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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Gear Up For Video

A look at some of the key accessories one pro uses to make top-quality HD video with his DSLR

This Article Features Photo Zoom

Litepanels MicroPro
Flash doesn’t work for video. However, LED light panels have arrived, and they’re excellent tools for adding light to a subject. These light sources are typically daylight-balanced and run off of small batteries, so they’re compact and easy to take into the field. I particularly like them for shooting close-ups for video and still photos.

Flashpoint VL112
The well-made and highly controllable Litepanels MicroPro (www.litepanels.com) is a compact, yet very bright light that’s easily packed into a camera bag. The Flashpoint VL112 is another compact, lightweight LED panel you can try (www.adorama.com).

Marshall LCD Monitor
If you want the absolute best view of your video as you shoot, look into a separate LCD monitor. Typically, these are lightweight, five- to seven-inch LCDs that plug into your camera and let you see what the camera is seeing. You do need to check to be sure what your camera can display. Some cameras put out an HD, high-quality signal for this purpose, but others only put out a lower-resolution SD video signal. Marshall Electronics LCD monitors (www.lcdracks.com) have a great reputation in the video industry for their excellent clarity and color, as well as including unique features not found on your camera LCD, such as exposure and focus aids.

IS Lenses And Video

Image stabilization got its start with video, and it can help with video when shooting DSLRs. There are some limitations, however.

Most image stabilization is designed for still photography, meaning that it works optimally with one shot at a time, not necessarily continuously.
2. Image stabilization takes out some jerkiness to video, but it doesn’t remove all movement. Overuse of a handheld camera with image stabilization can make viewers literally get motion sickness because the gentle movement that does show up is a lot like movement on a boat.
3. Image stabilization works well with handheld rigs that add a bit of their own stabilizing influence.
4. Image stabilization uses up a lot of battery power when used continuously with video.
5. Image stabilization works well with wider focal lengths shot with video. Telephoto lenses with video, even with image stabilization, just move around too much without some added help such as a shoulder mount or monopod.

Rob Sheppard blogs regularly at the OP blog at www.outdoorphotographer.com and at www.natureandphotography.com.


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