Top 5 Beginner Tips for Vlogging with a DSLR Camera



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Triple S, ep. 155

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While attending Vidcon this weekend, I caught up with my friend Austin Evans who is a tech reviewer on YouTube. He helped me with this Savvy Tuesday episode to talk about some of the basic things you need to know if you want to upgrade to a more professional camera for recording videos, specifically a DSLR model.

So learn along with me as Austin shows us how to get started with a DSLR quickly and easily.

1. Preparing Your Manual Settings
The best way to get great footage from your DSLR is to know your manual settings and get them where they need to be. Auto isn’t going to be a good way to get the best result, so avoid that. The three most important settings are aperture, shutter speed and ISO.

Aperture is just how much light is coming in through the lens. You may find you want to open and close this setting but generally speaking you should leave it all the way open. On the camera in the video, this setting is 4.

Shutter speed is how long the camera’s shutter is open; it’s exposure time. It’s easiest to just have this set on 1/60th of a second for optimum footage and the adjust as you like when you learn more about what it will do for your videos.

ISO is essentially a way to brighten up your picture. Once you get too high it’s not going to look very good so usually the lower the ISO the better, but don’t be afraid to push it depending on your atmosphere. ISO 1600 is usually a good setting, but if you can get it lower that’s great too.

2. Learning How To Manual Focus
The lens of your camera is a very important element of how your footage will appear. Like said in the previous section , it’s not ideal to set your camera to auto, so getting your camera in place and moving the dials on the lens to get your subject in just the right focus will just take some testing on your part.

3. Understanding Your Audio Options
With a great camera means having great audio. The built-in mic on DSLR’s are just for the sake of having audio. They aren’t ideal for the best product for your footage. One great go-to mic that we also used in this video is the Rode Video Mic. It picks up sound very clearly, especially hear where we were a couple feet away from the camera.

4. Adjusting Your Lens Options
Your camera does come with a kit lens if you purchase it that way. This is a great starter lens, but usually you’ll want to step up to higher end glass for a more beautiful product. Austin says that the go-to lens you really need in your bag is the 50 mm 1.8. It has a very wide aperture which let’s in a lot of light which makes it great for filming in dark places. It also has great depth of field which is awesome if you like the blown out background look.

5. Getting the Right Lighting
Now that you have a great camera, you want to make sure you have the lighting that will help it be at it’s best when you’re filming. But don’t worry because it doesn’t mean you have to run out and buy even more gear. Natural sunlight, both outside or near a window in your home/office, is a great way to get optimum lighting for your subject. You could even use a place in your home like the kitchen where there are a lot of lights present. Try to avoid orange lamps, like ones we often seen with ceiling fans, because it will make the subject be offset in their natural color. You can also use LED panels like I do to level out my lighting options or even check out Amazon for some lightboxes if you really want to buy the ideal setup.

