Making Movies On Your Camera (Part 1)

7/16/2012 9:24:41 AM

A photograph narrates just one moment in time; why not explore your camera’s movie function to tell the whole story

Whether it is a wedding, a birthday party, a graduation or a newborn’s first minute in the world, the moment comes and goes in the blink of an eye, but by creating a home movie of those all- important moments, the memories can last a lifetime.

Movie- making may sound like a glamorous yet complicated hobby, but while it certainly is fun, it is actually very simple and far less taxing than you might imagine. Especially as most compact cameras bought within the last ten years should include a video function. However if your compact is lacking then check to see if your mobile phone includes the facility, as most recent cameraphones will include video recording as standard. Today is DSLRs and hybrids will also have a video- capture function that allows you to shoot as and when you feel like it. What is more, the video records straight to the same memory card and can be uploaded to a computer in exactly the same way as images, so there really is no fuss or bother.

Description: Making movies on your camera

Compose the perfect scene, pan with perfection, zoom like a pro and edit with these easy steps

In this four- page starter guide you will not only learn how to use your camera to record footage, but we will teach you how to compose the perfect scene, pan with perfection, zoom like a pro, edit using a few easy tips and tricks for generating that all- important movie magic and finally how to share your masterpiece with a global audience.

Capturing your video

The great thing about recording footage on your camera is that there is no need to mess around in the device’s menus or settings, as nearly all modern models have a dedicated external button allowing photographers to quickly and easily slip from shooting stills to video in one step.. the record bottom is usually depicted as a red circle, but check your user guide if this differs on your model or if you are unsure of where it is on your camera.

In recent years the introduction of HD (High Definition) has made a big impact on the clarity and size of the video recorded, allowing users to capture footage at a superior resolution of 720p and even greater full HD of 1080p, making every detail crisp and clean when viewed on HD- compatible monitors and TV screens.

Once you have chosen what it is you want to film, the principles of making a home movie are so similar to those of photography, you should feel right at home. To get started, assess the scene as you would when you are taking a photograph, and make sure the subject matter or scene is well lit, is properly and interestingly composed and is in focus. Then it is just a case of lights, camera, action !

Shoot! Set up and take your  footage

Set the scene

Description: Set the scene

Step 1 : Set the scene

Before you cry ‘action’ make sure your scene is set. Consider where the lighting is coming from and how it falls on your subject. Rid the area of clutter, avoid distracting elements and add props if they are relevant.

Camera controls

Description: Camera controls

Step 2 : Camera controls

Usually you can switch on video mode either by twisting the mode dial or by hitting the record button. With DSLRs go to Live View mode then press OK. Each model is different though, so check your manual.

Focus and record

Description: Focus and record

Step 3 : Focus and record

When you are ready, simply focus using the shutter and then hit record (as explained in step 2). Move around the scene and vary the angle you are shooting from to add a dynamic edge to the footage

Zoom and pan

Description: Zoom and pan

Step 4: Zoom and pan

A tripod is great for recording movies as it keeps the camera steady while you pan and zoom in and out. The results will be much less jerky and more professional than those achieved handheld.

3 of the best … key video features


Most cameras offer HD video, where the resolution of the footage outputs at 1,280 x 720 or 1920 x 1080 pixels. The more pixels the better, giving you a clearer, crisper result

Maximum recording time

Be sure to check the maximum recording time of your camera. Most models will only record footage for a certain time before having to stop and save the clip

Stereo us mono

A camera that can record sound in stereo is considered better than one that records in mono, as when it is played back the noise will be clearer and much more authentic

Great shot secret!

An external microphone offers a much higher quality of stereo sound for your movie. An LED video light improves low- light shooting scenarios and a tripod is great for panning smoothly.

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