DVeBlog - News and Reviews

  • How to Deal with Noisy Locations with Different Microphone Techniques

    <p> <span style="font-size: 16px;">There will be times when you are faced with a noisy location. There are mics used on super small one-man-band no budget jobs, and there are mics, that aren’t super expensive, that are much better options. Sometimes “good enough”, really isn’t good at all. In this video, Dave gives us three different mic technique examples for a noisy location and talks about the positives and negatives of each, as well as addressing some common misconceptions.</span> </p> <p class="video-responsive" style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/hb8yQO_MDdI" width="741" height="417" frameborder="0"></iframe></p>

  • BTS: DVEstore Live Streaming Setup!

    <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> I recently configured a multi-camera live streaming setup in the studio here at the DVEstore. In the video below, I run through all the pieces and how they work together. Below the video, I've put links to all the various parts and pieces so you can get more details and prices.</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">There is a section in here about connecting a Macbook Pro to an ATEM Television Studio HD, as well!</span> </p> <p class="video-responsive" style="text-align: center;"><iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Oc_ZQBGSahU?rel=0" width="741" height="417" frameborder="0"></iframe></p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> Note: Some of the products have been updated and links are to the currently available versions.</span> </p> <p> <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/mimolive/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">mimoLive Software</span></a> </p> <p> <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/blackmagic-design-atem-television-studio-hd/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">ATEM TV Studio HD</span></a> </p> <p> <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/blackmagic-design-micro-studio-camera-4k/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">Micro Studio Camera 4K</span></a> </p> <p> <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/convergent-design-odyssey7q-1/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">Odyssey 7Q+</span></a> </p> <p> <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/atomos-shogun-flame-4k-sdi-hdr-recording-monitor/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">Atomos Shogun</span></a> </p> <p> <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/blackmagic-design-ultrastudio-mini-monitor/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">UltraStudio Mini Monitor</span></a> </p> <p> <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/blackmagic-design-ultrastudio-mini-recorder/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">UltraStudio Mini Recorder</span></a> </p> <p> <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/audix-scx1-hc-studio-condenser-mic-hyercardioid-polar-pattern-used-30/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">Audix SCX1HC Microphone</span></a> </p>

  • Converting an Office into a Live Video Studio!

    <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">This month I was introduced to the <a href="http://www.proctorgallagherinstitute.com/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">Proctor Gallagher Institute</span></a><span style="font-size: 18px;"> when I was asked to help them convert a home office into a live-streaming studio!</span></span></p><p> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/house-front.jpg"></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">After talking with Josh, their IT guru, it was clear that he was insane. He wanted the entire setup able to be remote-controlled via the internet! The first thing he did was put together a monstrous i9 PC, which is roughly the size of my VW Golf (and only slightly less expensive). Here it is, in a closet. I'm terminating some CAT 6 cable, using my handy&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/litratorch-adventure-photo-and-video-light-black/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">Litra Torch</span></a><span style="font-size: 18px;"> so I can see what I'm doing.</span></span></p><p> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/litra-torch.jpg"></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">The DVEstore supplied the project with a load of Blackmagic Design gear (including a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/blackmagic-design-vhubsmart6g1212-smart-videohub-12x12/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">VideoHub 12x12</span></a><span style="font-size: 18px;">), a&nbsp;</span><a href="https://www.dvestore.com/sennheiser-sl-ts-133-gn-set-dw-4-us-wireless-table-mic-set/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">Sennheiser wireless table mic</span></a><span style="font-size: 18px;">, <span style="font-size: 18px;">a&nbsp;</span></span><a href="https://www.dvestore.com/brands/Prompter-People.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">Prompter People</span></a><span style="font-size: 18px;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;">wide screen teleprompter, a&nbsp;</span></span><a href="https://www.dvestore.com/focusrite-scarlett-18i20-rack-mounted-audio-interface/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">FocusRite Scarlett 18i20</span></a><span style="font-size: 18px;">, and a 4K Sony PTZ camera. Did I mention that this system is 4K all the way?!</span></span></p><p> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/sony-brc-x1000.jpg"></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">Oh, and I forgot the lights. They wanted as little clutter as possible on the floor, so no light stands! We mounted a couple of&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/fiilex-q500ac-led-lighting/" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">Fiilex Q500's</span></a><span style="font-size: 18px;"> from the ceiling instead.&nbsp;</span></span></p><p> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/fiilex-q500.jpg"></p><p><span style="font-size: 18px;"> The key light, above the teleprompter, was fitted with a softbox to envelope the talent in a flattering, shadowless glow. The second light we bounced off the ceiling to raise the overall ambient light level in the room. The two large windows have blinds so that the unpredictable natural daylight won't cause any dramatic light shifts during a broadcast. The production PC was fitted with a USB DMX interface so the color temperature, intensity and hue of the Q500's can all be controlled.</span></p><p> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/fiilex-softbox.jpg"></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">Josh uses Splashtop for remote access to production PC's at various locations. So, if he can control it from the local PC, he can control it remotely. For control of the Sony&nbsp;BRC-X1000, I recommended&nbsp;Rocosoft IP PTZ Camera Controller software. We mounted the entire camera/teleprompter rig to&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/brands/Prompter-People.html" target="_blank"><span style="font-size: 18px;">Prompter People's</span></a><span style="font-size: 18px;"> affordable HD300 tripod. It seems well-suited for the job.</span></span></p><p> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/prompter-people-hd300-tripod.jpg"></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">Here is the closet where we stashed the production PC, as well as the Sennheiser wireless audio receivers, a Blackmagic Design 12X12 router and a host of converters.</span></p><p> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/wired-closet.jpg"></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">The whole project was unusual, and fun. I'm looking forward to seeing the video that comes out of this studio!</span></p>

