It’s something we’ve been hearing in the worlds of both photography and video for years. Ever since digital became a thing, so did “Oh, we’ll fix it in post”. But most of the things that we often choose to fix in post can more easily be fixed in-camera on the day. Sure, it might take an extra 5 or 10 minutes of your time, but it could shave hours off your post production.
In this video from the guys at Aputure, we see five reasons why you should definitely fix things in-camera, and not rely on post for.
- Vision Perfection – If you see something, say something. We all get things that show up in our shots that we don’t notice until after we’ve shot it. A light stand here, a piece of trash there. Fix it at the time and shoot it again.
- Auto White Balance will turn on you – This isn’t so much an issue if you’re shooting raw (whether stills or video), but if you’re shooting jpg or non-raw video footage, you’re going to get much better results if your camera’s white balance is correct and consistent from shot to shot. It’s not so easy to tweak in post if you need your colours perfect.
- Motion tracking Issues – Motion tracking is a slow and laborious process. And it might often fail completely if it’s not shot right. If you’re going to be motion tracking your shot, plan it in advance. And going back to #1, don’t rely on motion tracking to remove things from the scene in post that you should’ve removed before you hit record.
- Stop cropping and scaling – Cropping and scaling in the edit completely changes the composition. You shot the composition you wanted on the date because that’s the shot you wanted. Let cropping be a creative choice, and not a decision made out of necessity. Mic boom dropped in the shot? Shoot it again.
- Clients won’t wait for you to fix your mistakes – Clients know that turnaround times aren’t as long as they used to be. If you shot it right, you can deliver it quickly. But if you’re adding days or weeks onto your post time to cover up your screwups, your clients aren’t going to be happy.
With the exception of the motion tracking one, these apply to both stills and video. The first one is the hardest one I found to deal with shooting stills on location. I’d be too focused on my subject and completely ignore the details in the background ruining the shot. I learned the hard way, with a lot of hours spent in Photoshop that I need to keep tabs on that and fix things while still out on location.
Look for it, fix it, and do it again.
These aren’t the only reasons to fix things in-camera rather than in post. There are plenty more.
What if it’s not fixable in post? If you go back to shoot it again another day, it might be impossible to recreate the location shot you need exactly. I’ve had to re-record entire videos before now because of this.
It also costs you money. You can’t charge your client for the post time to cover up your in-camera screw ups. And you can’t sell that time to another client because you’re busy.
What other reasons do you have for fixing it in-camera and not in post?