Now try video - Canon

My New PowerShot G7 X, Guide 6:
Now try video

Now that you’ve found out how to take better stills, it’s time to stretch your creativity with video.

The good news is that your camera captures great video, though the shooting style is a bit different from photos. You need to think about the story you want your video to tell and then capture separate elements to take that story from start to finish.

What’s the story?

We all enjoy watching videos that are shared online, but the best ones are those that tell a story, even if it is just a few seconds long.

If this is your first time shooting video, start with a simple story to practise. We chose a story about making a cup of coffee, as this simple story is one that you can readily follow and will help you think about structuring your own movies.

We have put together a series of short clips to create a simple 60 second movie. You could do the same showing a member of the family say, trying to put up a tent, or baking a cake, or preparing a meal. Watch the video and count the seconds to the next scene change, you might be surprised how often you will see this in most videos.

Shoot in short sequences

Virtually all great movies are a series of short connected clips. For example, rather than zoom while recording the movie it is better to shoot a short clip then move the camera around and shoot a second clip from a different position or distance. Make one of your first shots a wide shot to establish the context of the movie; then follow up with a series of closer shots to focus the viewer’s attention on the key subject of the movie. Add additional elements by going back to the wider view.

One important part of filmmaking is having enough footage to edit with. Make sure to shoot some short clips of related but not important elements, so called “B-roll”. These clips help to connect different sections of the story.

Don’t forget the rules of composition that were covered for stills (Guide 1: What is composition?), they apply for movies too. Remember, most movies are shot and watched in landscape, whether on a television or computer screen.

What about the camera settings?

Starting Movie mode on your camera is simple, just turn the Mode dial to the Movie position.

Now try video - Canon

You can leave the camera to automatically take care of the settings while you concentrate on making your movie. However, there are some useful options you can access easily by pressing the FUNC./SET button.

Now try video - Canon

Resolution and frame rate (1)

Movies are a stream of individual frames, so it is important to decide on the resolution and frame rate. In most situations it is best to shoot with full resolution (1920 x 1080 pixels) at 25 frames per second (fps). The frame rate is particularly important to avoid a flickering effect if you are shooting indoors with AC powered lights.

My Colors (2)

Movies can be enhanced and their mood changed by altering colour tones. With My Colors you can go for a more traditional look with Sepia or Black and white. Alternatively, experiment with saturating or subduing colours with a choice of 8 presets. You can even set up your own custom colours, adjusting contrast, sharpness, colour saturation, red, green and blue and skin tones.

Movie Digest

Now try video - Canon

You can make a short movie of the day just by shooting still images by setting Movie Digest mode on the Mode dial. Your camera will record 2 - 4 second clips of scenes before each shot, which will then be combined into a single movie.

Where to focus

You can let your camera automatically determine where to focus when filming, but if you want absolute control then you can choose to manually focus. If you select manual focus, remember to focus before filming each clip.

You also have a choice of focussing methods; either to automatically identify faces and track them (Face AiAF) or to choose a specific point in the frame to focus on (1-point).

It’s sound as well as vision

Sound is one of the most important elements of great movies; some say it’s even more important than the pictures. Before you start filming listen carefully for the background noises – your brain filters the background noise out, but the camera won’t.

The built-in microphone on your DSLR is sensitive and will record audio from the environment around the camera including your voice as you operate the camera controls. If you are filming an interview moving the camera close to the interviewee also positions the microphone closer for the better sound recording. Remember the person using the camera is often closest to the built-in microphone so needs to keep quiet.

Download your app

The Canon Camera Connect app links your camera to your Apple or Android device. As well as browsing and downloading your photos and geotagging them, you can also shoot remotely using the screen of your device to control your camera. Select the 'Remote Shooting' option and you can control settings such as Shutter speed, Aperture, ISO, Continuous shooting and Self-timer.


Extra battery

Movie shooting uses more power than stills, it is best to have a spare charged battery with you.

Memory cards

Movie files are continuously written to the camera’s SD card while recording, so it is best to use cards with a fast transfer speed.  Cards that are labelled as Class 10 or UHS-1 are the best for movie recording.

Tripods and Image Stabilizer (IS)

Tripods are ideal to keep the camera still when filming. It is really distracting for the viewer if the scene wobbles around during each clip. If you have a lens with IS and film with the camera on a tripod it is best to switch off the IS by sliding the switch on the side of the lens. Remember to switch the IS back on once you’ve stopped using the tripod.

Watch the sequences that make up a movie scene

Try watching a scene in a TV drama or Hollywood movie and count how long each sequence is in that scene. The average length of a sequence is just 4 seconds before the perspective changes. You should try to do the same.

Shoot, share and view with #MyNewCanon #Making Movies

Now you are ready to make a movie try using Video Snapshot to knit several short clips together into a short story, then share with other Canon owners on Facebook using #MyNewCanon #Making Movies.

Share your results

Try filming using Video Snapshot, and share your best clips.