I have been a big fan of Blue Crane Digital. They have built a catalog of top training DVDs for Canon DSLRs and accessories. If you are new to the Canon 7D, be sure to take a look at my review of their 2-part 7D DVD series. But, if your focus is shooting HD-video with the Canon 7D (or 5D Mark II or Rebel X2i), this new DVD could be for you. Think of it as a Film Making 101 with a DSLR.
How to Shoot Great Video with Your Canon DSLR Camera covers all of the basics:
- Sound recording
- Lighting and equipment
- Video compression
- White balance
- Picture Styles
- Camera movement
- Tripods and camera mounts
- Video production skills
HD-Video files are compressed to fit on a Compact Flash card which makes them more like shooting JPGs than RAW. Fixing exposure in post can create excessive grain/noise. So, it is very important to use the LCD and get the exposure right in the first place.
The DVD covers in-depth using Picture Styles for video for neutral effects or introducing nighttime blues and golden-hour tones. Canon’s Picture Style Editor will allow you to define custom Picture Styles and upload User Defined Picture Styles to the camera.
Picking the right lens is very important. The DVD focuses on the Canon EF & EF-S lines and compares the effects of different focal lengths as well as primes versus zooms. It also covers using a shallow f-stop to control depth of field.
My favorite part of this DVD was the primer in video making which covered such topics as:
- Types of shot
- Wide established setting
- Medium frames a single person like the way we see
- Over the shoulder – characters point of view
- Close-up – immitmate
- Low angle or high angle or eye-level
- Depth of field
- Camera movement
- Zoom in/out
- Follow movement
- Continuity errors
- Screen direction
But, one of the best things about the Blue Crane DVDs is the price. Unlike the $100 F-stop Academy DVDs, Blue Crane DVDs are typically around $25. Adorama usually carries the full line of Blue Crane DVDs, but you can also purchase it direct from Blue Crane.