Setting up your DSLR
Step 2: Getting the camera ready to shoot
When you first get your DSLR camera, there are a few settings you can change that will give you a better image.
Some cameras need the video functionality to be enabled. If you have a Canon 5D, you’ll need to set it up to shoot video.
To set up your Canon 5D to shoot video:
- Hit the Menu button
- Select the Live View/Movie func. set
- Select LV func. setting
- Choose Stills+movie then Movie display
To get the best image, you’ll need to change a few settings. This isn’t required, but we recommend it. The following instructions are for most Canon DSLR cameras, there are similar settings for other brands as well.
- Go into your Menu
- Select Picture Style
- Select User Def 1
- Change your picture style to Neutral
- Turn Contrast all the way down
- Turn the Saturation down two notches
Knowing how to change your frame rate is important to achieve different looks from your camera.
A frame rate is the frequency at which your camera will capture each frame of footage. Since videos are made up of still images put together, the faster your frame rate, the more images are taken.
The most common frame rates are 24, 25, 30, 50, and 60. Using 24 fps will give you a film look while using 50 or 60 fps will allow you to have great looking slow motion video by slowing it down in post production. For the same look you see on television shows or documentaries, use 25 or 30fps. Like any of your cameras settings, using and changing them is what will give you the best idea of what you like and what works best for you.
To change your frame rate:
- Go into your Menu
- Select Movie rec. size
- Choose from the options
Europe has a different set of frame rates than the United States. If you're in Europe and other countries, use PAL frame rates. If you're in the United States and much or North America, you'll want to use NTSC. The reason for the difference is actually due to the way electricity is transmitted. Check your camera's manual for specific instructions on switching between NTSC and PAL.
Check out the other episodes in this series:
- DSLR Accessories
Accessories are important as you start shooting. Learn about what you definitely…
- DSLR Lenses
If you're new to shooting with a DSLR, here are some things you'll need…
- Introduction to DSLR Cameras
New to shooting with a DSLR? Maybe you're thinking about getting one? We'll…
- Nighttime Shooting with a DSLR
Shooting at night with your DSLR? This lesson will give you the tips for making…
- Recording sound for DSLRs
Recording high quality sound for your DSLR can be tricky business. Here are a few…
- Setting up your DSLR
This lesson covers a few simple changes you can make to your camera settings in…
- Shooting video with a DSLR
Keys to understanding your camera settings and how to start shooting great video…
- Timelapse with a DSLR
Learn how to make a basic timelapse video with your DSLR.
Ready for a challenge?
So do you feel confident enough to go out and shoot something? Philip has a great starting challenge for you called "An Object." Find an object and film it so that it's interesting! Use all the techniques you learned, keeping in mind your white balance, ISO settings, and frame rate. Keep your video under two minutes and really push your boundaries with framing and DOF. Watch Phil's example video here.Accept this challenge
This lesson covers a few simple changes you can make to your camera settings in order to get the best looking footage for your DSLR!
New to Video School? Read our Frequently Asked Questions.
Browse by Category
Submit Your Tutorial
Most of the video tutorials in our Video School lessons come from Vimeo members. If you have a tutorial you'd like to share, please submit it here.