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I'm new to all of this and would like to learn

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Hello!

I'm new to cinematography. I would like to work on music videos but I am not sure what to do to give it that "cinema look" (I hope that explains it correctly)  

I have a Canon T3i and a stock lens. I am unsure what settings I should have it set to or what I should invest my money in, in order to get as close to that look as possible.

I am also not opposed in buying a relatively cheaper camera that is capable of doing this if the Canon T3i isn't.

I hope someone can help point me in the right direction.

Also, if this is posted in the wrong area please let me know where it would be better placed.

Thank you. 

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

The camera is basically the LAST thing you should upgrade.

First:

  • Lighting - get some basic lights and learn how to use them
  • Set design - get some much crazier lights and learn about set design - music videos go all out on this so don't hold back
  • Composition - learn about framing, camera angles, camera movement
  • Directing - learn how to work with talent to get the best performances from them - writing and even performing music are very different to knowing how to look good in an extreme close-up
  • Business - making a good film isn't the same thing as making money
  • Yourself....   learn about colour theory, learn how to edit ('cut on the beat' is one style - learn 15 other styles), learn to colour grade, learn about in-camera special effects

and only then start to think about camera equipment...  or, at least, don't think about spending more than a few hundred.

A good way to be practical about it is to only use money you earned from shooting videos to invest in more equipment.

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Seconded.  It's all about the lighting.  Took me a long time to realize this in my own career coming from the run 'n gun world of broadcasting.  If you're willing to listen to advice from an older dumbass like me that has made all the mistakes, right now at the outset, then you're going to leapfrog over all other newbies that put their efforts into acquiring gear.  Acquiring gear isn't always a waste of time, but it's a wildly low priority.

Learn to light. Learn to know when to not light.  Learn to "see" what light is doing and offering; exploit it.  Learn to recognize what sort of lighting works for motion pictures.  Pay attention to your frame like you're making an oil painting and, my god, you'll be so much better at this stuff than most of us.

Nothing drives me more crazy than when I see cheap indy shoots that have NO notion of lighting AND can't even bother to dress up/clean up the location they're shooting in.  Everything on frame is visual information.  It's your job to control it and make people see the important stuff, not random visual vomit.

That said, slap a 50mm lens on your T3i, put it on f2.8, set your frame rate at 24fps, set your shutter speed at 40, use the neutral color profile, get some ND filters to control your exposure, and you'll have a good technical baseline to make things happen with your camera.

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Guys, guys. This is the videography and photography world. You have to teach him to be really toxic first so he has a fighting chance in the first place.

First of all, you can't use more than one camera brand. IF you do, you're lost. You have to choose one brand and then go all in...buy brand merch and invest at least 10K into the system. You then have to shun and look down on anybody that uses a different camera, why? Because they are dumb and not smart like you. Got it? Good.

Second, EVERY camera that is NOT YOUR CAMERA has terrible color science. This is fact.

Third, it's always, without exception, all about the gear. Dropping 3K on a new camera WILL make you a BETTER photographer/videographer. Don't believe anybody that tells you otherwise because they probably shoot on a point-and-shoot (this is very, very bad).

Fourth, never talk to a Pentax owner. This rule has no exceptions. Do not break it.

Fifth, and final, when you switch your camera brand you have to start from step 1 all over again.

Good Luck and fast shutters!

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As others have said, lighting is the key to cinematic images.

Learn to light with whatever you have available. Use sunlight/window light if you have nothing else, and practice shaping the light in mock scenes. Get a feel for how you can diffuse light, or bounce light. Practice, practice, practice with what you already have.

If you do come across a few dollars to spend, get some cheap LED lights. Your current camera will be fine while you're just starting out.

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As others said before, Lighting.

Also, figure out what type of stabilization you want to use. Handheld? Shoulder Rig? Steadicam? Gimbal? Tripod?

All of them have different "looks" when you use them. Depending on the song, you might prefer one style over another, and you might want to use more than stabilization method in the same video.

I believe it is possible to use affordable manual lenses on your T3I. ften people associate a shallow depth of field with a cinematic look. (Often, but not always.) Older manual focus lenses with a fast aperture (shallow depth of field) are a LOT less expensive than current autofocus lenses with a fat aperture (shallow depth of field).

https://youtu.be/WJmMM6OhASc

 

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5 hours ago, seku said:

lighting is much more important than any camera/lens :)

x1000 this! 

