So, you got yourself a brand new camera. Congratulations! I’m sure you’re anxious to go out and shoot with it, but there are some things you should do first, in order to make the best out of your new toy. Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter gives you a list of ten things he does before shooting with a new camera, and they’ll help you make all future shoots successful and more efficient.
Breaking down how much you should charge for video work
Charging for video work, especially when you’re quite new to dealing with clients, can often be quite difficult. You don’t want to quote ridiculously high and scare off the potential client. But you also don’t want to quote far too low and risk not being taken seriously. Or, worse, them accepting it and you making no money for your time and effort.
So, how much should you charge? In this video, Caleb Pike chats with producer and director Corbyn Tyson about how to price up and quote for a video shoot. Now, every client’s needs will be different, and you’ll need to adapt this to your own workflow, but it should give you some idea of where to start with even modest projects.
The best 5″ camera monitors between $179-499
With more DSLR and mirrorless owners turning to video, the topic of camera monitors comes up fairly frequently. As a result, there’s a lot of choice out there now when it comes to camera monitors. They come with a whole host of different features, too. Some of those features are more beneficial to certain types of filmmaker while they may be overkill for others.
But which is the best? In this video, Caleb Pike at DSLR Video Shooter takes a look at four popular 5″ monitors ranging from $179 to $499 to see how they stack up against each other.
This easy trick will turn any lamp into versatile, dimmable LED light
If you need a lamp in your shot, the regular bulbs have their downsides. They get hot, you can’t dim them, and LED bulbs have bad CRI. Caleb Pike has a handy trick for you that will help you turn any lamp into a versatile, dimmable LED light in a couple of minutes. It’s easy and cheap, and you can use it in plenty of ways in your videos and images.
Can a $16 microphone stand up to the job or is it just a waste of money?
On-camera microphones have become a huge industry in the last few years. It used to be the only time I ever saw on-camera microphones, it was to create a sync track in the camera, or for emergency news interviews and such. Ever since DSLRs and mirrorless cameras became video-capable, though, their sales have skyrocketed. And they’re now the primary type of microphone for many vloggers and online video creators.
You’re still going to get the best results with a boomed shotgun or lav mic (yes, that’s a subjective statement), but on-camera mic technology has come a long way. And while there are some rather expensive options, many options are also rather cheap. In this video, Caleb Pike looks at a $16 Boya BY-VM01 microphone to see if it can really stand up to the task.
3 ways to shoot macro for under $20
Macro is always a popular topic, and it’s one that more people seem to be exploring for video content recently. But macro lenses typically aren’t inexpensive. My Nikon 105mm f/2.8D AF Micro-Nikkor, for example, was around $600 when I got it. Today, the current model Nikon 105mm f/2.8G AF-S VR is closer to $900. But there are a number of cheaper alternatives.
In this video, Caleb Pike looks at three very inexpensive options to get you started with macro. Each of the three options comes with their unique pros and cons, but all three solutions cost under $20 each. If you just want to dabble without spending a fortune, one of these could be the way to go.
This Frankenstein on-camera microphone setup could be the perfect vlogging audio rig
Vlogging is a whole lot of fun, but it can be difficult, especially if you’re out with other people. If you want to capture them on camera, or just record the scene in front of you, then capturing audio of yourself becomes tricky. You either just have to deal with being behind the microphone and hope it gets it, pull the microphone off the flash shoe and rotate it 180°, or just record a voiceover at another time. None of these is ideal.
Caleb Pike over at DSLR Video Shooter, though, might have come up with the ideal solution, using a pair of Rode VideoMicro microphones and a short adapter cable. As well as allowing you to record audio both in front of and behind the camera simultaneously, it records them straight to your camera using two separate channels for maximum flexibility in post.
This recorder lets you turn a single camera into three separate shots while shooting
Video monitors have seen some pretty rapid development over the last few years. We’ve seen them go from the heavy CRT of the standard definition days to super high resolution, lightweight, battery powered, slim displays we have today. And, oh boy, have they become feature packed.
On the surface, the Convergent Design Apollo seems like any other 4K external video recorder we might see today. Plug in a camera, hit a button and it records, right? Yeah, except for the fact that it costs three grand. This is because the Apollo contains a few features that are pretty special. One of them, is particularly cool, as we see in this video from Caleb Pike at DSLR Video Shooter.
Build a tiny cinema camera kit for under $300
High-end video gear cost a lot of money, and if your budget is thin, it can be frustrating. Fortunately, there are often cheaper solutions that maybe won’t get you a Hollywood-level image quality, but they’re good enough to turn your ideas into an engaging movie. Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter often introduces us to these affordable solutions, and in this video, he has assembled an entire video kit for under $300. It doesn’t include only a camera and a lens, but even adapters, a filter, a cage and much more.
This lighting setup will save you hours in set-up time
I love these Frankenstein setups for supporting our gear. Whether it’s for cameras, lights, microphones, whatever. It’s rare that a single commercial option offers us everything we need, and sometimes we just have to mix it up. It’s why products like the Manfrotto Magic Arm exist, because a straight up light stand or tripod on its own just doesn’t give us what we want.
In this video, Caleb Pike from DSLR Video Shooter shows off what he calls “the best light stand setup I’ve ever used”. Which is essentially a regular light stand, an articulated microphone boom arm, a ball head, a 1/4″ spigot and a couple of washers & wing nuts. It’s repurposing gear to work in a way it was not originally intended. But work it does, and very well, according to Caleb.
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