Videography: The Basics

If you’re wondering how to get started in video, you’ve come to the right place. The Hub, with its hundreds of thousands of members, is a great place to meet and collaborate with other videographers and what better way to learn than with the help of others. Here, we are going to go over the main concepts to keep in mind for when you start making videos yourself.

If you’re serious about getting into video, you’re going to want to invest in a camera with great video capabilities. While your iPhone may shoot excellent video and slow-motion footage, there’s a reason videographers don’t solely use them. When in the market for a camera you are most likely going to come down to the choice between a mirrorless camera and a DSLR. When deciding, it is important to look at reviews and specifications and choose the one that will adapt best to your niche. Mirrorless cameras can be more lightweight but may not include a microphone input. Some DSLRs may have lenses for filmmaking but may not come with an in camera stabilization system. In the end, choose the camera that you feel best suits you. Remember to keep in mind the frame rate capabilities of the camera you choose. The higher the frame rate your camera goes the smoother your slow motion footage will be. Keep in mind that to get relatively smooth slow motion you will want at least 60fps.

Once you have your camera and you turn the dial to video mode you need to go to the settings menu to familiarize yourself with your camera. Most videographers change their film composition to a rather flat, or neutral, setting. While this makes a more bland recording, in terms of color, it allows you more flexibility to add and expand your range of colors in post production. Know where you can change your frame rate, where you choose your audio input and so on.

When you finally start recording video you need to remember one rule; your shutter speed needs to be twice your frame rate. Therefore, if you are shooting 30fps at 1080p your shutter speed needs to be around 60fps. Why? This will give you smoother footage with normal motion blur. In order to stick to this you are going to have to be changing your aperture and ISO settings or apply some ND filters.

The idea of shooting 4K footage right now is all the rage, but do not let this completely influence your decision when choosing your camera or when shooting your videos. While 4K and 2.7K look incredible in 4K televisions, the majority of people do not have them. If you are looking to shoot videos to upload onto Youtube or Vimeo, odds are your audience will be looking at your content on their phones or laptops. Most of which do not have the capability of showing 4K footage and therefore they themselves compress the videos down to 1080p.

4K cameras can be more expensive, especially the ones that shoot at 60fps, therefore worry more that you can shoot in HD at high frame rates and not completely ruin your budget. This is my opinion and your preferences will change depending on your style. If your videos will consist of a lot of slow motion footage or action sports you most likely will want to prioritize a high frame rate, but if you will be doing tutorials in front of the camera at home then you will most likely not need more than 24fps to get the footage you want.

When you’re shooting your videos at home or outside and talking to the camera, it is important for you to remember to have proper lighting. Outside this may be difficult depending on where you are and what you are doing, but if you are giving a tutorial inside of your home, you may want to invest on some lights and diffusers in order to have a properly lit video that appeals to your audience. To learn more about lighting you can read our previous blog here.

Investing on a microphone is also an important step when starting video. Your audience is going to want to hear you loud and clear, not to have to hunch over their laptop speakers to make out what you are trying to say. The microphone you get is up to personal preference. There are two main types of microphones. I refer to them as fixed and unfixed microphones. Fixed microphones are microphones that are usually connected to your camera such as a shotgun microphone or a boom mic. They usually record the audio along with your footage. Unfixed microphones, such as this Zoom Portable Recorder, record the audio separately and you will have to join the audio with the footage in post production. While this may sound like more of a hassle, these microphones allow you to leave your camera on a tripod and for you to be able to stand at a distance while still producing great audio.

To make your videos more exciting and to keep your audience engaged you may want to occasionally plan some takes. Try different camera transitions or different angles of the same shot so that in post you can choose what works best. To have a good work ethic and edit your videos properly you will want something a little more complete than something like iMovie. A large amount of videographers use Adobe Premiere Pro. Premiere Pro lets you organize your footage and audio as well as edit it. While it may be a bit tricky to use at first, once you get the hang of it you’ll be making videos like a pro.

If you are looking to get inspired, to watch some tutorials or get a gist of how many different styles of video making there are, check out Youtube channels like Peter Mckinnon, Casey Neistat, or Thomas Heaton. They all produce great videos but all for a different purpose, different equipment and in their own style.

In the end, it’s your video, your movie, your art. Comment a link to your newest video below to share with the whole community.

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