The DSLR Revolution: Is it right for you?

DSLR01One of the hottest trends in digital video right now involves shooting with cameras designed for still photography.

Professionals are getting outstanding results from cameras that cost a fraction of those that Hollywood uses. Should your next camera be a digital SLR?

The transition from shooting with film or standard video to working with a DSLR is an exciting and daunting prospect. It is a combination of technological knowledge and a lot of trial and error. This arena is constantly changing as innovations are added or new cameras enter the market. However, we are at a point where there is a DSLR core knowledge base that will provide a foundation for any project. Currently, most DSLR knowledge comes from word of mouth or from "some blog or forum that I once read." Tips and disinformation are given equal footing, and ultimately everyone is stuck holding a camera on the first day of shooting wondering whether the information that they have been gleaning in bits and pieces is actually going to work. With a series of articles over the next several months, SVN will attept to expand your core knowledge of DSLR video and answer some of these questions.

We will offer information on every subject that you need to be aware of to shoot a DSLR project. These articles will address the practicalities that a filmmaker needs to know to actually be able to complete a DSLR project or that a videographer needs for a shoot. You will find out how to pick gear, set up the gear, and choose and interact with lenses and various tools to improve your shooting. As you plan all aspects of your shoot, the articles will give you direction on how to ensure that you have your bases covered. Whether you have never worked with DSLR video or you have DSLR video experience, we will cover how to create a professional, high-quality project from start to finish and help you avoid pitfalls that might hurt your final project.DSLR01

With this series, we aim to provide a clear overview and pitfalls of the DSLR video workflow. We will touch on various camera types, lenses, and more, but on the whole there are practical advice and tips regardless of what camera and/or equipment you use. We hope this encourages people to dive in and test the DSLR video capabilities, and not be discouraged with any limitations of the technology. Use the new technology as a challenge to create the very best video possibe.

What we'll cover over the series:

December: Whether you are person familiar shooting with standard video cameras, a still photographer, or a filmmaker, there will be overlap in equipment and vernacular. However, there are some unique processes, gear, and work flows that apply specifically to shooting video on DSLR cameras.

January: Gear and Recommendations answers what camera is the best fit for you.

February: Cameras and Lenses on Location covers cameras and lenses since the DSLR platform has exponentially expanded the number of available cameras, lenses, and formats that you and your students can work with.

March: Sound on Location provides suggestions for working with DSLR cameras, which is totally different from working with traditional video cameras. DSLR cameras should be treated much more like film cameras, where the best option is to record audio on a separate device for maximum quality.

April: Troubleshooting helps you be aware of the common issues when shooting DSLR video and that there are problems and limitations (but nothing that can't be worked around). Knowledge is power in this sense, and the more you know, the easier it will be to craft the way you shoot your film so you can be successful.

See you next month!