Beginner's Guide to DSLR Filmmaking | Nate Minneman | Skillshare

Beginner's Guide to DSLR Filmmaking

Nate Minneman

Beginner's Guide to DSLR Filmmaking

Nate Minneman

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11 Lessons (25m)
    • 1. 1 Intro

    • 2. 2 DSLR Overview

    • 3. 3 Base Settings

    • 4. 4 - On the Go Settings

    • 5. 5 Equipment

    • 6. 6 Accessories

    • 7. 7 Good Audio

    • 8. 8 Managing Storage

    • 9. 9 BONUS Drone overview

    • 10. 10 Final Project

    • 11. 11 Outro Video Editing Teaser

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About This Class

Hello and welcome! This class is for anyone interested in DLSR filmmaking and videography. The course requires no previous knowledge of DSLR cameras or filmmaking.  The course utilizes a Canon DSLR but the majority of this knowledge can be used with other camera brands. The course covers the following topics:

  • A basic overview and the advantages of a DSLR camera
  • How to establish the basic settings for video
  • What lenses I recommend 
  • Crucial accessories needed to get good video
  • How to get good audio
  • An important tip about managing storage
  • And a basic overview of using a drone with your DSLR video

So let's jump into it!

If you would like to reach out to me you can direct message me on Instagram @natmin7 or on YouTube @Nate M. and I will get back to you in 1-3 business days.

