Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Camera Setup for Videos

While my camera setup isn't terribly impressive (not a pro camera, no gaffer, no grip, and no blonde behind the controls...), I've had some questions about it.  Above my profile in the sidebar is a section with special pages and I added one about The Camera Setup.

What I'll say is that you can do pretty well with any camera (including that decade old DVC) if you light things correctly.  That's my current big hurdle until I make some light-box equivalents.  While I've gotten better on review and project videos, sometimes you frame a shot and say "good enough" as there's a lot of effort in recording and -- moreso -- editing.

If you ever decide to undertake making videos, realize that for a 15 minute clip, you'll likely record 30 minutes between extra material "on the cutting room floor" or retakes.  Whatever you record (30 minutes in this case), count on 3-5 times that in editing time; so 2-2.5 hours in this example.  It isn't that editing is difficult, but the import time, assessment of the clips, editing, and invariably editing out those 20 seconds that put your video over the YouTube 15-minute limit is what makes it long.

As an example, the 4-video series on the MFT totals 55 minutes.  As it had an overhead camera, everything was filmed twice and imported twice.  That 55 minutes was approximately 90 of recording (on each camera).  The editing took very close to 8 hours, which was complicated by merging two camera streams.  Not rocket science, but the double video load slows down editing both in processing and in more complicated work for the user.

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