One of the features that attracted me to the Sony NEX-3, in addition to its relatively compact size, was the ability to do HD video. Unfortunately, HD video recording with the NEX-3 is limited to 720p (vs. 1080p with the NEX-5) at 30 fps. Basically, this means that my videos won’t be as nice when shown on a big screen TV, but on the web, they should look just fine. Apparently, editing 1080p videos can be a pain since they can take up a lot of memory anyways. Take a look at the enclosed videos to see some amazing work being done with the NEX cameras.
HD video is all the rage now with newer DSLRs. Unfortunately, my Canon XSi (aka 450D) doesn’t come with any video recording capabilities. However, there is a hack that lets me record video in 720p HD (via PetaPixel) with my DSLR. The method does have its limitations though. First, your Canon DSLR must have LiveView and has to be tethered to a computer via the USB cable to record video. This technique works in the studio/home setting, and you might be able to be a bit more mobile with a laptop, but it’s not very practical otherwise. Another problem with this hack is that it doesn’t record sound. You’ll have to use another device to record sound and add the sound to your movie after wards.
Despite the limitations, it is free and very easy to do. Just download EOS Camera Movie Record and install it on your computer. Plug your Canon DSLR into your computer (via the USB cable), start up the program, and you’re ready to record. The software is pretty simple to use and produces movies in AVI format. You can watch a YouTube video that takes you through the process.
I recorded a short movie of cars outside my apartment (see below). I added music and titles with Microsoft’s Movie Maker, which comes with Windows. Unfortunately, Movie Maker only allows you to save as a WMV file and only at 720×480. I’m not sure why it’s a bit noisy – probably due to the low lighting or maybe a reflection on the glass. Movies with the XSi (450D) I’ve seen on YouTube look pretty amazing.
I know you’re supposed to read the manuals that come with your new digital camera, but let’s face it, no one likes to read boring manuals. If you’re kind of lazy like me, check out LBGuides. The site contains a number of YouTube videos about how to use your digital camera (see below). The videos cover a number of Canon and Panasonic cameras, such as the XSi, G10, G1/GH1, etc. Even if your specific camera isn’t on LBGuides, there’s a good chance that most of the functions on your camera will be covered. LBGuides also has nice photography tips videos (see below).