The Holiday season is here giving you plenty of opportunity to take some fantastic family videos. and share them with family and friends. Many of you will choose to share them in a quiet family event, or across youtube to reach out to other family members across the world. I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to share some of my favorite and fun video tips in order to get the best out of your holiday films, and capture those special moments.

Using DSLR for Video

DSLR’s have become really popular with their ability to shoot amazing stills, and HD video. The most popular in use right now are the Canon 5DMKII, and the Canon 7D. I personally own both, and use them on a constant basis.  They give me the flexibility to carry around a still camera, and yet be able to shoot video immediately if my children start to do something outrageous.  They give you a fantastic depth of field and a nice film like look. Their only real draw back is they tend to over heat in approximately 11mins, and they don’t record the greatest audio with additional add-ons.   They really were not designed to be full-fledged video cameras. Thus, if are covering a live event, such as a school play, or a birthday party, a camcorder may be the better route.

 

 

 

 

Camcorders

A few years ago I purchased the Sony A1U, and it has proved to be invaluable while shooting my kids.  It shoots HD directly on to minidv tapes I can then store on my shelf or transfer them to digital. However, mini DV as a format has pretty much disappeared. That’s why if you are in the market for a camera these days it’s a good idea to look at the ones that either shoots to a hard drive or to internal flash cards. Such as the Panasonic HDC-SD90 or Canon VIXIA HF M400. Just keep in mid if you are after one with a hard drive. Bigger is better! Video fills up drive space unbelievable fast!

Getting a Different Perspective

 

When shooting Children, the most important thing you can do is have plenty of batteries, because you never know what they are going to do. But to make the shot more interesting and appealing to view, get down to their level, that means crouch down to their height. Not only can you get a better idea of their world, but your are more likely to get better sound from the more shy ones, unless your children are like mine, loud all the time.

 

Better Audio

Remember children’s voices are small, and therefore it may be a good idea to pick up an entry level shotgun mic such as the Rode. This mic can be mounted to your camera and will out perform the mic situated internally on your camcorder.  You will soon realize these inexpensive mics can save you a great deal of headache trying to pick up children’s voices, especially during parties with all the other background noises drowning them out.

Last Tip

I would like to leave you with one last tip for getting the best out of your holiday video. Do not be afraid to experiment. Experimentation is the spice of a good film; try different angles, different frames, and lighting techniques. It may be the shot that makes that special moment into a memorable film for the holidays.

 

  How do you unfold the possibilites? Join the conversation with Intel Canada’s bloggers – only on the Intel Canada Facebook page.

 

 

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