Using the camera for stock footage

Nowadays, to create good clips for stock footage, you can use different tools ranging from the camera to the smartphone.

The substantial difference in the result depends more on the skill of the videomaker: tools with inferior characteristics, at pixel level, optics, etc., are not impossible to use but, to produce quality clips, they need a lot of technical skill.

If you have chosen to use the cameras you will have to get used to different menus, but the general operation will not be very different from that of the cameras.

How to set camera settings

The adjustment of the camera settings depends on the result you want to achieve and the skills of the person using them.

The less experienced you are, the more you should stick to standard settings, although this is not always possible for all settings.

  • Colour profiles: those who are not experts should start with the standard ones, as programmed by the parent company. If you are able to produce them yourself, the results will most likely be better, but this requires a lot of experimentation.

If, on the other hand, you intend to color the clips in post-production, you can set the camera to flatter settings with images tending to gray. Some cameras have the flat or cinelikes setting, the more advanced ones use the log system: in this way you avoid burning whites and you can act profitably during post-production.

  • Video Formats: if it is true that today the use is mainly via smartphone, this does not mean that a good resolution can be noticed even on the small format. As far as the definition is concerned, it is essential to use at least 4k, if not 8k which guarantee better colour and more detail.

  • Frame rate: as far as the number of frames per second is concerned, you have to think about what you want to achieve. If it’s high, you have the ability to create slowmotion and smoother scenes.

  • Exposure: The biggest differences from the camera in this respect are recorded. If you are not very experienced, it is advisable to keep to 250/320 ISO for the clips recorded outdoors during the day and 800/1000 ISO for the night, otherwise the risk is to burn the backgrounds or, vice versa, to have images with noise and poor quality.

Camera movements

In order to create level and, above all, sellable clips, it is also necessary to think about camera movements.

It is obvious to say that in a video you can have two situations: the one in which the subject of the scene moves, or the camera moves. However, if you decide to move the camera, you should not choose trivial and often inflated movements.

The classic high-low or right-left movements are, in fact, a bit too obvious. A good solution, in this sense, is to use the rails: in this case, however, attention must be paid to the optics used. Wide-angle rails are widely recommended, but be careful not to pick up the tracks themselves.

On the other hand, there are those who prefer hand movements: those who are experienced and know how to do them can undoubtedly achieve excellent results, all the more so as they allow greater freedom of movement and can help give vent to creativity and imagination. In this case, you need a lot of practice and know some tricks to get fluid movements.

Drones and other technologies

Nowadays technology provides us with a whole range of tools that can help us to make stock: depending on the type of clip you want to record, the skill of the videomaker and personal taste, you can decide which ones to choose.

  • Drones: today they are very widespread at all levels, so much so that you can also find low budget drones. These are remote-controlled aircraft that allow you to film from above and, therefore, from different perspectives. When you have the opportunity to film particularly interesting landscapes, such as in the mountains or by the sea, you can get suggestive and pleasant clips.

  • Action cam: these are small cameras that are placed on the forehead, helmets, bicycles, etc., which allow you to shoot moving scenes from angles from which it would be impossible to do so with traditional tools or even with a smartphone. They are ideal for creating impact clips, thanks to the speed of action and the type of framing. More than on the quality of the image, which is generally rather poor, they focus on the originality of the scene.

Learn how to set up cameras

Being an expert in photography is an advantage when you want to learn how to set up cameras, but it is not enough.

You want to know all the secrets to how best to set up your camera?

You want to avoid trivial mistakes like flickering?

Want to figure out how to organize your shots to create original and sellable clips?

Do you want to learn how to use all the tools that technology offers: drones, stabilizers, rails, action cams?

Our experience in the field has allowed us to create a video course that addresses all these aspects and that will reveal the tricks that we ourselves have learned after years of practice.

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