Canon 7D

The dSLR HD Video Persuasion

November 4th, 2009

Canon 7D

As I sit and look above my monitor at the Canon 7D Product photos that I printed and put on my wall (You could call it my dream board), I have been pondering the possibilities that will be realized the day that I have one in my hands. There are constants that I am aware of; the still-photo-taking improvements over my current 20D will certainly be a joy to experience, and all of the late and great features in that respect will be nice, but expected. The one realm of uncertainty is in relation to the HD Video capabilities, which is an area I have not exactly dabbled in before.

I have had a bit of experience when it comes to video, but I’ve never had a camera to myself to try to complete a project of my own. In the past, the equipment available to me to perform such tasks would either be too expensive, or of lower quality than my vision demanded. Now that SLR cameras pack the punch that not only satisfies my inner photographer, I can think about endeavors of the video graphic kind.

While looking at example work that people have been sharing on the internet, I realize my first priority. Sound. It’s to be expected that the camera will deliver good results as far as looks go, as long as the person behind the equipment has an idea what they want to do. However, it seems like many of the nice looking visuals are matched by very poor sound, which in turn gives the overall product an incomplete feeling. Another issue is relying on audio that is not copyrighted by the creator, but that is a separate debate that plenty of other people can have for me. (See here.)

I understand that not everyone will spring for an external microphone, and that most people, including myself, won’t get a super duper video rig to attach their camera to. I do think that some kind of editing attention should go into the audio though, whether it be managing background noise or balancing levels. I’m not exactly an audio professional, but I plan to reach higher when it comes to audio, which I think is something that all of the photographers-turned-videographers should try to do.

As far as the visuals go, I think most would agree that the photographic eye lends itself well to video, as framing and composition in photography is a good skill set to have with video. One thing I’ll want to stray from, just because I see it so much, is close up shallow depth of field rack focusing. Yes, I think that focusing in or out on various subjects at close range to show off the way a photo lens can make anything look amazing has a place, but already I have seen it so much that I don’t want it to be a crutch for me.

The other big deal visually, which is something that is equally important in photography, is color correcting. Yes, raw video captures will have nice accurate color, but having more control over it will add on to the look and feel of what I want to create. This will most likely require learning a new work flow, which is always exciting yet tedious at the same time. There are ways in my head I think things should work, then there is the actual way they work, so it should be interesting to see how I can transfer my method of creation into other tools.

I say this all without the camera in my hand, so I can only imagine what it will be like when I actually have one!