it's not cool anymore is it no it's not what's up socials happy Savi Tuesday I'm at VidCon 2013 with my good friend Austin Evans of the Austin Evans YouTube channel you review tech and things and such taken things all the things that I don't know anything about today we're gonna talk about something that is very important to me you guys know I use a Canon Powershot I have not switched to a DSLR and I really like my power shot and I really like that it's quick to use so today we're gonna talk about the top 5 things you need to know when you're transitioning into using a DSLR so you don't get freaked out by learners curve like me so Austin's gonna teach both of us some things today hopefully yes hopefully so first we're gonna talk about manual settings yeah so here cuz I don't like auto anything yeah so that's one thing that probably the biggest like as far as like learning curve is learning how to manual control do you use manual controls on DSLR because you can put in auto mode it has an auto mode but you really don't want to do that yeah the way to get the best footage out of it is just to do a couple simple manual controls so there's a lot of stuff and it can be really overwhelming but really the main three things you need to look at our aperture ISO and shutter speed basically apertures just how much light is coming into the lens there are reasons that you will want to close the aperture open aperture all that kind of stuff generally speaking though leave it all the way open so this for example the maximum aperture on this lens is at 4 leave it on f/4 don't touch it unless you know what you're doing but when you're first starting out just make sure the lenses is white up as possible pulling it as much light as you can so obviously your video looks better basically shutter speed is how much light is coming in and how long each frame is and that's a really bad example and try to keep it simple a lot of cameras like when I shake my hand around like this and you guys might not be able to – oh but there's gonna be a little bit of blur on the camera right here and that's I should a good thing because that it kind of helps your eyes kind of see because a video is just a series of pictures very very quickly and if you have like here here here here as opposed to a little bit of blur it kinda pulls it all together so generally speaking when you're filming with a DSLR you want to select the shutter speed of 160th of a second that's a great overall thing that's generally what you know most cameras will be able to do and it will look really good obviously sometimes you can experiment like if you're filming in a very Darkplace turning that down will be a great way to get a bit more light if you're filming outside you're probably going to want to have to you know crank the shutter speed up but generally speaking one sixtieth of a second shutter speed is gonna be good to go I know the last thing is going to be ISO now this one is kind of like you know when you go into Photoshop and you would just like the brightness yeah and you can crank the brightness up but it'll start getting kind of bad that's kind of what ISO is so it's basically just digital gain so when you turn the ISO up your image or your video is going to look brighter but the higher you push it the worse it's going to look so generally speaking the lower the ISO the better however don't be afraid to push it so most DSLRs ISO 1600 is going to be a good thing obviously you'll you want if you can get lower but for example we're right here probably funny what like ISO 800 or something it's gonna be fine so the ISO is kind of what I use to expose so usually I'll leave the aperture wide open set to one sixtieth of a second and to actually get the right kind of balance of you know brightness and explosion all that kind stuff just adjust with the ISO so that's really the main thing is if you're just starting use the ISO kind of say okay you know it's a little too dark you know bring it up a notch up little too bright bring it back down a notch that's the main thing you want to use for exposure let everything else pretty much the same way and it gets you some really nice footage without asking to go all kinds of crazy and you learn how to tweak every little tiny setting on your camera okay so now we have our settings so the second thing we need to know is manual focus yes on that crazy lens yeah so manual focus is another thing you really do need to learn with DSLR this is I should probably the one of the bigger things as far as like the learning curve with normal cameras you point at it and it handles it right it figures out the focus everything but with a DSLR for taking pictures yeah it's got great autofocus for video not so much there's a lot of glass in here you gotta move it all that kind of stuff so basically you really need to learn how to use manual focus with the DSLR now for one of the things is like for example you film a lot of videos by yourself you've got a frame yourself so it helps to have like some kind of like flip out screen or some kind of external monitor you have to really know whether or not the camera has that feature or not yes you need it yeah you can buy external monitors so like you use like HDMI I'll go like mount on the camera and that's actually what I use with this camera but just learning how to manual focus is important because especially with the DSLR the depth of field or the the amount of stuff that's in focus is actually pretty small so if you get that eye focus off a little bit you'll be all blurry and so not anything crazy but just kind of keep in mind that the camera is not gonna do that for you so you need to learn just hate that little thing on the lens it's like I hurt you just adjust it get it right you'll be good to go okay so for number three we're gonna talk about audio because you have the ability to is there a built-in mic or you can use external I know you can do that too but okay so generally a yeah most DSLRs will have a microphone and you can use that but they're small they're not really that great and again that's one of the nice things about a DSLR you can get some very very professional stuff so you can use the inbuilt ma the internal mic if you'd like what I usually like to do is connect some kind of external audio so for right now for example we're using a rode videomic it's super simple you just drop it into a hot shoe right there and then you plug it into the microphone input you're pretty much done you can use the auto for that usually is fine until you can't get used to it you can just set Auto settings so the can will figure out exactly like how to set everything up basically it's just a little bit of a way of getting better audio so for number four I know the lens in and of itself is complicated so we should probably talk about the fact that these cameras come well if you buy it that way they can come with dance or you can get another kind of lens to do different things so what can we talk about there so one of the nice things about the SLR is that you can change the lens to whatever you want they're literally these are film cameras so there are literally 50 60 years of different lenses that you can use on your camera in fact sometimes you get some old lenses will give you kind of like this kind of cool vintage look but there's tons of different options yeah so basically the big thing is like you said most cameras will come with what's known as a kit lens use just like an 18 millimeter 255 it's a good it's a good starter lens because it's a little bit wide you can zoom it in a little bit but generally speaking you're gonna want to step up to some higher-end glass that kind of will give you better looks because one of the big things is with the DSLR the lens is a huge part of it right so you can just look at the specs or whatever but sometimes a lens it might look at two identical to something that costs a tenth of the price but you actually put on the camera you'll see it's clear it's crisper it pulls in more light something but generally speaking lenses are very important one of the big things I love especially if you're first getting into a DSLR is to use the kit lens that comes with it it's generally about a hundred dollars if it doesn't come with your camera great lens to start with and also a 50 millimeter 1.8 lens so a 50 millimeter is a kind of like a medium it's kind of like a standard lens is what it's called because it's about this right kind of like zoom like like your eyes almost the big thing with the 50 millimeter lens is that generally speaking they're gonna have a very wide aperture which was what we were talking about earlier basically it'll let a lot more light in than say your kit lens so that means that you can film in darker places you can turn your ISO – I'll make your video a little bit cleaner and it also has awesome depth of field so if you like that kind of look and like blowing out the background and kind of making it look really cool 50 is great generally they're anywhere between 100 and 200 dollars depending on if you're using Canon or Nikon or some other brand but 50 millimeter lenses I don't care if you've got ten thousand dollars with a camera gear something you should pretty much always keep in your bag especially if you're first getting started awesome way to kind of get your your lens portfolio kind of kicked out yeah I really like that okay so let's talk about really cheap options for lighting because the point of this cameras for the picture to look good so you have to have good lighting but you also don't have to go by all these other things so what can we do in that situation first thing you can use free light so that includes like maybe filming in front of a window so you get some nice sunlight and in fact suddenly is actually really nice to shoot with it's very soft to kind of you know generally gun makes you or you're cycling with sunlight that I use in my videos has actually made my camera seem like a better camera absolutely lighting is huge yeah yeah so that's one big thing another thing another free option is film maybe if you have like a kitchen with a lot of like nice lights or you have some lamps whatever like on stuff because while lighting is important lighting is everywhere you know every single room in your house has some lights here and there one thing is though to keep in mind is that like for example some lights and some things are very Orange II yeah that can kind of come off bad on videos especially like most like ceiling fans and that kind stuff will have this very warm light which doesn't really work with cameras it makes you look kind of oh yeah exactly so you kind of pick the light but generally speaking you're gonna have lots of like desk lamps a lock on stuff which we're just fine for video there are also some very cheap kind of options like you mean go to like your hardware store and pick up like some shop lights usually those aren't that expensive they can get hot go get you some nice cheap lights and then beyond that you can go a little bit more professional like softboxes LED panels actually you use an LED panel right yes I do I do have that so that's and that's been nice because my keep my um my cameras next to a window where the Sun comes in smooth to the side so it levels out the light exact by bringing it so you're already using natural light and you're also using an LED to kind of fill in like what would have been like you know they'd sit out exactly okay that's all for today I am slightly less overwhelmed about getting a DSLR Thank You Austin for explaining all that stuff thanks for having me yeah you guys should check him out on his channel youtube.com slash Austin Evans he talks about all the things sometimes cameras lots of times tablets and phones and yeah lots of PC name all that kind if you like that his videos are incredible so check them out and if you enjoyed this I hope you'll come back tomorrow for sexy Wednesday I have a special interview with Taco Bell and the sexy things they do for their social media so subscribe and come back then and do it all our social stuff in the description we'll see you tomorrow

