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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.

Check Also

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19 comments

  1. Austin rocked this video :-)

  2. Looks like you gotta dent in ur forehead :/

  3. Emanuel Guzman-Garcia

    What Nikon lens is this?!?!

  4. Excellent informational video for beginners! ~ THANKS!

  5. you dont need to see your self to focus when vlogging i do all my vlogging on my own i have nikon d3200 so no pop out screen and its easy to focus

  6. Is Sony alpha58 good or canon 1200D? I'm confused btwn dese two! 

  7. What camera is this?

  8. This is very helpful thank you. Im still confused on what camera to buy :(

  9. PerfectSituation2012

    I'm sure someone else has already mentioned this but…..you should never open your aperture all the way, to get the best quality on your lens you should stop it down 2-3 times. :)

  10. Whoa slow down please, youre going too fast lol

  11. OMFG he talks so fast.

  12. Sandra The Vlogger (SandraTheVlogger)

    GREAT TIPS! Just started our channel a few months ago so this helps! :)

  13. that's a hell of a video!!

  14. Thank you. I wanna get me a DSLR to have an improved quality in my vlogs now!

  15. You can have the best camera in the world, but if you have shit lighting it's GOING to look bad.

  16. what kinda camera is that?

  17. you always wanna keep your iso as low as possibile, use the aperture to control the exposure not the iso. and i keep my mirrorless in auto focus with face detection so if i move my hands when i record the camera doesn't change the focus, but if i put like a book or a cellphone in front of the camera it will focus on it, manual focus is great if you don't move at all during your videos, or if you camera is far from you

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