  • Video: RODE VideoMic Pro+ unboxing

    <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">In this weeks video, Dave Fisk unboxes the new <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/rode-videomic-pro-plus-with-rycote-lyre-suspension-mount/" target="_blank">RODE VideoMic Pro+</a>, a true shotgun microphone designed for use with camcorders, DSLR cameras, and portable audio recorders as a source of primary and reference audio.</span> </p> <p class="video-responsive" style="text-align: center;"> <iframe src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/SkkCpUI_EGk" width="741" height="417" frameborder="0"> </iframe> </p>

  • RODE VideoMic Pro+ now shipping

    <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> Pro-audio brand <a href="http://www.rode.com/blog/all/vmpplus" target="_blank">RØDE Microphones is announcing</a> a new addition to its best-in-market on-camera category - <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/rode-videomic-pro-plus-with-rycote-lyre-suspension-mount/" target="_blank">The VideoMic Pro+</a>.</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><a href="http://www.rode.com/blog/all/freedman-electronics-launches-50th-birthday-celebrations-at-rodeshow-2017" target="_blank">Announced at RØDEShow 2017</a>, Freedman Electronics 50th anniversary celebration, the VideoMic Pro+ is set to prove that RØDE Microphones has yet again upped the game for the prosumer filmmaker.</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span> </p> <p class="video-responsive" style="text-align: center;"> <iframe width="741" height="417" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/nZOoMDQ93b4" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> Still with the best-in-class Rycote Lyre suspension system on board, the <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/rode-videomic-pro-plus-with-rycote-lyre-suspension-mount/" target="_blank">VideoMic Pro+</a> improves on the existing <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/rode-videomic-pro-with-rycote-lyre-suspension-mount/" target="_blank">VideoMic Pro</a> capsule/line tube and windshield, plus boasts a host of new features:</span> </p> <ul> <li><span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>Automatic Power Function</strong> (subject to plug-in power availability) is perfect for the run-and-gun shooter, automatically turning the microphone off when unplugged from the camera.<br> </span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>Built-in Battery Door</strong> makes replacing the battery a breeze and far less cumbersome than previous VideoMic models - plus it won't get lost.<br> </span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>Power options</strong> - the VideoMic Pro+ can be powered by the all-new and included RØDE LB-1 Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery, 2 x AA Batteries or continuously via Micro USB.<br> </span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>Digital Switching</strong> - will ensure the user has ultimate capture of the audio signal at the source, reducing post production and editing times. the Digital Switching includes:<br> </span> <ul> <li><span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>2-Stage High Pass Filter</strong> to reduce low frequencies such as rumble from traffic or air conditioning.<br> </span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>3-Stage Gain Control</strong>, with +20dB function – designed to improve audio quality on DSLR or mirrorless cameras.<br> </span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>High Frequency Boost</strong> will boost high frequencies enhancing detail and clarity in the recording.<br> </span></li> <li><span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>Safety Channel</strong> t</span><span style="font-size: 18px;">o help ensure the signal does not clip when unexpected spikes occur.</span></li> </ul> </li> </ul> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span> </p> <p class="video-responsive" style="text-align: center;"> <iframe width="741" height="417" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/u-Z9WHCH3MA" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><em><br> </em></span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><em> "The VideoMic Pro+ is a new benchmark in on-camera microphones," comments Damien Wilson, RØDE and Freedman Group CEO. "We have listened to our customers and are delivering the microphone they've asked for, with features such as the built-in battery door, automatic power function and included Lithium-Ion battery."</em></span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><em><br> </em></span> </p> <p class="video-responsive" style="text-align: center;"> <iframe width="741" height="417" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/199946849" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen=""> </iframe> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><a href="https://www.dvestore.com/rode-videomic-pro-plus-with-rycote-lyre-suspension-mount/" target="_blank">The VideoMic Pro+</a> ships with a 3.5mm TRS Cable, LB-1 Lithium-Ion Rechargeable Battery and includes <a href="https://www.rode.com/warranty/step1" target="_blank">RØDE's 10-year warranty</a> and is now shipping to authorised RØDE dealers.</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">Original blog post from RODE can be found <a href="http://www.rode.com/blog/all/vmpplus" target="_blank">here</a>.</span> </p>

