5 Tips for Pro Looking HD Video Out of Still Cameras

After watching one to many videos that induce massive amount of cringing simply because of the way they were shot, we realized it was high time we created this "PSA of a post" for video shooting tips when using non-traditional video cameras. Many people are using their digital cameras and smartphones to shoot HD video, but sadly not many treat this shooting process with near the amount of care that they would if they were using a video camera, and the end result is a bit of a mess.

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Since we are no experts in shooting pro video, we turned to a friend of ours who is, Joe Corrigan of Omega Pictures. While Joe does primarily shoot with some very fancy gear like the fabulous RED, he also shoots fantastic video with tiny still cameras (like the Sony NEX-5 above with the Nikkor 17-35 F2.8D lens) and DSLRS. Here are his tips for better looking video on your non-traditional gear:

1) Stability is Key: Stability can not be emphasized enough. Just because the camera is smaller than you're used to shooting video with does not mean that you should not brace yourself when shooting with it. For stable video always brace yourself against a solid object or use a tripod.

2) Check Your Data & Resolution: Did you know that for most cameras the default setting for shooting video is not the highest? Before shooting, ensure that you have the highest data rate and resolution set.

3) Moving & Zooming: Unless you have a professional tripod, keep camera moves to a minimum. Also avoid zooming in and out during single shots. These frequent zooms and jerky camera movements highly inhibit the watch-ability of a piece and scream amateur in so many ways.

4) Overexposure: It's not secret that overexposed video looks like rubbish. To avoid overexposure, use an exposure compensation of -.3 to err on the safe side.

5) Say Goodbye to Quick Cuts: Don't cut the camera off too quickly after the action. Keep the video rolling ensuring you record enough of a scene as possible to give you more editing options. Just because you don't want to whip out Final Cut Pro does not mean that a little editing won't got a long way in iMovie or Movie Maker so be sure to give yourself enough to work with.

What are some of your video shooting tips?

(Images & Video: Joe Corrigan)

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DIY, Tech, Cameras, Tips & Techniques

Joelle loves technology and making things and is in an almost perpetual state of problem solving. She's quite fond of airplanes and coffee and is pretty sure she will eventually read all of the books in her library.