I have been shooting Canon for my still photography work for quite some time now. I may actually be somewhat of an oddity because I am mostly a landscape and architecture photographer and it seems to me many people chose Nikon as their camera of choice if that is what they shoot, but I guess I started with Canon and will probably stay there unless someone gives me a stable of Nikon gear. I must admit I do lust after that 9 image auto bracket when it comes to my HDR work but that is a much different story.

So being I am a Canon guy with the 5D Mark II there are always times when it would be nice to at least try to use the incredible HD video capabilities of the camera. I am not one of those geeks that have to try everything right when you get it so I have left the video side of the camera somewhat in the shadows. But my daughter was going to be singing with a group and I knew I really wanted to capture that video.

When the event came up I knew I needed to set the camera up on a tripod to shoot it nicely and use the best lens I could get my hands on. I did a few test videos in the room under the lighting conditions for the evening and I realize I would have to adjust the white balance so that the people and background were not too oddly colored. Being I was shooting in Aperture Priority AV all I had to do to set the white balance was select the WB button in the top of the camera and then cycle through the options until the color looked optimum. Turns out none of them looked good so I set white balance to the K (Kelvin Temperature setting) then set the specific light temperate. In this case I set it to 3200. I know this is crazy but light actually has a temperate (see more about light temperature setting on cameras).

So I finally shot the video. You can see it here.

As I look at the video I notice there are two problems:

  1. When I shoot in an auditorium with low light the people seem to get overexposed (blown out) because by default the camera meters the light settings for the entire scene.
  2. The on camera microphone does not do a great job of recording sound.

So what are the ways around these issues?

Overexposed People

I did not realize that you can actually shot the video in manual mode. What that means is that I can actually manually override most of the settings that would normally set if you were doing regular photography. There is a great article here that tells you exactly how to do all that. So now I am completely set for next time from a video quality perspective

Poor Sound Quality

Believe it or not, the sound on this recording is actually the best I had ever heard on my camera. It is decent in this case because the mics and the speakers were pretty well laid out in the room but they sound could even be better. I realized that I needed an off camera mic. But what in the world should I look for? I am sure there has to be a million options out there.

So I posed the question to my camera and video contacts. Again and again the answer came back; you need to look at the Rode Videomic Pro or the Stereo Videomic Pro. So I did some research. This video compares in camera mic with Rode mic side by side. The difference is so incredible.

Check out this review video here

Now it is clear to me, if I am going to be doing any more video work and especially recording music in a large loud room, it is time to get a real mic. Are you in the same place?

Check out the mic here…

Written by Wayne Moran - Visit Website