  • How to use the Reflecmedia Chroma Key System

    <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">Someone can be very experienced with traditional greenscreen/chroma key practices and naturally try to apply them directly to Reflecmedia. That would be a mistake. Thus this blog post.</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">I will begin with a quick list of need-to-know tips, then go into more detail on each one.</span> </p> <p> <b style="font-size: 18px; background-color: initial; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, Tahoma, sans-serif;">1&91; The minimum working distance between the LiteRing and the talent is 10 feet (3 meters).</b> </p> <p> <b style="font-size: 18px; background-color: initial; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, Tahoma, sans-serif;">2&91; The closer your talent is to the Chromatte screen, the better the results.</b> </p> <p> <b style="font-size: 18px; background-color: initial; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, Tahoma, sans-serif;">3&91; The Reflecmedia system is intended for indoor applications.</b> </p> <p> <b style="font-size: 18px; background-color: initial; font-family: Arial, Helvetica, Verdana, Tahoma, sans-serif;">4&91; You may not need as much LiteRing intensity as you think.</b> </p> <hr> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>1&91; Minimum Working Distance</strong></span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">This 10 foot minimum working distance (MWD) is in place because the last thing you want to do is to 'paint' your talent with the green or blue light coming from the LiteRing. The LED's are powerful, but fall off quickly––so once you reach the MWD you won't risk contaminating your subject with the key color. Of course you won't want to turn up the intensity of the LiteRing beyond the minimum intensity that gets you a good key.</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">The maximum working distance can be 50 feet or more, depending on other lighting conditions.</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span> </p> <p> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/litering-cu.jpg"> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>2&91; Distance from the Chromatte screen</strong></span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">In a traditional chroma key setup, you want your talent standing away from the green background in order to avoid the dreaded green spill. This is a good practice, because you don't want the post production nightmare of trying to key out the background without keying out the green spill on your subject.</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/reflecmedia-schematic-01.png"></span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">The beauty of the Reflecmedia system is that there is no spill. I'll say that again; <strong>there is no spill</strong>. The Chromatte background is not actually green, so there is no green light bouncing off and hitting the talent. Because of the photoreflective design of the gray Chromatte material, the green (or blue) light from the LiteRing reflects, on-axis, directly back at the source, but not onto the talent. Voila! Spill free chroma key!</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">The same reflective action that eliminates spill will create a gray halo around the subject, if she is too far from the Chromatte screen. Keep the talent close to the screen and you'll be good!</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>3&91; Ambient Light</strong></span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">Since the Reflecmedia system is dependent upon the reflection of colored light, anything that interferes with that reflection can be problematic. Such is the case when using this system outdoors in the daylight. If the ambient light is strong enough, the LiteRing won't be able to overcome the ambient light pollution to create a strong colored background.</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">So, the Reflecmedia system is for use in controlled lighting situations, such as a studio. Speaking of controlled lighting, if a strong studio light were placed directly behind or on-axis with the camera, that light could potentially wash out the LiteRing reflection. The lights for the talent should be located off-axis from the camera to avoid interfering with the colored LiteRing.</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">It should also be mentioned here that a major benefit of the Reflecmedia chroma key system is that no background lighting is necessary. You just light the talent, as usual, and the background is taken care of entirely by the LiteRing.</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>4&91; LiteRing Intensity</strong></span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">New users of the Reflecmedia system tend to make the mistake of overcranking the LiteRing intensity. Using a waveform monitor is highly recommended, because it allows you to see the exact brightness of the screen in relation to the talent. A general rule-of-thumb is to keep the background at 50 to 60 IRE, with the talent showing highlights at a much higher IRE. The snapshot below will give you a rough idea of what a good exposure looks like.</span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/jason-waveform.jpg"></span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span> </p> <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">Should you have any questions about using the Reflecmedia Chroma Key system, feel free to reach out to me at&nbsp;<a href="mailto:jason@dvestore.com">jason@dvestore.com</a></span> </p>

