'd cool it on the sound design a little, linger longer on your best shots and cut some of the filler.

It gets exhausting to watch after about thirty seconds of this pace, so you need to slow it down in the middle. Your hyperlapses (which look really good, by the way--why are you blowing past them so quickly? Give me more of those!) feel out of place with the frenetic cutting that you've created with the rest of your video, so an alternate way to give us a break would be to structure a few fast cuts to give us a sense of where we are, and then an important shot or two that stays with us longer to have a much greater impact.

You have a lot of hand-held jitter in your shots, which is also tiring for the viewer, especially when it comes in quick succession like this. You appear to have a tripod that you used for your hyperlapses; you need to use it more, especially when you're using a longer focal length. Alternately, some judicious stabilization in your post process would help.

You don't need a pro DSLR to make a pro video, but you DO need restraint, technique, and a laser focus on what you're trying to accomplish. After watching this, I don't know what the point of it was, other than "look how many shots from my trip can I pack into 2:30." You also need to edit like a pro, pick music that sounds professional, and pay attention to your sound mix.

And finally, don't fall in love with all of your footage so much that you can't cut the stuff that isn't important. You've got some good shots in here, maybe even some great ones in the hyperlapses, but the overall execution of the edit doesn't live up to your headline. It could--you just need to pare it down.


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Benjamin Wu
Re: You don't need a pro DSLR to make a pro video
on Jul 15, 2016 at 4:03:49 am

Thanks a lot Blaise. I really appreciate that you took the time both to watch my video and write so much advice. This is my first project and it's great to get feedback from more experienced people.
Actually I don't use a tripod for hyperlapses. I find it's faster just to do everything handheld and its its not easy to carry so much gear when I'm traveling. Anyway, thanks again!


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Blaise Douros
Re: You don't need a pro DSLR to make a pro video
on Jul 15, 2016 at 4:36:08 pm

Glad to help. Keep practicing, and always try to look at your piece through the eyes of someone who's never seen it before. You'll get there!


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Gary Huff
Re: You don't need a pro DSLR to make a pro video
on Jul 17, 2016 at 3:41:12 pm

[Benjamin Wu] "his is my first project and it's great to get feedback from more experienced people. "

Given that this is your first project, that it's, boiled down, just a travel montage, and that if you had to do this for a paying client (i.e. professional), you would have to include a messaging aspect of some sort and not just stitch random shots together, then it would be best for you to avoid posting things in the future with the hubris of your title.

Affording a personal trip to Sri Lanka is not pro. Shallow depth of field from a Nikon D5100 is not pro. Hyperlapses shot in exotic locations is not pro. Pro is having your time paid for by a client who wants you to deliver a piece of content for them. That is what a pro video is.


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Benjamin Wu
Re: You don't need a pro DSLR to make a pro video
on Jul 17, 2016 at 6:46:16 pm

Pardon my "hubris" Gary. I should have titled it, "You don't need a top of the line camera to make a decent travel montage."
Perhaps because I'm an amateur, I assumed people might understand that when I said "pro", I was inferring a level of quality and not that I was being paid to produce it. I hope to be "pro" one day, and I hope that the advice I get from real "pros" such as yourself might help to get me there. I'm just trying to learn mate.
I'm definitely not as knowledgeable as yourself, so perhaps you could enlighten me on why shallow depth of field has anything to do with the camera and not the lens?
In any case, thank you for taking the time to watch my video and leave me a comment.


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Gary Huff
Re: You don't need a pro DSLR to make a pro video
on Jul 18, 2016 at 2:00:49 am

[Benjamin Wu] ", I assumed people might understand that when I said "pro", I was inferring a level of quality and not that I was being paid to produce it. "

People are paid to produce lackluster quality content all the time. That's not what differentiates a pro.

[Benjamin Wu] "I'm definitely not as knowledgeable as yourself, so perhaps you could enlighten me on why shallow depth of field has anything to do with the camera and not the lens?"

Because if you had taken a Panasonic HC-X1000 and had shot with it wide open at 30mm f/1.8 you would not have had anywhere near the same amount of shallow DoF as your Nikon with the same lens and aperture.

Your question sounds rather flippant (as if you felt you had caught me in a gaff), so I hope that's not the case.


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Don Simpson
Re: You don't need a pro DSLR to make a pro video
on Jul 23, 2016 at 12:57:21 am

How to you do the hyperlapses handheld? I think they look pretty great actually. Thanks.


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Benjamin Wu
Re: You don't need a pro DSLR to make a pro video
on Jul 23, 2016 at 9:53:21 am

It's actually much easier and faster to make a hyperlapse without a tripod. You only need the tripod if you are shooting in low light. It doesn't help you to stabilize and you still need to readjust the tripod head each time anyway. You are going to stabilize the hyperlapse in After Effects, so what purpose does a tripod serve?


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