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1. 1 Intro: Hello and welcome to my skill share course on DSLR professional video. Um, of course today is gonna be, you know, it's gonna be kind of casual. I'm just gonna walk you through what I know about a canon DSLR in regards to professional video. Um, I've by no means am some Hollywood professional or even a full blown professional videographer. But I have filmed, um, over half a dozen weddings in a professional sense and have done a little bit of corporate video as well. Um, so I know my way around became a DSLR, and I hope to share with you today. Um, how to bring you up to speed on how to take these and shoot professional video, So let's get into it. 2. 2 DSLR Overview: So I want to take a second to talk about the difference between a iPhone a DSLR in a cinema camera. All three of these were going to shoot video. Um, and all three of these have very different price points. Um, but today I want to talk about why the DSLR can shoot professional video, Um, in a way that is way better than an iPhone, but also very similar to an expensive cinema camera. So what makes the DSLR so great for video is its ability to shoot shallot up the field. Um, and HD video, as you can see in these two clips here, this first clipped from an iPhone in here. The second clip using a DSLR. The shallow depth of field makes the I focus on the subject, and it kind of draws the eye where the video shooter wants the viewer to see. This is important as you're trying to capture maybe a wedding day and you want the viewer to focus on the couple or in a corporate setting as you want the viewers, I to kind of follow a natural path through the video. Um, and what not 3. 3 Base Settings: it's So now let's take a look at the camera thing. How to kind of navigate your way around it from the get go. So as you can see when you pick it up, Um, there's a lot of buttons and it can look a little intimidating, depending on what model you're looking at. The majority have a simple on off switch, and some will have one that goes straight to video mode. So I'm gonna click that in mind right now. So you see, it fires up. Um, we're gonna take a look at the back screen real quick, and we're gonna jump into kind of your base settings. This is the settings are going to set up before you before you hit record. Um, and these are the settings that you're gonna keep throughout the whole video shoot. So you're gonna make sure that your auto focus I prefer to use live one point that way. There's one point on the screen that you'll know where the data focus is gonna kind of jump to when you move the camera so that a little more predictive and what not? We're gonna jump in and set our frame rate I always shoot at the highest framer. Impossible within the camera. My camera today shoots 60 frames per second and this is gonna be helpful if I want to slow it down for slow motion. And what not if your camera could do 120 or 240 frames per second. That's gonna be great for slow motion scenes and what not? But if you're looking at your camera and it can only do 2029 or 24 frames per second, that's great as well. Most HD video is shot at 10. 80 p. 30 frames per second. Um, in most movies actually are shot at 24 frames per second. Next, we're gonna look at white balance. White balance is really important. As you shoot. This will be something that you might addressed during your video shoot, depending on what your lighting scenario looks like. But the majority of the time, I will just set this before I start shooting. Um, unless I go inside or into a heavily shaded area, then I'll just leave it alone. So they're pretty self explanatory. Um, there's a let this little son is gonna indicate that you're outside on. The next one is shade. Or maybe you're shooting your window. The next one is on a cloudy day. Um, or again, this one. You know, if you experiment, this one might be good doing, Um, a shoot near a window and then the two with light bulbs. Um, these you're gonna have to experiment a little bit with if you know, the lighting in the area. Um, in their area that you're shooting these, you know, according between tungsten and fluorescent again, I just kind of experiment with ease. And with all of these, the settings you're basically aiming to keep the skin tones at kind of a PCI like a warm PCI tone s so to speak. This is kind of hard teach because eventually you'll just be able to see it. But you're aiming for, like, this warm PCI tone, it's not super warm, but also you don't like a kind of a gross pink red. You just kind of want to find that that balance of ah Pichi Pichi tone and it's it's really not that hard to find if you're white, balance is set to the environment and you kind of see that when you set it up, the next thing with a DSLR is the picture of picture style. Um, I like to shoot with the cannon. It's, Ah, preset style that will already be in most canon cameras, and that is actually called picture style. It has really good skin tones, really vibrant colors, not too vibrant. Um, and it's kind of it's meant for canon photography you and you do a portrait shoot. But I really like the video that comes out of it. And if you're looking for a flat picture profile that, um would come out of like a really expensive camera, there is a picture propel called Cindy style um, that I will link below and that you can download and then put on your canon DSLR. But it is a great auction if you're looking to kind of capture that flat picture and then do some color grading after that and we'll get into color grading down the road. I'm not gonna dive too deeply into it in this course, but it's basically tweaking, you know, contrast and lighting and the different colors in your image for professional video. I'd say that you don't really need to worry about it. But it's there. If you wanna play that in the future, the last thing I'm gonna say it is that you never really touch creative filters. Gonna leave those alone. Um, And after this, you kind of get your base setting when you're good to go. 4. 