  • Building a Selfie Station with a Diva Ring Light

    <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">One of the best uses for a Diva Ring Light is a quick and effective selfie station. The setup is a breeze and other than the light and stand or tripod, all you really need is a fun backdrop and possibly some props. In no time, you'll have a station that's perfect for framing flawless selfies at your next event!<br> </span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/selfie-blog-thumbnail.jpg"></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">First, you’ll need to set up your ring light. All of the Diva Ring Light stands will work great, but some may have certain advantages depending on your needs. For example, if you just want the light and don’t need to attach any cameras or phones to it, the gooseneck and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/diva-ring-light-6ft-stand-black/" target="_blank">light stand</a> will be perfect. However, if you want a camera to be set up inside the ring light, you’ll need either a z-bracket and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/diva-ring-light-video-tripod/" target="_blank">tripod</a> or&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/diva-ring-light-z-bracket-for-light-stands/" target="_blank">light stand z-bracket</a> and&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/diva-ring-light-6ft-stand-black/" target="_blank">light stand</a>. Additionally, if you want guests to use their own phones to take photos, you’ll need one of the previous z-bracket options plus a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/diva-ring-light-smartphone-mount/" target="_blank">smartphone mount</a>.</span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/gold-sparkly-backdrop.jpg"></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">There are plenty of backdrop options depending on your needs. Tinsel curtains from Amazon are an easy and relatively inexpensive way to add some sparkle. Simply tape several layers of tinsel to either a wall for a stationary set or a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/westcott-background-support-system/" target="_blank">backdrop support</a> if you might need to move your setup, and voila! The tinsel adds a reflective, glamorous touch to any selfie station.</span></p><p><img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/tinsel-selfie-station.jpg"></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <em>Selfie Station in action</em></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">For a plain color or ombre background, seamless paper is a great option. Check out our&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/blog/get-the-look-ombre-video-backdrop/" target="_blank">blog post here</a> for more information on seamless paper and how to turn it into an ombre backdrop. The&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/westcott-x-drop-5-x-7-rich-black-backdrop-kit/" target="_blank">Westcott X-Drop Backdrop Kits</a> are also perfect. Fabric is another great option for a backdrop; pretty much any type of fabric can be hung on a wall or backdrop kit. A pattern could be used to match the theme of the event, or sequined fabric could be another way to add some glamour to your selfie station. Twinkle lights can also add some sparkle. Strips of fabric tied to a string also make an engaging backdrop. Alternatively, an interesting wall might be all you need for a fantastic selfie station! Props, such as hats or a large company logo, could also be used to add a fun element to the station.</span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/tinsel-selfie.jpg"></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">Next time you find yourself putting together an event, consider adding a selfie station. All you need is your Diva, a fun backdrop, and maybe some props and you’ll be all set to take quality photos while making picture perfect memories.</span></p>

