How To Use A Remote Shutter Release to Start and Stop Video Recording on Your Nikon Camera

I have been filming a lot of tutorial videos lately, and one of the problems that I keep running into is starting and stopping video recording on my own.

This usually involves me walking over to the camera, pressing record and then walking back into position to film the video.  I have tried using a stick, but I am not nearly that coordinated and it risks messing up the alignment of the shot.  I have also tried bribing my children, but their quoted rates were a little higher than this production can afford.

The problem is especially frustrating if I have to focus the camera, in which case I usually build a little focusing dummy out of pillows or beer cases or cats.

how to start and stop video recording using a remote shutter release

Fortunately, if you are a Nikon user, there is a relatively simple solution.

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The Case for Field Monitors

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I’m a convert.

Not to any particular religion, but instead to the idea that a field monitor is the most important piece of equipment you can have on a video shoot after the camera, a lens and some kind of support.

This represents a sea change in my worldview. As a still photographer for decades, until recently I thought the bane of my video production existence was audio. But a Zoom H4n, a shotgun, a couple of lavs and a wireless system later, I’ve changed my mind.

And that’s because while I took for granted my ability to obtain tack-sharp focus every time, I’ve learned the hard way once again that assumptions are the mother of all screw-ups.

Turns out it was easier to focus in the good old days of film, manual lenses, split image rangefinders, and coarse microprisms on ground glass than it is today through on-board electronic viewfinders (EVFs) and LCDs.

There’s a reason why third party EVF’s and monitors are so popular.

I recently had the opportunity to review a 7.7” diagonal field monitor, and it was a revelation (no religious undercurrent intended).

Why?

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DIY: Slider (With Bearings) For Under $100

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Time and again we show our love for sliders as creative tools. They provide some sweet production value at little cost and effort. Now most DIY sliders that we feature here are either friction based (with the build trying to minimise friction) or aligned-skating-wheels based. It is kinda rare to see a build with the smoothness of bearings. And this one by Jones Oliver is under $100.

With more and more people turning into makering, more maker-dedicated shops are popping around and Jones mostly used the parts from one of those stores for his build:

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Learn How To Make A Cinemagraph Using Photoshop In Under Two Minutes

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Make moving photos in minutes with this quick tutorial.

Have some cool b-roll laying around that you’ve been wanting to something with? In this sweet, but short video tutorial by Howard Pinsky, we learn how to turn video footage into a cinemagraph or “moving photo” fairly easily using Adobe Photoshop.

In Pinsky’s example, he has footage of traffic moving down a busy road that’s full of bright, flashing signs and advertisements. To make the  signage less distracting, Pinsky uses a mask to “freeze” the blinking lights, resulting in an image in which only the movement of the cars is visible. Take a look at the video, then read on for a breakdown of the steps. [Read more...]

Everything You Wanted To Know About Codecs And Why They Matter

If you’ve done any video work in your life, there is more than a slight chance that you were staring at Adobe Premiere (or Avid, Or Final Cut) export screen and drooling a bit while you were trying to understand what the heck all those dials on the screen mean.

David Kong just release what I would as the best primer to codecs I have ever seen.

David covers everything from what codecs are (compression and decompression); what is the difference between a codec and a container; what are the pros and cons of using each codec and touches a bit about his workflow.

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Adorable Seal Wants In On The GoPro Action, Photobombs Surf Session

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The surfing seal saying cheese(!!!) to the GoPro.

Like a lot surfers, Matthew Stanley uses a GoPro to capture his surf sessions so he can relive the memory on dry land. The sessions aren’t all remarkable, but every once in a while the surfer has an exceptionally notable day. Take, for example, this past Sunday when Matthew Stanley and Andrew Flounders had a surprise visit in the UK from a seal who clearly wanted to show off for the GoPro.
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Run And Gun Video Rig For $180

I am doing a lot of self hosted videos, and while I love doing those videos, up until now there were two things about them I absolutely hated: Setting up and controlling the camera.

My setup check list was longer that I wanted it to be for a run and gun interview or a self hosted video, it included setting the camera on a tripod and starting to run back and forward between the camera and my mark to frame and focus the shot. I’d usually bring a nano light stand just for that – to assist me with framing myself in the shot and focusing the camera. The other thing I hated was starting and stopping the camera. As a Nikon shooter (D7000) I simply had no way around repeating this for every shot and take: walk to camera; start recording; walk to my mark; do my thing; walk back to the camera; stop recording. It was a nightmare.

I recently changed the way I work in two ways: video setup and audio.

firstly I bought a TPlink MR3040 router which I can use to frame, focus, start and stop the recording. The second thing that changed is that I started using a Rode Video mic pro for my audio. It records directly into the camera (which some will say is a wrongest thing to do to audio, but for what I do, it is more than enough).

Here is the breakdown of my setup: [Read more...]

FFMPEG Adds Support For Magic Lantern RAW Video – On The Way For A Smoother Workflow

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About a year ago the Magic Lantern team took they RAW video recording into the next level providing their own native format – MLV (Magic Lantern Video). While this format could be used to record RAW video the workflow to getting it to PRORES format was a bit cumbersome.

Yesterday, FFmpeg did the first commit to their code-base which to support the MLV format. This could mean great things for the Magic Lantern team. Mostly because FFmpeg is the engine running the video part of many open source programs.

ML’s g3gg0 shares how this came to be (and highlight the importance of open-source royalties-free formats in the process): [Read more...]

Copying Large Video File Across Devices/Drives? This Is How To Make Sure You Don’t Goof Up

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Whether your are a professional photographer or an aspiring photo enthusiast a day will come, when you will need to transfer all your valuable multimedia materials from one storage location to another!

Obviously, a single copy & paste or drag & drop should do the trick! However, please be aware that any backup or data replication scheme is composed of two integral parts: copying and verification!

The fact that you see a complete file list after a quick, copy and paste operation does not ensure the data that you have copied from the source location to the target destination are not corrupted!

You may wonder why have I written this post in the first place? Well, as a matter of fact I have found myself in a position where I needed to send via air mail an USB stick with video material to one of the media agencies we collaborated with. The assignment came literally last minute, and the deadline was within 4 days. [Read more...]

Getting a Complete Day Of Battery power For a camera and Monitor for $150

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If you were not satisfied with the 9 hours battery solution we shared last week, Caleb Pike shares an even better solution that not only lasts more than a day of shooting HD on a DSLR, but it can also power a monitor for that day.

The solution is build around a (bit shaky) NP-F970 Battery Adapter which is compatible with Canon in via a similar adapter to the one we showed last week.

Now Caleb is pretty upfront about the build quality of the unit which apparently is not that awesome, but on the flip side of it, it is very budget friendly. [Read more...]