Learning to Shoot DSLR Video

Five weeks ago yesterday I underwent open surgery to repair two hernias.  Recovery, I was told, would take at least six weeks.

During that time I could not carry heavy rucksacks of video kit and tripods.

I've always considered working in television to be be a binary condition: you were either fit enough to work fourteen hour days and cope with whatever the shoot threw at you, or you were not.

If you couldn't handle any and everything, stay home.

In the freelance game there's no such thing as an easy booking.  So I've kept the bookings diary on my website clear until well into November.

To use my time productively I decided to learn how to shoot video on a DSLR camera, specifically a new Canon 5d mark 3.

Until now I've always shot on cameras with small sensors.  Good cameras, you understand, like my much loved Canon XF305 on which we shot Volume 3 - Sea Kayak with Gordon Brown and which I use regularly on shoots for the BBC.

For a long time now I have wanted to learn how to use a full frame sensor camera to get that much valued shallow depth of field.

My ideal video camera in this category is the Canon C300.  Once fully tricked out, it's out of my price range for now and I'm not good enough to make the most of it.

I know, I've tried.

The Canon 5D mk3 is a much cheaper compromise, especially if you buy a grey import here as I did.

The EF lenses it uses will fit the C300 and frankly, it's much harder to use for video.  After all, it's a stills camera.  If I can make this thing work for video then the C300 ought to be easier.

I could have bought a cheaper, more modern 'starter' DSLR video camera, but I'm thinking long term.  And an unexpected by-product is that I'm rekindling my love of stills photography.

I'll write more about the kit I've bought, the tutorials I've used, how it's working and hopefully post some video.  Once I've produced something which you might want to see.

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