Shooting and editing movies using Canon 70D

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luminouslens
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Shooting and editing movies using Canon 70D
3 months ago

Six years ago, when my first child was born, my husband and I wanted to buy a video camera. As an enthusiast amateur photographer, I wanted something that could match the quality of my dSLR, use my lenses, etc. Unfortunately nothing like this existed at the time! In the meantime, my husband read up on "the best" cheap HD video cameras and ended up dragging me out of the house, post c-section, to Best Buy to get a video camera that was on sale there. In my post-op and sleep-deprived state, I appreciated his efforts, but put no thought myself in to the video camera and we ended up with a Sony camcorder that did indeed produce nice HD footage, but required cassette tapes and was never what I was really hoping for aesthetically.

Over the next six years, I watched as video finally came to dSLRs, but held off upgrading because I knew that the lack of auto focus and the recorded sounds of the lens refocusing would make them a really bad choice for shooting videos of fast-moving kids with audio. Along came the iPhone and I have been using it for video ever since, since it's so small and doesn't require the casette tapes that our camcorder did.

Then came the Canon 70D. It is a serious upgrade to my Digital Rebel XT (350D) in so many ways, but there are a few things I just can't figure out about shooting and editing movies. I am hoping some of you could give me some pointers or advice.

MY GOAL IS TO SHOOT TWO KINDS OF MOVIES - 1) videos of the kids, to be edited and uploaded to Facebook and/or Smugmug, and saved in our family "archives", and 2) high quality video clips [not of my kids] to be sold as stock footage (e.g., on Pond5).

Here are my questions:

1. How do I avoid having the camera continuously meter for brightness for the whole scene? I'd like to set an overall exposure and then if the kid I'm shooting goes in front of a window, I can still see him (I'd rather have blown out windows, than perfectly exposed windows and such a dark interior that I can't see the kid anymore). My guess is that I should be setting everything manually and leaving nothing to auto, so for example: 1/60, 3.5, ISO 400. Not that it has to be f/3.5 and 400 ISO, but just that those are things I set once and don't leave on Auto, meaning, I shouldn't be on Shutter priority because that would allow aperture to keep changing and I shouldn't use Auto ISO because that will keep adjusting to the overall brightness. <- Does this sound right?

2. How do I set a custom white balance (both for stills and for video)? On my old Rebel, I used to choose Custom white balance and the camera would automatically bring up an option to select the image I wanted to use for setting white balance. On the 70D, if I choose Custom, it sets it to Custom but never gives me an option to DO ANYTHING to tell it what I want Custom based on. My camera manual doesn't say anything about this, just that I should "choose Custom", which yeah, I can do that part, but what about the rest?

3. What Picture Style settings would you recommend for shooting video that will later be edited for color and contrast? I'm used to shooting stills in RAW and then editing them in Adobe RAW, and I have the sense that I'd like to do something like this with video. Since RAW video isn't an option on the 70D at this time, it's my understanding that I should dial everything down to be as neutral as possible, so that I can choose what to boost in post-processing. But are any settings "too neutral" and trying to boost them later just looks bad? Here's what I was thinking for those settings: Sharpness (-1), Contrast (-1), Saturation (-1), Color Tone (0).

4. As for my other settings, here is what I have been doing:

Movie rec. size: 1920x1080, 24 fps, All-I

AF Method: Face + Tracking (maybe change to one of the FlexiZone settings if not shooting people?)

Movie Servo AF: enable (I seem to be able to shut this off while shooting the movie to stop it from trying to focus, e.g., if I'm happy with the focus and don't want it to hunt)

Metering timer: 16 sec (what in the world is this?)

5. Does anyone have any recommendations for editing software?

For editing, I'd like to be able to trim and piece together clips, add really simple transitions (nothing gimmicky, just a quick transitional blur or something), and adjust contrast and color a bit . I can do the first two things in Windows Movie Maker, though I don't love the program because the "best quality" .wmv that it outputs doesn't look that great to me. I also don't seem to be able to actually display those videos on Facebook - I get only audio, but no video (just a black display). I can, however, view the movies on my own computer and on Smugmug.

Furthermore, I can't adjust contrast/color using Windows Movie Maker. I do have Adobe Premiere Pro 2.0 but it doesn't natively support the h.264 files from the 70D and I'm reluctant to just grab any free software that claims to be able to convert my footage. And I'm not even sure that 2.0 is up to the task?

What is YOUR workflow and software for shooting and editing movies? What do you recommend?

Thanks for your thoughts!!

Canon EOS 70D
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