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White Balance & Dead Cats VR 4

Learning the machine:

I had a class Friday at Lozeau on using a DSLR (my Canon EOS Rebel T7i) to create videos. It was the perfect way for me to learn since I had one on one instruction and didn’t feel badly about asking questions and reviewing information since it has been a while since film classes. We did a review of shutter speed, ISO, and aperture settings for film. My teacher advised that with video you should try to keep the shutter speed set and just adjust the ISO. Set the shutter speed so it is generally double the frame rate e.g. 30/60 then use the aperture for effects and light. Generally, I would use ISO 100 outside because there is so much light and you want to keep the ISO as low as possible for better quality video.

We went through the general set up process for shooting--first ideally using a tripod then setting exposure, white balance, and sound recording levels- at low at 20 decibels when using an external mike . I can leave the sound on auto when am not using an external mike but the 2 mikes we used one for the lapel and one a BODE shotgun mike were amazingly sensitive so fun to use and clearly help. I rented them for the weekend but didn’t use them much due to having the flu but will rent them again. The BODE comes with a dead cat which is really useful in Montreal where the wind is non-stop once it starts. I already used it to cover the BODE mike when I was shooting off my balcony on a windy day.

I was unfamiliar with this camera so we did a few sound tests and then did a white balance test- using me as the subject holding a white piece of paper to 'tell' the camera the proper white balance for my indoor shot. I had to review these settings through the custom menu but afterwards he gave me some tips for certain effects e.g. using zoom in on a person to crush the background to keeping the shutter open longer to get the blurry effect.

He also suggested that I keep the stabilizer off when not in use since it drains the battery and always using manual video focus because the camera is not capable of quick enough focusing transitions. It was a great class but a bit nerve wracking renting the mikes since they are expensive and very delicate, but they were fairly easy to use so will get more practice next rental.

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