  • ​Get the Look: Ombré Video Backdrop

    <p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><img src="https://www.dvestore.com/product_images/uploaded_images/ombre-blog-thumbnail.jpg"><br> </span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> Ever wonder how to get that ombré backdrop look that’s so popular on YouTube these days? It’s actually quite simple! All you really need is a light and some seamless paper. </span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><img src="https://www.dvestore.com/product_images/uploaded_images/ombre-2.jpg"><br> </span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">First, you’ll want to set up your seamless paper backdrop. You can find rolls of backdrop paper pretty easily on Amazon, although there are many different sizes available, so make sure you know which one you need. Depending on the size, it can cost anywhere from $35 to $70 per roll.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">You’ll also need a support for the backdrop. Something like the&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/westcott-background-support-system/" target="_blank">Westcott Background Support System</a> is ideal because of its versatility and ability to properly support any backdrops you may have in the future, but if you’re on a very tight budget, you could just pin the backdrop paper to the wall.&nbsp;Whatever works!</span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/ombre-1.jpg"></p><p style="text-align: center;"></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">Lastly, you’ll need a light to shine on the backdrop. This is what creates the ombré effect and separates the subject from the background. All you need to do is set up the light directly behind the subject, pointing up at the backdrop. The result is a beautiful ombre glow surrounding the subject! For this, we recommend a&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/prismatic-led-luna-beauty-dish-light/">Prismatic LED Luna Beauty Dish</a> because it’s powerful yet compact, and can easily be used for many other purposes when you’re not creating an ombré effect. Any small but bright light should do the trick. A&nbsp;<a href="https://www.dvestore.com/prismatic-weighted-lightstand/">Prismatic Weighted Light Stand</a> would be perfect for keeping the light stable and holding the paper down.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/ombre-4.jpg"></p><p style="text-align: center;"></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">Combined with a ring light focused on the subject, an ombré backdrop can give your video setup the professional glow you’ve been looking for!</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/ombre-5.jpg"></p>

  • Camera Tips and Tricks: Shooting with an iPhone

    <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">Don't have a fancy DSLR camera? Don't worry! Most smartphones are actually able to produce very high quality video, sometimes even in 4K. With knowledge of a few key phone features and some ring light best practices, your smartphone videos can look just as professional as those taken with an expensive camera. Here are some tips that can help you get the most out of the phone and ring light that you already have.</span></p><p><span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/phone-camera-tips-thumbnail.jpg"></p><p> <strong><span style="font-size: 18px;">Use the Back Camera</span></strong></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> If possible, always use the back-facing camera. The back camera produces much better video than the front camera. If you're recording by yourself, it can sometimes be difficult to see what you're doing with the back camera because you can't see the screen, but the difference in quality is definitely worth the effort. One way to make this a bit easier is to put a mirror behind your phone so you’re able to see what’s on the screen. Alternatively, you could take a photo in the setup you intend to use, check it to make sure you’re in frame, and adjust accordingly.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> One thing that makes using the back camera a bit easier is the fact that on most smartphones, pressing a volume button on the side of the phone takes a photo or starts recording a video. Instead of trying to find the button on the touch screen, you can simply use the volume buttons on the side of the phone, which is much easier. In the case of iPhones, you can also use the volume buttons on the headphones that come with the phone to take a photo or record video.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/zoom-vs-no-zoom.jpg"></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <em>The photo on the left was taken with the front-facing camera of an iPhone 6S, and the photo on the right was taken with the back-facing camera of an iPhone 6S.</em></p><p> <strong><span style="font-size: 18px;">Make the Most of Your Ring Light</span></strong></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> Match the ambient room lighting to your ring light. If the ring light is much brighter than the rest of the room, it can potentially create harsh shadows and wash out your face. Make sure the background of your video is properly lit for the best results possible.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> Try to stay close to the ring light if possible. The light is designed to surround your face, and if it’s too far away, it could create uneven shadows.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/ring-light-vs-3-lights.jpg"></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <em>The photo on the left was taken with just a ring light, and the photo on the right was taken with a ring light and two soft boxes.</em></p><p> <strong><span style="font-size: 18px;">Check Your Focus</span></strong></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> On most smartphones, tapping an area on the screen will focus on that area. If your phone isn't focusing on what it should be, simply tap the area that you want it to focus on and it will adjust accordingly. This also sets the exposure; the camera will adjust so that the area you tapped is properly exposed. To change the exposure, drag the yellow line next to the focus point up or down.</span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/iphone-focus-gif-3.gif"></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span></p><p> <strong><span style="font-size: 18px;">Lock Your Settings</span></strong></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> If you tap and hold on an area on the screen, you'll notice it will say "AE/AF Lock". AE stands for Auto-Exposure and AF stands for Autofocus. AE/AF Lock disables these features and the focus and exposure will be locked on that part of the screen. This allows you to manually adjust the focus and exposure on your smartphone camera. The exposure, however, can still be adjusted by swiping up or down on the screen. To unlock, simply tap anywhere else on the screen. Once you use AE/AF lock, try not to change the distance between the subject and the camera. If you do, the camera will focus on the wrong thing.</span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/iphone-ae-af-lock-gif.gif"></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><br> </span></p><p> <strong><span style="font-size: 18px;">Don’t Use the Zoom</span></strong></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> Try not to use your smartphone’s zoom function, as it drastically reduces the quality of the photo or video. If you need a close up shot of something, it’s better to do it manually by physically getting the camera closer to the object and tapping to focus on it.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/front-camera-vs-back-camera.jpg"></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <em>The photo on the left was taken with the back camera of an iPhone 6S completely zoomed in, and the photo on the right was taken with the back camera not zoomed in at all..</em></p><p> <strong><span style="font-size: 18px;">Consider Third-Party Apps</span></strong></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> The photo and video functions that come with your smartphone generally get the job done just fine; however, if you want to fine-tune your images a bit more, third party apps such as <a href="http://www.filmicpro.com/" target="_blank">FiLMiC Pro</a> are the way to go. FiLMiC Pro, for example, allows you to manually control focus, exposure, ISO, shutter speed, tint, color temperature, and frame rate. It may be worth the $14.99 investment if you’re looking to have full control over your smartphone camera.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"> There’s no doubt that a DSLR will provide more options for perfecting your photos and videos, but the truth is that most smartphones are also able to produce very high quality images. If you know how to best use your phone’s camera and your ring light, there’s nothing stopping you from creating some truly excellent photos and videos.</span></p>