4 - On the Go Settings: to now. We're gonna take a look at what you would do when you're out about to shoot the video. Um, you've already got your base settings adjusted. How you like them? Um, so, yeah, your manual video mode. You gotta frame rate set. Get your lighting set. Picture set. Um, and I want to talk about the settings that you're gonna be using on the go. The first time we talk about is I s O in a general rule of thumb. I'm adjusting that over here with this now, But a general thumb is who got really dark. I never, um, go above 1600 I try to stay below 800 effect can, um but we're just gonna leave it at 400 for now. Go back next. We're gonna talk about f stop, and this is dependent on your lens. Um, but my my lens can go as low as an f right again. This is f stop, Maiken, go is low as ah f 2.8, which is gonna be shooting wide open. Um, and this is gonna be a really shallow depth of field. If you needed Teoh, have a wide up the field where you needed to keep a lot of things in focus. You'd actually want to close it and go, maybe to like, a 56 But for this, I'm gonna dropped under 28 And then the last thing you talk about is, um, your shutter speed and this you always want to keep double your frame rate. So I'm shooting at 60 frames per second and about double that is 1 20 or 1 25 Turn on my out of focus and boom. We would be ready. Teoh, shoot a video. This friend right here. Okay, here. We've got ah, outside or an outdoor situation. Um, switch the settings like so you could see the screen. As you can see this time and seven dating black screen is white. What we're gonna dio normally if it's white, you want to try bringing down the I s o first? That got a little better. Um, only if you don't have any kind of filter and you're outside. Um, you want to bring debt? Bring up. You're your f Stop there. I actually forgot to change this toe outside Change my white balanced outside, but, uh, yeah. Now we have, um, suitable settings for outside. And what? Not Something to remember in your doing. Professional video is maybe a filter. I have a UV filter for this lens they don't have on right now. They're a little expensive, but they're a good investment down the road yet. As you can see, I kept my shutter speed at double the frame rate. I'm still shooting at 60 frames per second, and I've got my shutter speed at 1 20 Um, brought it out Teoh F 11 which is good for keeping this tree and focus, but also keeping those clouds in the background. Um, and then I s o the lowest sort of go at 100. So, yes, this would be suitable for shooting outside. Uh, these are two, um, you know, inside and outside situation for shooting, and then you've got your on the go settings. Um, if you have any questions about these feel Frito, reach out to me and, uh 5. 5 Equipment: next, we're gonna talk about the base equipment in your kit. This is referred Teoh as a canon DSLR body. This is going to be you know what produces the image and how you're going to. It's going to be the main tool in capturing professional video. Um, you know, this is where you're gonna do the majority of the tweaking and the fine tuning like we talked about in the base, like very settings that you're gonna set before you shoot. Then that you might need to adjust here and there throughout the shoot, and then we're gonna in a second we're gonna talk about, you know, you're you're on the go settings, as I like to call him. That's gonna be your eyes. So your aperture and shutter speed these that you're gonna just a little bit more throughout the shoot to kind of get the get that right image, get that professional image and what not. But I'm gonna take second now to talk about lenses. Um, there are lenses called kit lenses, which is the lens. You know, if you're buying your equipment on being nature Amazon, the lens that comes with the cameras usually called the kipland. Uh, you can shoot great video with the cannon kit lenses. I'm ready to the get go. But what I would recommend, um, upgrading to our prime lenses. And those are what I shoot on Premier Li Prime. Linds just basically means that I can't zoom in and out, but it's gonna have the most shallow depth of field. Um, which here I'm going to show an example. This is with a very wide up field. Basically what the image get right out of an iPhone. And then here is the shallow depth feel that you'd find in a prime Lin's, um And what? What this is good for is basically delivering, you know, control over where the viewers eyes were gonna go as they're watching the video, which is really important as you're shooting. You know, in a professional context, you want to be able to kind of guide the I, whether that beyond an interviewee or a subject. Or, you know, maybe there's a common trick and cinematics where the something close will be in focus, and then it'll transition to something far away. You can get that with a prime, Linds. Um, with the right movement in motion and what not So the prime lenses that I have cover the three areas, the three main types of shots that you're gonna get, um, in Europe, shooting in a professional context. Those three shots are the close up, the medium in the wide angle shot. So to get a good close up shot, I like to shoot on my 100 millimeter uh, lens. It's kind of my zoom Lind. And not to be confused. I can't actually zoom with it, but it's kind of like the camera zoomed in what I'm shooting. Um, it's a great lens. I really like to shoot, You know, wildlife when I'm not shooting professional video with this one because you kind of get that zoomed in already. It's great in a professional context if I need to shoot across the room or in a wedding. Although normally post up behind all of the guests and be able to get a good shot of the kiss and the couple during the ceremony with this lens, the next lens is the 50 millimeter. This this lens is great if you're doing a medium shot, you know, trying to get like not a super wide shot, but a shot that encompasses of your subject in a couple of key key areas are key aesthetics . Um, the beauty of this lens is you can shoot kind of that medium medium shot, and then you can also step in a little closer and get a close up as well with the same lens . I'd say when I'm doing a professional job. Um, actually, the majority of the shoot on this lens, they're great. They're referred to and photography as the nifty 50 because very versatile. And like I said, you can get both the medium and the close of very easily with this lens. Um, does a lot if, um quick side note. If you're looking to get into primes and you can't afford to grab three lenses today, the 50 is definitely the lens you want to pick up. First. It's the one I did, and it's It's great toe. Learn on and to work with, um, and maybe a kit lens that you can't get that shallot up the field with. Maybe you grab this one and then you can kind of change up your shots and start to get that professional look the last lenses. The 24 millimeter. This is a great lens for a good wide shot. Um, this one I love to shoot, maybe like an intro to an interview are maybe kind of captured the aesthetic at a wedding. This is the one I'm gonna throw on the camera. Just kind of capture, maybe. What the I would see this is Ah, great shot. Great lends to get some opening shots with, um, kind of captured the mood. Captured the vibe in the space that you're in And what not when you're doing a video shoot . I like Teoh change these lenses in and out as I'm going, it's great to kind of have a variation of the three shots. Like I said, close up. Um, but what kind of a medium shot and then that wide angle shot as well 6. 