Lighting is very very important. 

Only thing more important than lighting is audio 😉

3 hours ago, fuzzynormal said:

That said, slap a 50mm lens on your T3i, put it on f2.8, set your frame rate at 24fps, set your shutter speed at 40, use the neutral color profile, get some ND filters to control your exposure, and you'll have a good technical baseline to make things happen with your camera.


Errr.... no, set your shutter speed to 50 or 60 
(depending on where you live)

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2 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Err.... no, set your shutter speed to 50 or 60

Nah, I actually don't like the 180 shutter rule.  A tiny bit more motion blur in the image and it looks more like film to me.  I shot a doc once with 25ss and 24fps.  Liked that too even though the motion blur is more pronounced.  To each his own, but it's a style/look that I think really takes the edge off the "video" quality of a video camera.

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I second everything. 

And would like to add this: lighting with intention does not mean you have to buy a lot of gear. Many household items will do just fine unless you try to overpower the sun. 

The key is to learn how to control the light you already have in your scene, so that you can augment specific parts in your frame, making them pop. 

Don't fall into the bottomless pit of camera specifications, settings, etc. Think more like a painter. 

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1 hour ago, fuzzynormal said:

Nah, I actually don't like the 180 shutter rule.  A tiny bit more motion blur in the image and it looks more like film to me.  I shot a doc once with 25ss and 24fps.  Liked that too even though the motion blur is more pronounced.  To each his own, but it's a style/look that I think really takes the edge off the "video" quality of a video camera.

hmmm... interesting 🤔 

shooting some slower shutter test shots has been on my to do list so long i forgot all abt it... thanks for the reminder

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1 hour ago, fuzzynormal said:

Nah, I actually don't like the 180 shutter rule.  A tiny bit more motion blur in the image and it looks more like film to me.  I shot a doc once with 25ss and 24fps.  Liked that too even though the motion blur is more pronounced.  To each his own, but it's a style/look that I think really takes the edge off the "video" quality of a video camera.


Outdoors that is fine, but if indoors with lights on you need to be thinking about if you're in 50KHz or 60KHz land

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There is a lot of wisdom here about things to focus on above camera choice. I'd add this thought exercise to help you determine when to upgrade your camera. Is the camera holding you back from pulling off the shots/camera movements you want to make? Do you nail composition, exposure almost every time? Can you focus better than the camera can? Is the camera going to make you money? If the answer to these questions is no, then keep cracking with what you've got. If you answer yes to all of them, are you able to create the overall look you envision if you have the proper lighting, frame rate and shutter speed dialed in  (ask discussed above)? If you get to this point and answer no, then maybe it's time to start think about an upgrade.

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10 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

You have to teach him to be really toxic first so he has a fighting chance in the first place.

Of course...  I knew I was doing something wrong!

Here, this is how to do it.....

On 7/24/2019 at 6:09 PM, IronFilm said:

 

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13 hours ago, Video Hummus said:

EVERY camera that is NOT YOUR CAMERA has terrible color science. This is fact.

Delicious, this one! LOL ; )

Stick it! This 'the basics' thread, as well : ) @QandA Nice and proper username BTW : -)

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To get back on the topic of lighting...

Assuming you are new at this, and assuming you have more creativity than budget, you can learn a LOT from master stills photographer the late Dean Collins.

Many, MANY people use relatively inexpensive plastic piping and reflectors / ripstop nylon to create beautiful lighting.

 

P.S. Man, Dean had some mad flow. My hair is totally jealous of his.

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13 hours ago, IronFilm said:

Outdoors that is fine, but if indoors with lights on you need to be thinking about if you're in 50KHz or 60KHz land

When the shutter is slower than the multiple of the frequency, I've not witnessed it showing up much in the footage.  So, under 60hz you can shoot 24fps, 25fps or 30fps with a 40ss and not see any of those sync issues, for instance.  At least I don't.  Anyone else notice this?

14 hours ago, kaylee said:

hmmm... interesting 🤔 

shooting some slower shutter test shots has been on my to do list so long i forgot all abt it... thanks for the reminder

Do try.  See if you like it.  I think it's an undervalued film emulation technique.

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