  • Camera Tips and Tricks: Shooting with a DSLR

    <p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">If you are thinking of becoming a Youtube star or maybe you just want to take better videos with your DSLR, then keep reading to find out to adjust the settings on your camera.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/dslr-tips-thumbnail.jpg"></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>Frame rate and shutter speed</strong></span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">The first thing you’ll want to do is adjust the frame rate in your camera’s menu system. A good rule of thumb is to set your frame rate to 24p to get the most natural and pleasing look to your videos.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">The shutter speed setting determines how sharp or how blurry your video will be. If you want your video to be sharp, set your shutter speed to 1/50th/Second. Setting the shutter speed too high or too low will look unnatural.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/shutter-speed.jpg"></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <em>Difference between slow shutter speed on left and fast shutter speed on right</em></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>Controlling F-Stop</strong></span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">This is the setting on your camera that controls depth of field. Depth of field refers to the zone of focus in the image. While your subject is the main focus, the depth of field encompasses your subject, in front of and behind her in the frame.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">A common F-stop range is 1.4 to F22. The lower the number, the shallower the depth of field around your subject and the more out of focus everything else in the picture will be, resulting in a pleasing, blurry backgrounds. The higher the F-stop the more in focus your entire frame will be.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/fstop.jpg"></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <em>Difference between low F-stop range on left and high F-stop range on right</em></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>ISO</strong></span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">This feature on your camera adjusts the sensitivity of the camera’s sensor to light. The ISO can range from 100 all the way to the tens of thousands depending on your camera. When there is a lot of available light you can keep your ISO at a low number. In low light situations, when you need to increase your sensor’s sensitivity, you can increase the ISO until you achieve a correct exposure.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span></p><p> <img src="/product_images/uploaded_images/iso.jpg"></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <em>Difference between low ISO on left and high ISO on right</em></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong><u>Additional Tips</u></strong></span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>Focus: Auto</strong></span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">The easiest mode for focusing is Auto Mode. The focusing technology is very powerful in modern DSLR cameras and can keep you in focus as you move around in the frame in front of the lens. You can also focus on individual items or products as you put them in front of the lens.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;"><strong>Audio: Auto</strong></span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">Setting up your audio on your camera is very easy. In your camera’s menu system, find Sound Recording. Enter and change the setting to auto if it isn’t set already.</span></p><p> <span style="font-size: 18px;">The on-camera mic is not going to give you the best sound and will pick up environmental noise as well as noise coming from the camera. The sound of your voice will sound tinny. The best way to overcome this issue is to invest in a shotgun microphone like the <a href="https://www.dvestore.com/rode-videomic-with-rycote-lyre-suspension-mount/" target="_blank">Rode Videomic.</a></span></p><p style="text-align: center;"> <span style="font-size: 18px;"></span><a href="/product_images/uploaded_images/camera-audio-settings.jpg" class="blog-pop-img"><img src="https://www.dvestore.com/product_images/uploaded_images/camera-audio-settings.jpg" style="font-family: Arial,Helvetica,Verdana,Tahoma,sans-serif; font-size: 15px; width: 516px;"></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><em> DSLR audio settings (click to enlarge)</em></p>