This advice pertains to the following hardware:
- Macintosh Mac Book Pro, 15 inch, early 2008, 2.5 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo
- Mac OS 10.10.5 Yosemite
- Adobe Premier Pro CC, 2015.0.1 release.
- Adobe Media Encoder CC, 2015.0.1 release.
- Nikon D5300 used as video camera and recording on to an SD card.
In a prior post I shared with you the fact that a friend needed me to video tape his daughter’s wedding. I decided to use a Panasonic DV movie camera as my cover camera and a Nikon D5300 SLR camera that has the capability to record movies. I knew that I had to use the Nikon as my cut away camera for two reasons. First, I could not successfully mount either of my two external microphones on to the DV camcorder. Second, the Nikon lens is hard to change zoom while recording which works perfectly for hand holding. The Nikon SLR, thus, had to be used as a hand held cut away shot camera. It also had to be fitted with a good shotgun microphone, which is easy with this camera. It also had to be loaded with my widest angle lens. It also had to be set for full wide angle for every shot! I will now tell you the secret trick to hand holding a movie or video camera:
TRICK: Use a wide angle lens. Keep the lens always set for complete wide angle and try not to change it. Never move the zoom off the full wide angle setting. Never zoom in unless you are using a tripod. Now here is the rest of the trick that makes this process work wonderfully. Compose the shot you want by YOU moving in, out, or around the subject. This method works because wide angle shots normally appear to be more steady than zoomed in shots. Now here is the down side for this method. Hand holding shots works best if the event allows you to get close to the subject or talent. I was covering a wedding and people naturally expect to see a photographer get aggressive so this method matched perfectly with the event. You would not use this method to cover anything dangerous such as war, gun fights, fires, and explosions.
SLIGHT HITCH: I found out that a lot of people recognize a SLR camera and expect it to only take still images. Some of the individuals I shot stood perfectly still when I aimed my camera at them, not realizing that I was recording a movie even though there was a rather large shotgun microphone on top of my SLR camera. I found this to be amusing to see people suddenly go statue. It does interrupt, some times, the spontaneous live action you expect to record.
I hit a snag getting my short cutaway video shots off the Nikon D5300 SD card and into my computer. My first mistake was to just drag the movie files off the SD card and copy them into Adobe Premier and expect that to work. The results were that the video skipped while the audio was good. I figured it was a codec compatibility problem. Let me just insert the fact that I then spent hours trying out a number of solutions only to find I already had one installed in my computer.
I discovered that I had Adobe Encoder as part of their suite of products. Here I am struggling using Premier with all its features and now had to figure out how to operate Adobe Encoder. I not only had to know how to operate the Encoder but I had to find the correct settings to input into the Encoder to make the video come out so Premier and I would accept it. I did some Internet research and here is my solution – MPEG2. I am not sure it is the best setting but it works for me. The converted files came out as “.mpg” and another file was generated. The second file has “.xmp” as an extension. It should remain next to the video file storage space that Premier “sees” and uses. The XMP file format is is an Adobe “file labeling technology that lets you embed metadata into files themselves during the content creation process“. This tells me that I had better make sure Premier “sees” both files together for Premier to operate properly. When using the “File > Import” command, to get the movie into Premier, chose the one with “.mpg” extension to get your video into Premier.