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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

How to get better Movie recordings from your DSLR?

A couple of years ago, Video recording was introduced to DSLR. This feature is a god-send. You will noticed that we used Photos and Videos extensively to narrate our stories. (Actually Daddy Andy sucks at composition :p )

We all know how easy it is to record a movie with a compact camera, or even smart phones. It is only natural to assume that DSLR (the bigger and more professional cameras) should do Movie recording better Right?

NO No No!!! Daddy had a shock when his Nikon D5000 could not even auto-focus quickly on the kids, who could never stay still! When the DSLR camera moves or when the kids run, only the background landscape remains sharp!!

With some research, Daddy found out that DSLR is autofocusing with "contrast detection". There must be tone-difference before the camera "locks" on. This becomes tricky when your subjects are "active" :p

Fortunately, Youtube got tons of wonderful tutorials to teach you how to make better videos with your DSLR. Just go to Youtube and search "nikon d5000 video tutorial" and you will get so many links on how-to-take-videos .

To get sharper videos, simply switch to "Manual" mode, and adjust your "focusing" manually. If you have not play with Manual-mode before, please refer to your menu :)

For those interested, Nikon started adding movie recording capabilities on their D90 and D5000 entry models, and Canon with their EOS500D series. (more research available at DPreview). Daddy will not choose a DSLR which does not have video recording capability, as some "sceneries+commentaries" can only be best captured with Video.

These are some of Sengkangbabies more popular videos from our Nikon D5000 :
- 2010 NDP Mobile Column

- Cute girl

- Timelapse, Going to school in Sengkang, fast forward stills

We hope you have fun taking Videos from your DSLR.
Our take home message would be "Go for manual focusing" when you need to take videos, unless you have a Sony DSLR :p

If you are interested in the technical details, Sony uses "phase detection" for Movie recording, and Nikon/Canon use "Contrast detection". More explanation and discussions can be found at :
--> DPreview forums and
--> http://www.cambridgeincolour.com/tutorials/camera-autofocus.htm

Feel free to share your tips and comments with us.
And if you have more time to spare, refer to our first picture, these cute Videos are waiting for you on the "top-right section" of our blog.

Additional tips:
- clip your Movies shorter than 2 min, try to show only interesting scenes
- play with Microsoft MovieMaker or Mac (we heard Mac is best) video-editing tools
- upload to Youtube for easy sharing
- more videos at our Youtube link --> http://www.youtube.com/user/pengAndy

** Disclaimer **
Above comments is strictly from our point of view, if Daddy had misinterpreted some facts, please correct me.

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