Tuesday, September 20, 2011

How to Record Great Video with Your HD DSLR Camera

You’ll primarily find two types of imaging sensors in digital cameras: CCD and CMOS. Each have their advantages and disadvantages, but for our purposes we’re just going to take a look at how each exposes an image. CCD sensors use what’s called a global shutter, whereas CMOS sensors use a rolling shutter. (Although technically a CMOS camera could implement a global shutter, it has yet to make it into any common CMOS-based cameras.)
The difference between the two is pretty straightforward: global shutters expose the entire image simultaneously, and rolling shutters, well, don’t. A rolling shutter tells parts of the sensor to become light-sensitive at different points in time, so you don’t get the full image instantly. Think of it like loading an image on a dial-up modem. This all happens fairly fast so it’s not always noticeable to the eye, but when the image changes drastically the ’jello effect’ shows up as a result of the rolling shutter. Here’s an example from the Canon 7D:
How to Record Great Video with Your HD DSLR Camera
As you can see, quick panning causes the frame to wobble due to the rolling shutter. So what do you do about it? There are a few options, and the easiest is simply being mindful of how you’re operating the camera. If you avoid quick motion and use a lens with image stabilization (when possible), the rolling shutter will be mostly imperceptible.
If you don’t have a lens with image stabilization you can always use an external stabilizer. These are generally pretty expensive if you’re purchasing one pre-made, but we’ve posted many different DIY camera stabilizer options.
More aggressive rolling shutter fixes come in the form of plug-ins for editing and effects software, such as The Foundry’s RollingShutter, but it’s also possible to do the work yourself:
How to Record Great Video with Your HD DSLR Camera Recording Sound
How to Record Great Video with Your HD DSLR Camera
No matter how your DSLR handles sound recording, it’s always going to be an issue at some level. Some cameras only have an internal mic and others have limited inputs and manual controls, leaving you with few options to capture truly great sound. In the case of the 5D2, you can install a third-party firmware called Magic Lantern to give you further controls, but if you want total control over your audio you’re going to want to look at dual-system sound.

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