45 thoughts on “Top 5 Beginner Tips for Vlogging with a DSLR Camera

  1. Hi Amy….I am shooting my videos with a DSLR and a very expensive lens. I have 2 problems.
    1. how to I get it to FOCUS on me if I am alone shooting and I am 10 feet away from the camera? once I videotaped myself and I was blurry because it did not focus on my face. How do I get it to focus if I am shooting alone and 10 feet away from the camera.

    2. I purchased a high speed large capacity san disk memory card…but it stopped taping 15 minutes into the shoot and I LOST the rest of the video footage because it stopped taping. Do you know why that happened? The card wasn't full either.

    Thanks so much. Just bought your book….Loving it!!

    Anna

  2. 1/48-1/50 of a sec, don't crack up shutter speed, get an adjustable ND FILTER to make a screen darker , try to never turn ISO up over 1,000 EVER…. do it and you'll see why… get and lav mic or shotgun mic

  3. I need new lens for my DSLR, it's a nikon, I had it set up in my room on a tripod and went to the bathroom at night and knocked the whole thing over. Please sugestions for good nikon lens for vlogging and music videos.

  4. Don't get the 50mm unless you have a full frame camera. If you have an APS-C size camera it will be zoomed in to much for vlogging but does make a good portrait lens. You need something like a 28mm or 35mm lens to get the same result.

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