6 Accessories: So now that you have an idea of the, you know, the main equipment that we're gonna be working with and then I worked with on a regular basis, let's talk about the necessary accessories that you're gonna need on a video shoot that I take with me every time. You're definitely gonna need a good tripod. And he's these could get really expensive. Or you could be like me. I picked mine up for $5 a goodwill and have taken on a lot of professional shoots. It's held up well, so yeah, I just kind of look, look around in the market, You just need a good tripod, Um, that a sturdy and that you can kind of get those moving shots with do, like, slow pans and stuff like that. Um, you're also going to need good audio, which I'm gonna talk about a little bit more in the next lesson. But good audio is key to video in the great way to do that is to invest in a shotgun. Mike. Shotgun means that it's directional. Wherever you're facing the camera. The shot gonna makes only gonna pick up that out of you where the majority of the audio I should say is gonna come from that direction. It can also pick up noises nearby. But the majority of the audio is gonna come from where the camera's pointing spare batteries is definitely accessory that you want to invest in. I'd say early on, the the worst thing you can do is get to a video shoot and you're in the midst of its going great. And then you get that red flashing battery light Um, the battery low light that you don't have a spare. I have actually been on a professional shoot where I had to wait, Had to plug in and charge the battery while, um, while the event was going on. And then luckily, when I got you know, enough to run the camera at about half, threw it back in and got what I needed and luckily, it didn't jeopardize the shoot. But spare batteries is a is a must. If you want to be a professional video person, professional video actor, Um, I recommend s multiple SD cards. You're gonna need at least one SD card to film on a canon DSLR. I like using a 16 or 32 gig, um, card. But for HD video, it's important that you know that the cards shoot at a class 10 speed. Um, and that class 10 could be seen by looking at this This part of the card super important. Because if you get a lower classic A class four, I will not be able to record HD video. Um, and you wit, you wasted your money on it. This is totally coming from experience invested in a new SD card. Um, one time, didn't look at the class it cannot recorded. She video obviously did not work. 7. 7 Good Audio: So, like I said before, audio is key to good video. Um, something that I would recommend investing in along the way is your becoming a professional videographer is a portable audio recorder on a big Hollywood video shoot. They'll have, actually ah, person who carries, like a big, um, a big audio set up, Um, and obviously, as a young professional or as a beginning, professional shooting dislike video, you can't afford to hire someone with the big audio equipment, so getting a portable audio recorder makes it so that you can get better. More dynamic sound. I'm actually I'm recording this whole sculpture class right now on a portable audio recorder, and it helps a lot. One thing you have to remember when you use an external or portable audio recorder is to do the famous clap, and what it does is when you're editing, you'll see a spike in the audio coming out of the camera in the audio coming out of the portable recorder, and then you can use those to sync it up. Have you seen the clappers when they're doing like a Hollywood video shoot? That is actually the purpose of the clapper is so that the editor and then sink the footage afterwards 8. 8 Managing Storage: This is something that it's not the most glamorous part of video, but you're definitely going to want to get in a routine or a system of managing your files , Um, and making sure that when you shoot video, you immediately head to your computer and you put it on to your desktop. Um, and then I would even save it to an external hard drive so that you have two copies. If something was to happen to your computer so you got a virus or whatnot, then you'd still have access to that video. And then once you've done that, this is the important part, and it's super frustrating. But you mean toe wipe that footage off the card so that the next time you go to shoot with your camera, you'll have that full SD card to shoot on. Nothing is more frustrating than getting out on a video shoot and shooting, say for like, 10 15 minutes. Figure out the SD card, then it's full, and you basically, unless you have a backup SD card that's that's been wiped clean. Either have to delete that or start over, so I would highly recommend, um, making sure you transfer your files and then wipe that s D card before you head back out. This is true for any any recording equipment, whether that be the camera, the portable audio recorder. Eventually, when you get a drone and you're recording on SD card there just got to get in the habit, putting on a computer, wipe the card. 9. 9 BONUS Drone overview: So this is a bonus. A little bonus lesson within this class. Once you've kind of gone, gone into DSLR video and you're doing video shoots and what Not something, um, that really can add a professional kind of sense to your video is a drone shot. Um, and I use this with my DSLR video all the time. Like I said, there's the three types of shots where they would be close up the medium in the wide and a drone provides a great opportunity to get a wide shot from above. In a different perspective that people don't normally get. It's really interesting video that people will come to enjoy. 10. 10 Final Project: So now we've come to the final project. Um, in this final project, what I need from you is to take a canon DSLR whether it's yours or maybe go borrow buddies for a day. And I'll need you to get preferably a prime lens. But if not, you can do it on a kit lens, and the final project is gonna be one clip. Um, that uses the manual settings. So you're gonna I want you to shoot it all in manual. Um, and I wanted to have a shallow depth of field meaning that, you know, some some of the the area is out of focus, maybe the background, and then your main subject is in focus. So I want you to make sure that this one clip really draws the eye where you wanted it to go. And then that's gonna be the final project. Here is a sample of what the final project could look like. So I hope you have enjoyed this course. Um, if you have any questions, please let me know. I'm excited to see your final projects and make sure you follow me on YouTube at me. I m and thanks again for taking the scores 11. 11 Outro Video Editing Teaser: Hey, one more thing. If you've taken this course and you feel comfortable with the DSLR shooting video, one important key of all this is editing. In the final project, I had to be just one clip so that you could easily upload that. But the next step is to learn how to be really good at editing your DSLR video. Um, and this is this is gonna be my next course, so make sure to keep an eye out for that. Thanks again for taking this course and have a great yesterday.