January 5, 2015 at 2:57PM

4

DSLR cinematography essentials

What are the essential tools you need for shooting films with a DSLR?
Lenses, rigs, lighting, everything!
What do you need?

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It all depends on your budget and how big your crew is. But here are a few common issues...

Audio : Most DSLR cameras have poor audio support, which means you have to either rig your camera to record better audio (like a good external mic preamp that can feed high quality audio signals to your camera) or use a separate audio recorder to capture sound that will be sync'd with your footage in post. Good audio means using high quality low-noise mic preamps and high quality microphones. The price range is huge for this type of gear, so it all comes down to what your budget is. ( you can also rent audio gear, but it can get expensive if you have to do this a lot )

Camera Cage : Mounting your DSLR camera in a proper cine cage allows you to mount monitors, audio gear, 15mm rails for a follow-focus and matte-box, etc... What ever you get just make sure it's strong enough that it won't flex or come-apart while shooting.

Tripod : You will want a tripod with a good fluid head that can properly balance a wide range of camera gear when mounted on it. The better quality fluid heads will maintain proper balance no matter what direction you point your camera in, so you never have to lock the head while shooting as it will hold position when you let go of the pan handle. This is also important when trying to get smooth tracking shots of your actors as they move about your set. ( I went through 7 different tripod/head combos until I finally found one that I was happy with )

The rest of the gear you need will all depend on your budget. ( i.e. you can buy a $500 daylight balanced 1x1 LED light, or you can buy a $5,000 daylight balanced compact HMI light. They both serve the same purpose, but each light has unique features )

January 6, 2015 at 12:56PM

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Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer
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