Giving Video a Try

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

If you’re like me shooting video does not come naturally. As part of my job with Panasonic I’ve learned about the technical aspects of shooting video; frame rates, formats, the importance of audio, exposure settings, etc. This has made me something of a video expert who doesn’t shoot much video. I’ve been shooting still photos for so long it’s become how I see the world.

The best way for me to learn something new is to just jump in, make mistakes and try to not get discouraged. I recently went to as event Brooks, Oregon—the Great Oregon Steam Up. I go every year, shoot still photos and never get images I like. This year I was walking around the event listening to the sounds of the steam engines and the moving parts and realized that this should be shot in video and audio to capture what I was seeing and feeling.

I knew trying to set all the manual video settings on my Panasonic Lumix GH5 would discourage me from shooting so I just set the GH5 to the Program mode, 4K video and pressed the red video button on top of the camera to shoot each scene.

Here are some lessons I learned

  1. I limited each scene to 15 seconds and tried not to zoom the lens or move the camera. In post processing, I ended up cutting each scene to about 5 seconds
  2. I’m glad I shot in 4K, but I ended up editing in HD 1080P because my computer wasn’t fast enough to edit 4K clips. I still have the 4K clips to edit in the future when I get a faster computer. I edited the scenes and made the final video in Adobe Premier Elements 15, an easy-to-use $99 program.
  3. Next time I’ll adjust the shutter speed so that the motion of the spinning wheels looks smoother. The shutter speed for video should be twice the frame rate to avoid fast moving objects looking distorted.

The video recorded the day much better than stills ever did for me.