Filmmaking with your Digital Camera: From the Field with Cyrus Sutton – Howtoshtab – how to, lifehacks, tips and tricks

Hi my name is Cyrus Sutton and I’m here for Adorama Learning Center. Today we’re going to talk about how to get the most out of your digital camera in terms of filmmaking. Digital cameras first came on the scene of filmmaking a few years ago. One of the biggest benefits was that they had a larger image sensor which gave you a narrower depth of field and a more cinematic look and that larger sensor also allows you to shoot in and lower light. I have 21mm Zeiss, a 35mm Zeiss and a 50mm prime and those are fast lenses. Fast meaning that they open up and taking a lot of light. I love the fact that the body of the camera is so small that I can take my smallest lens and just the camera itself and maybe shoot in sketchier areas where I’m worried about theft or shoot with people that might be a little gun-shy with a camera and not make too much of a scene and not attract too much attention to myself.

The rig I use a lot when I’m covering maybe some kind of live event or something like that is a shoulder mount rig and it basically gives you three points of contact. 1,2,3 and what that allows you to do is just keep the camera really steady and it’s comfortable you can hold this for an hour or two. You know rest your elbows up against your ribcage and just get a nice steady shot. You can keep this and adjust it with your hand. They also make matt boxes that go up front and hold 4 x 4 or 4 x 5 neutral density filters and also follow focus knobs where you can really control the focus from your fingertips. One of the really cool things about digital cameras is that you can use timelapses and get really high quality timelapses by taking a string of images and then putting them together in post. Whether that be through After Effects or through Adobe Premiere. Dynamic range in your video is basically from the darkest shadows that you have to the brightest brights.

It oftentimes clips that information so you need to be aware of that. There’s a number of things you can do to work around that in the settings of your camera. The biggest one being the histogram and all cameras have an on-screen histogram that you can look at and as long as it’s not peeking or your image isn’t running off that graph then you know you’re in the clear. Trying to aim for it as much information in the middle as possible is a really good rule of thumb. One battery will last you 45 minutes to an hour when you’re recording, so I looked up online various ways of getting around that and I found a solution that that works with lots of things. Most of your electronics except for your laptop. It’s a battery system that you plug in and this will keep my Sony A7S charged all day. Sometimes more than that if I’m not shooting all day and I bring about three or four of these and three or four these.

This is almost as powerful as this one. Basically just plugs into here and then plugs into this dummy battery, and these dummy batteries are made to kind of power something from the wall, but this comes in and we’ll go into your battery slot and face out like that. Clip in and then there’s a little thing that you may have not noticed but that’s there to allow for the cord to come out and you’re ready to go. Ready to shoot all day. So usually I’ll bring like a reusable shopping bag or something and sling it over my shoulder and have a couple lens wipes or something in that when I’m running and gunning and just save the battery equation all day. Digital cameras are a really exciting tool these days for filmmakers especially when the vast majority of our content goes onto the web and gets encoded at the very end of what these cameras natively capture, if you’re on it and you use some of the tips and tricks that I’ve just shared with you, you’ll get an image at the end of the day that’s very comparable to my camera that’s incredibly expensive.

You can check out more of these kinds of episodes both on filmmaking and photography on AdoramaTV it’s a YouTube channel you can subscribe and yeah thanks for tuning in..

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