Video Settings, Color Temperature
+ Best Practices for the Canon 5D
- Press the "Menu" button, then press the Right Arrow button five times to access the "Video Setup" menu.
- Press the Down Arrow five times to highlight the "Live View/Movie func." field and then press the "Set" button.
- Rotate the Quick Command Dial on the back of the camera to highlight the Movie Recording field and press "Set." Rotate the Quick Command Dial again to highlight the "Enable" field and press "Set."
- Rotate the Quick Command Dial to highlight the "LV Func." setting and press "Set." Rotate the Quick Command Dial to highlight "Stills + Movie" and press "Set."
- Rotate the Quick Command Dial to select "Movie Display" and press "Set." Rotate the Quick Command Dial to select your desired movie resolution from the settings (1920x1080 at 30 frames per second, 1920x1080 at 24 frames per second — this is the one you want, unless you're doing slow motion, in which case you'd record the video faster so that you can then slow it down later for Slo-mo, or 640x480 at 30 frames per second) and then press "Set."
- Press the "Live View" button on the back of the camera to the left of the viewfinder. The LCD screen will show the image you are pointing the camera at.
- Rotate the Mode dial on the left side of the top of the camera to M, for "Manual settings," (use the green box if you want to shoot in auto mode—hopefully you won't, as you know how to use your DSLR cameras), and start shooting. Make sure if you're shooting in 24P (which you should be), that your shutter speed is set to 50! Super important (see below for details).
- Focus the lens on what you want to shoot by rotating the lens barrel clockwise or counterclockwise to zoom the lens and the focus ring to adjust focus. You probably don't want your lens to be set to auto-focus for this (make sure you're really sure you're focused on your subject...you can zoom in really far to do this, set the focus, then zoom out, or use the focus-assist button), so make sure it's set to manual focus. That setting is on the lens itself.
- Press the "Set" button. Movie recording will begin. A red circle will display in the upper right corner of the LCD screen to indicate recording is active, and a red light will blink at the bottom right hand side of the rotation dial). Keep an eye on this so that you know when the camera turns off (approx. every 12 minutes — see details under "11," below).
- Press the "Set" button again to stop recording.
- Remember, the camera overheats so you only get around 12 minutes of recording at a time on it (the 5D Mark II; the 5D Mark III has gotten a bit better, around 18 minutes). As a result, you will not want to use this as the main "A" camera for interviews. You don't want to have to tell your subject to stop, while you press the record button again, and to go back to their thought. Obviously this disrupts the interview. Also, in the worst scenario, you might not realize that the light has gone off, and you may lose a huge portion of your interview. This is why you have the HMC 150 with you—it will not stop recording through your interview (unless, of course, you run out of space on your card).
White Balance/Color Temperature:
- Here's a great tutorial (there are a few pages, not just that first one) about white balance/color temperature and its various settings. Here are three others if that one isn't your speed: this, this, or this. You won't want to stay on auto white balance (AWB), you'll want to either choose the automatic setting based on where you are (sunshine, flourescent lighting, tungsten, cloudy, etc.) or choose an actual Kelvin color temperature setting in the manual settings. Here's more about the actual Kelvin temperature settings (here are two charts that show basic settings by Kelvin temp number: this or this).
- You want the ISO to be set to the lowest number that it can be, unless you're hoping to achieve a super grainy look. The higher the ISO, the more grainy it'll be. As your shutter speed must be set to 50, then you can really only deal with low-light settings with the ISO and the aperture. The wider the aperture is set (wide aperture = low f-stop/aperture number), the more light will come in (and the shallower the depth of field/focus will be — which gives you that gorgeous cinematic look). But if your aperture is super wide, your shutter is at 50, and it's still not bright enough, you either have to add artificial light (LED or other lighting), or up your ISO. Try not to shoot above 1250 ISO. It starts getting pretty grainy there. DEFINITELY do not go above 3200. After that, it starts looking like security camera footage. Here are a couple of images that demonstrate the graininess to which I'm referring:
- Formatting your media card will erase everything on the card. Even protected images will be erased, so make sure there is nothing you need to keep. You'll want to do this every time you've transferred files at the end of your shooting day to at least two hard drives (always have a back up). These files are to be copied, in full, from the folder showing on your desktop when you connect the card into the computer via the camera or a card reader. Make sure you're transferring them to a folder called "RAW_5D_CARD_FILES," and into "DAY_1" / "CARD_1," etc. You don't want to lose any of your footage. Once you've transfered all of the files from the day's shoot (and you're absolutely sure you have...check in the all of the folders to make sure you have every bit of footage you shot that day on that camera, THEN you can format the cards. This will help so that you know that the card is empty for your next shoot. Here are the steps to format (erase) the card fully.
- In case you're interested in learning how to read histograms on your camera to help with contrast/exposure settings, click here.
HDR (High Dynamic Range):
- In case you're interested in learning about HDR (exposure / expsure bracketing), look at either of these two tutorials: this or this.