DSLR 101

Posted: October 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera is probably the most affordable and best quality camera a do-it-yourself filmmaker can get. Some of the most popular are made by Canon and Filmmaking Union is shooting with a Canon 7D and T2i for our productions this year.

If you’re new to filmmaking or DSLR cameras though, most people have no idea what to do once they get their hands on one. You might get the urge to start shooting in “auto,” letting the camera do all the work for you, but with a basic understanding of photography principles and about the camera itself, you can start shooting like a professional.


Online you can find thousands of videos and articles about how to get started and we’ve picked out a couple resources that are good place to start. Still, nothing is more helpful than playing around with your own camera or getting your hands on a friends to learn the basics.

Vimeo Video School goes over the basics of  working with available light in this tutorial. Also check out the article that goes along with it that explains exposure, white balance, ISO, and some aspects of lighting.


The site NoFilmSchool has a fantastic resource, The DSLR Cinematography Guide, that provides more in depth technical information about the camera well as information on choosing lenses and advice if your interested in buying a DSLR. If you sign up for NoFilmSchool’s listserv they’ll also send you a PDF of the guide as a bonus.

Know of any other useful resources for shooting? What are you favorite tutorial sites online for filmmaking? Email us at ugafilmmaking@gmail.com


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