I'm starting a documentary project of sorts. My main area of expertise is video editing, but I'm being asked to do some filming. One camera we'll be using is the Nikon D5200. Our filming will include interviews and filler shots (people discussing a topic, or working on a project). We may be doing outside shots, but that will come later. For now, it's basic indoor shooting, no low-light issues that I can think of. Could anyone give me some ideas as to the best video settings for filming something like this? Or really, just the best basic video settings.
I've watched some videos and I'm seeing 1080p at 24p. Does that sound good? Any other settings I should know about?
Well, my first advise is to set the white balance on "PRE" and white on a 18% grayboard, that gives the best collors anyway.
My second advise is to use 160 ISO for filming, and us 1080/25 frames at least.
Further you can play with the shutter speed and iris to get the picture you like the most.
But please use at least a 3 point lightning to make the subject comming out in the right way. Personaly i reject any interview with a single light setup. As basic you can take a key light 100%, fill light 50% and the headlight on 25%. Then you got a good looking subject with nice shadows. But experiment with light and make your girlfriend nut till you have the picture you like to have
Okay thanks! I understand the lighting setup. In the little filming that I have done, that's one thing I picked up. I do have one quick question on lighting: when doing outside shots or interviews, what basic lighting setup would be best? I've only done inside shooting.
For outside filming an interview situation, the best is to put the subject with there back to the sun and use a reflector to light the front. The reflector you use as key light, the sun is head light and the inviorment light is fill light then. So you create a 3 point lightning again. But!!! you have to move forward or backward with the reflector to create the 100/50/25 % setting again. Measure the light on the 18% graycard that somebody keeps in front of the face. In this way you get a good measurement. Also do the white balance on the graycard again, unless you want to make the face warmer or colder, then you can use the installed white balance settings.
An other trick is to white with a silver reflector, and while shooting you can use the gold reflector. But once again, it depands what mood you want to create.
An other tip for outside is to use a polarisation filter, to make the sky look nicer blue, but it is also handy for when you want to film somebody with glases, so you take the shiny out of the glass. I use polarisation standard, inside to but i must admit i got a lot of light to work with. Polaristion filters bring the light 3 stops down. But with a polarisation inside you can also pull up your ISO to 250. But try first to set your shutter speed lower.
An other tip for when you shoot outside is to film on 30 frames per second, because outside there is a lot movements.
Sat 04-Jan-14 01:59 AM | edited Sat 04-Jan-14 02:03 AM by sydneymyers
I don't know much about filters and shutter speed. I'm doing good to pick up the basics. I'm hoping a video expert will be there, but I want to make sure I'm prepared. I like the tip on shooting at 30 fps when outside though.
One more question: what about depth of field and manual focus stuff - what tips or settings would you recommend for that? ie. if I want to be more focused on the person and have the background out of focus or change focus objects while filming.
In an interview the eyes are always the center of the DOF, so you put sharp on the eyes. If you want to make the background unsharp then take a iris from 3.5 or 2.8 if you got. Most standard lenses do nothing more then 4.0 or 5.6. If that is the case, make the distance to the background bigger so you get the same effect but this is not always possible because of the composition of the picture. If you do have old lenses from nikon with a manual iris from 1.8, then that would be great. The only point is that you must work manual with everything. Personaly i like to work with the old canon lenses where i bought a adapter for to connect it on my nikon, but the result is great. Outside you have an EV Exposure Value) from between the 12 and 14, so you can raise your shutter speed up when you are shooting video. Lowering your ISO i wont advise, because the internal buffer from a dslr is very limited and the cmos can handle 160 ISO the best in video mode. Another point is to use something like a 80mm or 100mm(max) lens for interview, so the face is not blown up.
Follow focus is a feeling you must get before you can use it. When you want to change the focus from one point to the other you need to practice it a few times to get the feeling over the lens, and where you start point and end point is. Practice it at home with two bottles on the table wit 1 meter between and your iris at 2.8 and then try to move the focus in 3 second from one to the other. This looks easy but it is harder to do then you think. But when you got the feeling, you can do it in 2 or 1 second to, because most of such moves less 2 seconds to make it nice and smooth.