This is article #13 in the DSLR Video Weekly series.  If you’d like the whole thing in one shot, check out the book Creating DSLR Video: From Snapshots to Great Shots.

Once you get the hang of video, be sure to monetize it by becoming a contributor to Adobe Stock.



Choosing a Shooting Mode

Your DSLR offers several different shooting modes to assist you in getting the right image.  When shooting stills, I’m a big fan of Aperture Priority mode, which offers a great balance of control and lets me set the depth of field manually.  Other shooting conditions may call for Program or Shutter Priority mode to properly expose the scene.


Choosing the right shooting mode is essential for getting proper exposure and the correct shutter speed.

Unfortunately, these modes don’t work very well on most cameras when shooting video.  You’ll ideally want to switch your camera to Manual mode if you want the best results.  This means you’ll have to tackle all of the decisions about how to set up your camera.  Don’t worry; you’ll learn these settings throughout the next several chapters.

Why do you have to do all the work? Well, let’s examine the decisions you’ll need to make. Your shutter speed options are very limited when shooting video (typically between a 1/50 and 1/100 of a second).  Otherwise, the video will have stuttering or blurring motion.

Setting the aperture, on the other hand, is one setting you’ll want to take precise control over. Aperture has a huge impact on exposure and focus; as such, you’ll need to choose a setting that is visually pleasing and one that gives you adequate control (more details about aperture are in next chapter).

So, welcome to Manual mode. It takes a little getting used to, but it will make you a better photographer.  After a few bumps along the way, you’ll get the hang of it and be less dependent on your camera and more on your eyes and brain.

Join us each Saturday for the next installment of this weekly series.

Once you get the hang of video, be sure to monetize it by becoming a contributor to Adobe Stock.