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Video Basics With Alex

MWS Media's Video Basics

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Video is the medium of choice! Do you want to understand a bit more about it? Here is MWS Media's Alex to talk you though Video Basics.

Text of MWS Media's Video Basics

Page 1: MWS Media's Video Basics

Video  Basics

With  Alex

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This guide will give you the basic knowledge you need if you want to understand a bit more about video or shoot video yourself for your business. !This includes: !- A basic understanding of video !

- How to shoot good video !- The best camera to use !- How to use your camera !

Video  Basics

1.  Video2.  Camera  

3.  Video  Cameras4.  Video  Equipment

5.  Video  Compression


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Video is simply a series of single images being displayed in quick succession which creates movement. Different countries have varying standards at which the speed of these images should be displayed for broadcast onto television. !In the UK for example the PAL standard requires that 25 of these images or frames be displayed every second that the video plays whilst in the US, the NTSC standard is 30 frames (images) a second. This is know as the frame rate.

!Each one of these images is made up of hundreds or thousands of pixels. The more pixels an image contains, the higher the quality of video. This is the fundamental difference between Standard Definition Video (SD), which has hundreds of pixels, and High Definition Video (HD), which has thousands. !In the UK the PAL standard for SD video is 720 pixels across the width of the video and 576 pixels in height. In the US the NTSC standard for SD video is 720 pixels across the width of the video and 480 pixels in height. !High definition video has two general international standards. 720p is 1080 pixels across the width of the video and 720 pixels in height. 1080p is 1920 pixels across the width of the video and 1080 pixel in height and is currently the highest consumer and online quality available.

1.  Video

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The first thing that you need to understand is that video captures light, and to shoot great video, you need to give the camera as much light as possible. Otherwise you will be left with a poor quality video with no detail.

!The cameras you will be using will automatically let in as much light as possible but in doing so will compromise the quality by making the image very pixelated.

!To avoid this, give your camera as much light as possible by shooting near a window or swapping a normal light bulb for a 100watt bulb. An even better idea would be to film your video outside. Although this may be a slight problem for sound, it will give you more than enough light and create a generally more interesting video than filming in an office or shop.

2.  Camera  Basics  

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As with most things in life you get what you pay for! The better the camera, the better the results, but the bigger the price tag. !If you’re looking for high end, professional results for your video then we would recommend you use a video production company (of course) but if you haven’t got access to bigger budgets or are shooting some simple in house content then you will need some of this basic equipment. !The first thing you will need of course is a camera. This can be anything from a smart phone or tablet or a handy cam.

!Smart phones and tablets with a video feature are pretty common nowadays. Although these can be quite expensive, the video feature is only a small percentage of that price tag. The cameras on smart phones and tablets use auto exposure and auto white balance. They also shoot at low quality but still record at a 1080p resolution. !The lens on smart phones and tablets also do not have a very shallow depth of field, which limits your creativity. You can however purchase apps that allow for more creative use with the exposure and white balance. You can also buy clip on lenses that will attach to the smart phone to give you more control.

3.  Video  Cameras

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4.  Video  Cameras

Handycams are very similar to smart phones in regards to auto white balance and exposure. However they also use auto focus, which in a way limits your control of the image. !Handycams however do generally have a much higher bit rate and still record at 1080p. So the image quality should be noticeably better. !Unlike smartphones, Handycams require an exterior memory unit to record video, this is most commonly in the form of an SD card. !Handycams can also be similar in price, if not cheaper than some smartphones or tablets.

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As well as a camera you will need some kind of stabalisation. Stabalisation adds quality. Unless you’re deliberately re-making The Blair Witch Project, any shakiness will result in the viewer being distracted. !You can use a tripod which you can easily find on most high streets. Most consumer tripods take up very little space and are easy to setup. Although they can’t take very much weight, the vast majority of the cameras you will be using are very light. You can adjust the level, angle and height of your camera on most tripods. For smartphones and tablets, you will need a special adapter to allow for them to be mounted on a tripod.

!The other option is a rig, which is dipping slightly into the professional region. If you want to move the camera around whilst recording, a rig is your best option to make sure that you retain full control of the camera and that it remains stable. Again for smartphones and tablets, you will need a special adapter to attach it to your rig. You can however purchase rigs especially designed for smartphones.

5.  Video  Equipment  

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The bit rate or data rate is how much your video is compressed.  !Whenever you watch a video online, on a DVD or on TV, that video has had it’s digital data compressed down so that it’s smaller. This is so that it can it can be stored easier and so it can play quicker than that of video recorded straight from a camera.

!The higher the data rate, the less compression there is and therefore the higher the quality of the video. However, the higher the data rate, the more disk space is taken up on your computer or your DVD. The different data rates available are dependant on the kind of camera you have.

!Once the editing of a video is complete, it is exported out of the editing software and made into a video file. The video file created is different from the one created by the camera as it has been compressed down into a smaller video format suitable for a specific task. For example, an MPEG-2 file is ideal for a DVD as it is small enough to fit onto the disc.

6.  Video  Compression

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Conclusion✔ Make sure your settings on your camera are correct for what you want. ✔ Give your camera plenty of light. ✔ Use the right camera for the job. !Now you have completed the checklist we hope that you have an idea of how to shoot the best video footage !A lot of this will be trial and error and may change depending on the size and type of projects. There’s always a new mistake to make and a new lesson to learn from! !Check the Members Area for templates and videos to help with different aspects of the video production process. !As always just get in touch with us if you have any questions or need any help!

1.  Video2.  Camera  

3.  Video  Cameras4.  Video  Equipment

5.  Video  Compression


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Alex is a Producer and Camera Operator at MWS Media. !

He enjoys playing video games and ninja training. !

[email protected]

Hello! We are MWS Media, a Video Production Company based in our Greenham Airfield Studio in Berkshire. !We enjoy helping businesses succeed with our jedi like film making skills. !www.mwsmedia.co.uk [email protected] 01635 44812