Advanced Shooting Modes in dSLR Cameras
Built-In versus an External Flash for a dSLR Camera
What to Put in Your Camera Bag

A Workflow for Making Movies with Your dSLR Camera

You can use your dSLR camera to shoot video and make your own movies. Develop a moviemaking workflow that meets your needs. Try this one on for size.

  1. Set up.

    This includes the following:

    • Format the memory card.

    • Make sure you have a charged battery.

    • Set up any additional lighting.

    • Prepare your subjects.

    • Mount the camera on a tripod.

    • Get things ready to shoot.

  2. Choose your creative settings.

    That includes the following:

    • Set a Creative/Picture Style, or scene, if desired.

    • Set the white balance.

    • Turn on any of dynamic range enhancements.

    • Change the metering mode if you like.

  3. Set the movie or exposure mode.

    You may have to set your camera to a special movie mode to shoot movies. In that case, you can’t directly set the exposure controls.

    If you have the capability, set the camera to a desired exposure mode:

  4. Set up your camera's movie-making settings.

    You can find these options are in your camera's menu.

  5. Enable audio.

    Set levels now, if you like, or do that right before you start shooting. You can leave Audio on Auto and let the camera handle it.

  6. Set up Live view.

    Make sure the Live view display shows what you want to see. You may want to turn on the grid, for example, or turn off as many details as you can to clean up the display.

  7. Set the focus mode.

    Switch to auto or manual focus, depending on your preference. If you’re using autofocus, set the Live view or Movie mode (which includes things like face detection).

  8. Set the exposure controls.

    This includes the following, given the mode you've chosen:

  9. Frame the scene.

  10. Focus.

  11. Begin shooting.

  12. Monitor the recording.

    Check things like the following:

    • How long you have been recording.

    • Exposure.

    • Battery level.

    • Camera heat indicator.

  13. Stop when you’re done.

    Review your movie to make sure you have what you need. At a minimum, check for the following:

    • Exposure.

    • Audio.

    • Focus.

    • Framing.

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