Monday, 26 December 2011

Explaining Aperture for my Aunt, Caroline

Aunt Caroline is doing a filmography course, and she recently decided to get a DSLR Camera (Digital Single-Lens Reflex Camera) as a way of learning about the technical side of photography and filming. So she asked me the other day to explain what the aperture is. I'm no expert but I've read up enough and experienced enough to at least know the basics. So here I made a small crappy tutorial (left click it, then right click, view image to save):

About Bokeh
More information about Aperture

Video comparing Auto Focus and Manual Focus when video recording:
This is using the 18-55mm kit lens with my Canon 550D. Set at the lowest f/n (f/3.5-f/5.6).

While it requires more effort, you can clearly see and hear the benefits of manually focusing your camera when filming. This is when you can also take Aperture into consideration. If you set your aperture to a high f/n (so there is a wider depth of field) you will get less blur in your capture than you see in the above video. And therefore have less problems with focusing.

Video Mode

To do this with your Canon 550D or 600D, look for the video setting 'Movie Exposure' and set it to Manual. Then it will follow your manual settings. You can change your ISO and Aperture like usual. To preview your settings when in Video Mode, gently hold down the snap shot button.

This of course entirely depends on the capability of your lens and the conditions you are shooting in. If it's very dark, you probably won't be able to widen the aperture all that much. Also recently I discovered (since I don't film much with my DSLR) that the camera will stop your video if the conditions are really too bad to film in (aka you've set it so that the film is too dark). I suggest taking a bit of time to fiddle and experiment in the area you are filming. I hope it's in sunny weather!

For good Camera and Lens reviews, I recommend this!


Post a Comment