Gear Talk > EOS Bodies - For Video

Where do you start for videos?

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Hello, So i just received my 5D3 and haven't yet played with the video feature yet. I've seen some amazing videos out the 5D2 and 5D3's. So questions for a beginner like myself:

Where do you start? I know the movies use the 24fps
What Lens to use? I own the 50 1.4, 135L f.2, 24-105L
What about the Aperture and Shutter speed values?
What Mode? Manual, Av, TV
Focusing tips/techniques?

Please point me in the right direction.

Thank  You!

Congrats on your new cam. :)

Begin with this (menus will look different on mk III) but the same settings are good for video use:
Philip Bloom setting up a Canon 5D Mark II for video

This may also be of interest:

Knut Skywalker:
I have a 5D2 and I'm starting out with Video also! I found this REALLY amazing show on Youtube and Revision3 which is called FilmRiot and I tell you what...These guys are freaking amazing! Every monday, they now have a so called MondayChallenge, where they give you...well, a challenge and you have to film and edit it. The best ones get picked and are featured on the show! It really helps you to get your *** up and shoot! I'ts just amazing, helped me a lot! They have over 100 episodes with turorials and how-to's on how to get started as a filmmaker. Check it out!

Greetings from Germany!

Congrats, videos are very fun!

Before you get into all the settings and such, you first kind of have to figure out what you're shooting and what you plan to do with the footage you captured.

For example, if you're aiming for something more cinematic looking, you'll probably want to go for 24p and a 1/50 shutter to get that movie look. However, if in the middle of your video you have your character do something like watch a home movie, then you probably want to shoot that 'home movie' with a faster shutter speed to emulate the choppy look of a cheap camcorder. What you want your footage to look like is what determines your settings.

As to HenrikBC's link to the picture style, that one is hard for me to recommend. I certainly do shoot flat, but I also spend tons of time in post. The purpose of a flat picture style is to not "bake" certain camera settings into the footage to get it as neutral as possible. This assumes that you'll spend time to add back in the contrast, saturation, etc. If you won't be doing post production, then the flat style probably won't suit you since the saturation will be gone.

It's like people who shoot in raw, but never do anything with it, just convert to JPG and upload. At that point, just shoot in JPG and get your sharpening, saturation, and contrast in camera and be done with it.

As for tips for focusing: seriously, the only tip is to practice. There is no holy grail for focusing tips. You can study all the great shots and try to emulate their look, but if you don't practice, you'll be focus hunting worse than a contrast detection autofocus in a cave.

For example, I just finished a wedding on Saturday thinking I did alright given the lighting and organizational constraints (as in, no organization. They were all over the place doing things last minute and I scrambled around trying to capture everything). I was reviewing the footage on Monday and I lost some nice shots because of focus. There's this one where I had the bride's back in frame and thought I had the focus on her reflection as she checked out her makeup. All I had in focus? Not the bride's back, not her reflection, but just the freaking mirror! Major fail. I need to focus on focusing.

Anyways, tangent aside, just go out, shoot, edit, have fun. It's the best way to learn.

Neutral really is the best setting (unless you're shooting b camera and your a camera is in log mode in which case you can use cinegamma, but that's a rare situation to be in so don't sweat it!) because of the lack of sharpening (which is poorly implemented) and the color balance is best in neutral; faithful has a bad tint and the rest are all exaggerated and unnatural.  The amount of contrast and saturation are your call based on what look you want.  I keep sharpening at zero but the footage is very soft with this setting; it's still preferable to the halos you get with sharpening, though.  Keep highlight tone priority off to reduce noise in the shadows; keep it on if you have blown highlights (I keep it on always).

This is the best book for video production by far:

It's more for old video and film, but it will give you the idea and you can read it in an hour or two, not that you'll want to because it's surprisingly technical and dense for a beginner's book.

The best single lens would be a 24-70mm f2.8 zoom, imo, but your kit is very appropriate for video.  In general, a set of cinema lenses consists of an 18mm, 25mm, 35mm, 50mm, and 85mm but on the 5D you can multiply those by 1.6X to get the same FOV as super35 and that would be a normal range of focal lengths, 28-135mm (but a 24-105mm zoom will do it, too).  But everyone has different taste.  In my experience, most day exteriors are shot at f4-f5.6, most day interiors at f4, most night interiors at f2.8 and most night exteriors at f2 or thereabouts.  But this varies...David Fincher has recently shot everything wide open and you will see some other movies with very deep focus, obviously, but this is a good starting point, imo.  Use 1/50 shutter (or 1/60 if your source flickers) and ND filters to control your stop.  By a full kit at 77mm:  .3, .6, .9, 1.2, etc. and a polarizer or a variable ND if you don't care about color shifts and step up rings to 77mm for all your lenses with smaller threads.  But the 5D has a bigger sensor than cinema cameras so you can stop down a stop more to get the same depth of field.

Good lighting and camera support (tripod, dolly) will help.  Renting is cheap, too, if you ever need other gear.  The 5DIII isn't great but it's very good for video for the price.  You can do anything with it and a few good lights and lenses.


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